21 October 2009

For the poor, community colleges are crucial

A news release Oct. 20 from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlighted a report that shows the importance of community colleges in a job market that demands lifelong learning. From the release:
"Earning a community college degree boosts earnings by an average of $7,900 annually, an increase of 29 percent over those with only a high school diploma.
For low-income, high-achieving high school students in particular, community colleges serve as a springboard to further postsecondary education; more than half eventually transfer to four-year programs, and three-quarters of those who transfer earn a bachelor’s degree."
That just underscores our belief here at YorkCounts on the role that HACC can play in helping students from low-income families break out of poverty, and in making sure York County has a well-trained workforce.

And we know HACC takes that role seriously. Over the summer, I attended a workshop at HACC where officials from various organizations spent a morning basically brainstorming ways to improve the college-readiness of high school students in York. From that session, Lise Levin, community development director at HACC's York campus, has started a list of things HACC wants to try. The ideas range from in-service days at HACC for teachers to class-sampling opportunities for high school students.

What ideas do you have for helping city students be more prepared for college?

- Dan Fink


Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure if would even go to college initially. I was permitted to take a college course at HACC while in high school and transfer the credit back to the high school for credit toward graduation. It really helped in my decision to go to college. I'm now happy to report that after transferring from HACC I have graduated from Drexel University with my Bachelor's of Science in Business Admin/Marketing! Best thing I've ever done for myself! I eventually plan to go back and get my MBA in a few years!

YorkCounts said...

That's one way that community colleges can be of value. They can offer young people who are on the fence about continuing their education a relatively inexpensive taste of what college is about. Thanks for sharing your story. And congratulations on your success.

Anonymous said...

I think community colleges are essential especially for those like myself who are intelligent but lack the funds for college.

It gives us hope that we can still make it. The best part? My degree will be from the university of my choice!