Increasingly, community colleges in America are becoming the pathway to progression in today’s society. More and more, Americans are faced with the reality of downsizing, layoffs, and the necessity for advancement in education and occupational skill. Therefore, it is necessary that we, as a society, investigate this alternative path in higher education.
Recently, the White House held the first ever summit concerning the community college system in the 21st century. This event was hosted in October by the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and broadcast live. Within this summit, important items were discussed, including transfer student success, methods to improve student retention, the financial aid process, and industry connections/partnerships within programs (Biden, 2010).
All of these sessions presented proactive measures to curtail disparities within the varied student experience. In addition, a closing session completed the summit by comments from Dr. Biden, Secretary Arne Duncan, and Secretary Hilda Solis.
Upon review of the discussions presented, one of the essential items discussed involved student success, and the ability to smoothly transition to a four-year university. Within this process, there appears to be a few missing links in the chain of transition. From the student perspective, transferability of course credits is not an efficient and easy process. This seems to suggest that a continued and open dialogue should be formatted to adequately conform to the lives of the prospective four-year student.
One would venture to suggest that a uniform state and/or national open-door bridge program should be created. This program would provide uniform accessibility to program pre-requisites, a standardized transfer credit system, and a model mentoring program for future program applicants. It would create a consistency in the format of retention and improving the rates of transfer students, even within their particular state of residency.
Creating awareness within the aspiring university student is important as it makes them a conscious part of their life experience. This program could potentially prevent wasted spending, and venture to preserve the collegiate spirit among future undergraduate scholars.
We need to ensure that society continues to investigate ways to aid the non-traditional student process. In doing so, we begin to recognize that curbing barriers to success is the first step in enhancing future life planning.
Biden, J. (2010). White House summit on community colleges toolkit. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/upolads/White-House-Summit-on-community-Colleges-Toolkit.pdf.