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Five Questions to Ask: Community Colleges

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Back to Community Colleges
  1. Has tuition increased at the community colleges in your region, and — if so — by how much? Did these institutions also undergo funding cuts from the state and local government? How have changes in funding affected enrollment?
  2. How do the two-year colleges in your region determine whether students are placed in college-level or remedial education courses? Do they use placement tests or high school grade point average/transcripts?How the graduation rates for students who start in remedial level courses compare to those who start at college level courses?
  3. Do the community colleges in your region have partnerships with local employers for job training (or retraining) programs for prospective employees? If so, how have these programs fared, for the students, colleges, and employers? If there effectively are no such partnerships, why not?
  4. What are the transfer rates for community college students in your region who want to attend four-year colleges? Do these institutions have effective “articulation agreements” (formal agreements regarding student transfers and the recognition of credits)? What do students say can be done to improve the transfer process?
  5. How do the student demographics at the community colleges you cover compare to your region overall? Have these enrollment percentages changed in recent years, and — if so — do they reflect changes in your region at large?