Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random thoughts on community colleges

Summary goes here!
At the state level, state policies should be focused on the benefits of the state as a whole. At local level, local policies should be focused on the benefits of local entities.

A community college is located at a community. But it can benefits both the state and the local community.

At the local level, community college can be viewed as a service provider to local residents and local employers.

For local employers, community colleges can provide economical education services for employers that is otherwise more expensive to achieve. For example, for basic academic training, it is more efficient for community college to provide a class that serves a group of students than for employer to train a couple of employees. Besides, employers may not have the adequate personnel to teach these courses.

For tech. or career trainings, community college can also provide efficient trainings. For example, employer may not want to stop or slow down the production line just for the training purposes. Besides, dedicated teachers at the community college can better follow up with new development in the industries.

For local residents, community college can provide courses for personal improvements. Even for non-students, the community colleges can serve as a consumer bargaining entity. For example, through the community college, residents can access subscription based online libraries or databases.

With these benefits, it is only reasonable, that the funding for community colleges to be derived from local residents and employers.

Of cause, not all residents is going to stay in the resident community. One of the reason of leaving the resident community is to pursue trainings that is not available to the local community. For the state as a whole, it is beneficial to promote students pursuing higher degree in the hope of upgrading the state's workforce profile and attracting high paying jobs to the state. With state's interest in the stake, it is of interest for state to invested in the community colleges, especially in academic transferring programs.

With all these being said, we need policies to provide incentives to facilitate these ideas.

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