Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School

Few factors affect the long-term direction of students’ lives more than the quality of their K-12 education. For students who decide to attend a four-year university, their ability to keep up with college-level work is closely linked to how well their high school prepared them. Additionally, high school is the ideal time to consider what … Continue reading “Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School”


The Future for Industry Credentials

“Industry credentials” are a popular trend in modern education. But the term is rarely defined. Industry credentials offer the promise of short-term training or retraining for an agile, 21st-century workforce. Community colleges offer the training programs to would-be skill-seekers and students have flocked to these programs. But data about what these credentials are and how … Continue reading “The Future for Industry Credentials”


The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’

Students in the United States have unprecedented options for postsecondary education: from brick-and-mortar liberal arts institutions and research-intensive doctoral universities to dual-enrollment high schools and online-only degree programs. Entrepreneurs are innovating continually to improve America’s higher education options. But a new report attempts to throw cold water on the higher education landscape. Entitled, “Disconnected from … Continue reading “The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’”


Why Conservative Policymakers Should Support Community Colleges

In the first installment of this series, I offered several reasons why conservative families ought to consider sending their kids to the local community college. This time, I would like to examine some of the reasons why conservative state legislators and other policymakers should be supportive of the two-year colleges in their states. I do … Continue reading “Why Conservative Policymakers Should Support Community Colleges”


Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans

Student loan debt, now totaling roughly $1.3 trillion, is the second largest source of debt in the United States. This is especially concerning given that there are presently eight million people in default on their student loans. Under federal law, colleges, especially those with open enrollment such as two-year technical schools, face severe consequences if, for … Continue reading “Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans”


North Carolina’s Apprenticeship Program Offers Big Potential at Small Cost

Recently, a bill was introduced in the North Carolina legislature that would shift control of the state’s apprenticeship program from the department of commerce to the community college system. The goal is to streamline the program and make it more aligned with some of the community colleges’ workforce development initiatives. The program, “ApprenticeshipNC,” has been … Continue reading “North Carolina’s Apprenticeship Program Offers Big Potential at Small Cost”


A Grassroots Effort Is Changing College Instruction for the Better

Here is a dirty little secret: I am a teacher at a community college, but I have never taken an education course. The same is true for most of my colleagues at the college level. We all have majored in our “subject,” but many of us have had no education in the area of our … Continue reading “A Grassroots Effort Is Changing College Instruction for the Better”


“Free” community college will make a bad situation worse

In his State of the Union address, President Obama pitched his plan for making two years of community college as “free and universal in America as high school is today.” He thinks it would be a great thing. But at the community college where I taught English from 2007 to 2010, Georgia Perimeter College, the joke was that it was already an extension of high school.