Covid-19 College Shutdowns: Making Professors More Empathetic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an equalizer among parents of school-aged children across the United States. As Americans learn to juggle jobs, families, and their children’s education, this experience is revealing what “normal” looks like for many college students who have done the same long before the pandemic hit. In 2015, for example, my brother … Continue reading “Covid-19 College Shutdowns: Making Professors More Empathetic”


Our Hopes for Higher Ed Reform in 2020

As priorities shift in the minds of higher education leaders and students, it’s important to take stock of recent changes on the local and national levels. At the Martin Center, we have our eyes on some reforms at the top of our list for 2020: Jenna A. Robinson, President More Colleges Experimenting with Income Share … Continue reading “Our Hopes for Higher Ed Reform in 2020”


The Overhyped College Dropout ‘Scandal’

About 40 percent of Americans who enroll in college drop out before earning a certificate or degree. A high percentage of those who drop out are from poor families; they attended K-12 schools where academic standards were low and students who really tried to learn faced peer rejection for “acting white.” Still, some graduate and … Continue reading “The Overhyped College Dropout ‘Scandal’”


The Success of Community College ‘Non-Completers’

A sense of urgency has taken hold of higher education leaders nationwide. Reports of declining community college graduation rates and the lack of skilled workers have led policymakers and college leaders to sound the alarm and vow to do whatever it takes to lower the high rate of “dropouts” and equip students to meet the … Continue reading “The Success of Community College ‘Non-Completers’”


Advising and Peer Connections: Helping Transfer Students Earn a College Degree

Jumping right into a four-year university after high school isn’t for everybody. There are numerous reasons why, for some students, attending a community college and then transferring to a four-year university is the most prudent decision. For some, it’s financially practical. The low cost of community college allows students to virtually cut the cost of … Continue reading “Advising and Peer Connections: Helping Transfer Students Earn a College Degree”


Sperber’s ‘Beer and Circus’—An Unintentional Argument for Community College?

The year 2000 saw the publication of Beer and Circus, the notable book by former Indiana University professor Murray Sperber. It was a big step forward for the analysis of higher education, offering considerable insight into the sociology of college students, faculty research, and poor academic standards for colleges. Though its subtitle prepared the reader … Continue reading “Sperber’s ‘Beer and Circus’—An Unintentional Argument for Community College?”



A Dreamer of the Golden Dream: Jerry Brown’s Future for Higher Education

The title of this article alludes to Joan Didion’s famous essay about “love and death in the golden land,” a cautionary tale about the wreckage left behind when dreams collide with reality. Historically, California has always attracted dreamers and today one of the state’s biggest dreamers is Governor Jerry Brown, who once said, “A politician … Continue reading “A Dreamer of the Golden Dream: Jerry Brown’s Future for Higher Education”


North Carolina Works to Ensure Success of Military Students

Drone pilots have assumed an increasingly valuable role in military operations. Soon they may be able to leverage their unique experience into academic credits through the North Carolina Community College System. That is just one among a multitude of military occupations and training modules for which the UNC System and Community College System might one … Continue reading “North Carolina Works to Ensure Success of Military Students”


The Conservative Case for Community Colleges, Part I: To Parents

For many parents, the prospect of sending their kids off to college can be daunting. If the price tag alone doesn’t scare them silly, there are more than enough stories about campus rape culture, fatal binge drinking, the opioid crisis, snowflake syndrome, attacks on free speech, and lack of due process to keep parents awake … Continue reading “The Conservative Case for Community Colleges, Part I: To Parents”