I really appreciated this- community colleges do a wonderful thing by providing education at an affordable cost to students who might not otherwise continue to pursue higher education following graduation from high school/GED attainment. There is a lot to be said for good programs that put their money where their mouths are- right where you can see it. Quite a few universities spend tuition money on flashy things that continue to benefit the school itself rather than the students directly, such as sports arenas and recruiting for athletic teams. Without that pressure, these institutions DELIVER their main goal- organizations that help them get more people to graduation are nothing short of heroic.
Ani Okkasian was the first in her family to go to college. “My parents escaped a communist country and got to the [United] States with $700 in their pocket,” she says. And so, when she participated in a TEDActive 2014 workshop held by the Robin Hood Foundation to brainstorm ways to help community college students graduate, she offered an insight from her own college experience: these students may feel like they’re floating on their own.
Community colleges offer access to higher education for more than 8 million students a year in the United States, many of them from low-income backgrounds and, like Okkasian, the first in their family to go to college. Robin Hood has identified a pattern at play on community college campuses; a large number of students require remedial classes before moving on, but only 28% of students who take them earn their degree, even 8.5 years later…
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