A new report suggests as much:
Fewer than half (46%) of students who enter community colleges with the goal of earning a degree or certificate have attained that goal, transferred to a baccalaureate institution, or are still enrolled 6 years later. The rates, unfortunately, are lower for Hispanic, Black, Native American, and low-income students. Nearly half of all community college students entering in the fall term drop out before the second fall term begins.
Kay Steiger sounds off:
Community colleges aren’t just the B squad anymore. For a lot of people, particularly low-income people and students of color, they’re a first choice. Publicly funded two-year institutions need to figure out a better way to serve these communities, or those groups will simply turn to better marketed for-profit schools.
Where the money to improve community colleges will come from remains a mystery:
Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, says it is unlikely that the funds community colleges have lost through state-budget cuts will be restored. "The real fundamental question," he says, "is, How can we serve more students at a lower cost with higher levels of success?"