Archive for the ‘American Association of Community Colleges’ Category

Why Access Matters: The Community College Student Body

February 29, 2012 Comments off

Why Access Matters: The Community College Student Body
Source: American Association of Community Colleges

More and more Americans today acknowledge the value of community colleges to students and community partners. An important reason for this awakening, among many others, rests on the growing realization that reported rates of success for students at community colleges are understated and misleading. In addition, the increasing focus on public returns on investment may be incentivizing colleges and universities to be more discerning about whom they enroll. Needless to say, these changes do not bode well for college access.

With the growing attention the public is paying to community colleges, it is important to remember just whom community colleges serve, noting what is distinctive and what has changed about this population. In this brief, I consider the unique variety of students who are drawn to and served by community colleges.

The magnitude of access is generally understood at the level of fall enrollments. For institutions that enroll students year-round, however, more students access higher education than is commonly realized. At community colleges, for example, referencing unduplicated year-round enrollments increases the number of students accessing higher education by 56%. The magnitude of access is increased even further when noncredit students are included.


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