It would be an understatement to say it has been a chaotic year. Yet, while 2020 has presented many challenges, our country has also started to make positive change in the battle for equity and our communities have come together to help those in need. As the year closes, we encourage our colleges to persevere and look ahead toward a brighter future.
Having access to community colleges is linked to higher earnings and health benefits? Tell us something we don’t know! We love our colleges, and we are glad the National Bureau of Economic Research is recognizing their incredible benefits. Having community colleges increases the chances that students will graduate from high school and college. And, two-years also foster healthy behaviors, like increased exercise and a lower chance of smoking.
Homelessness is becoming more prevalent in the community college world. The New York Times article explains what some advocates are doing to make a safer, more comfortable environment for these students, including existing programs throughout the United States that ease these students’ lives.
With the rising number of patients testing positive for COVID-19, community colleges have been helping. They are donating protective equipment from their health-related classes to the hospitals and health care facilities fighting this virus on the front lines. Several colleges, including our neighbor, Western Technical College, have already shown their support with donations.
One of the most significant controversies surrounding the CARES Act, which supports individuals financially affected by the pandemic, is that it does not support DACA students. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has stood by her decision that the March stimulus package would only support students eligible for federal student aid.
During these uncertain times, many graduating high school seniors have been rethinking their plans. Students are taking a gap year. But here are some reasons why community college could be the best strategy during these times.
The University of California Board of Regents voted to drop the SAT and ACT testing requirement for admissions eligibility. Those students applying to UC schools in the fall of 2021 or 2022 who choose not to provide scores will not be penalized. The move comes as numerous studies suggest standardized tests discriminate against minority and low-income students. This was a landmark decision in reshaping college admissions across the country.
Thousands across the nation protested the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Many higher education leaders have released statements mourning the losses in the black community and calling for unity.
The Center for American Progress has reported that public colleges annually spend an average of $1,000 less per student of color than white students. Students of color are more likely to attend community colleges, which are extremely underfunded.
In April 2020, California Community College students reported increased anxiety brought on by the pandemic that has affected their ability to complete degrees. Student enrollment has fallen by 17%, with the most significant decline in African American and Native American students.