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Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:49 PM

Texas Billboards Blast Community Colleges for Low Graduation Rates




It's no secret that four-year universities are struggling to increase graduation rates, but the situation is even more dire at the nation's community colleges. According to federal data, only 22 percent of community college students complete their degrees within three years. Now, the Texas Association of Business is bringing attention to that state's dismal community college graduation rates through a series of billboards.

The latest ad, running in Dallas, blasts the Dallas County Community College District with the message "8% of DCCCD students graduate in 3 years. Is that fair to the students?" A similar billboard ran in Austin in October advertising that city's 4 percent community college graduation rate.

Bill Hammond, the association's president, says his organization wants to push the state legislature to tie community college funding to graduation rates. "We're looking at a massive shortage of educated workforce unless we increase the productivity of education in Texas," Hammond told The Texas Tribune. "Overall, two-thirds of the jobs of the future will require some post-secondary degree or certificate." TAB believes if the state gets tough on the community college system, the graduation rate could rise to 60 percent.

But Dallas County Community College District Chancellor Wright Lassiter is defending the state's two-year schools. He wrote a letter to the Tribune expressing disappointment that TAB is attacking "the workhorse and largest sector of the Texas higher education system" instead of supporting "investment in community colleges." Lassiter says DCCCD students don't graduate within three years "because they do not or cannot attend classes full-time." He also points out that many students also never graduate from community college because they go on and transfer to a four-year school. "You should ask our students if they think our cost, convenience, flexibility and quality of classes are fair and whether we make higher education accessible," Lassiter wrote.

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Reply Texas Billboards Blast Community Colleges for Low Graduation Rates (Original post)
n2doc Dec 2011 OP
Downwinder Dec 2011 #1
ashling Dec 2011 #2
Frances Dec 2011 #3
mbperrin Dec 2011 #6
agentS Dec 2011 #4
ceile Dec 2011 #5
exboyfil Dec 2011 #7
OnlineEdu102 Apr 2012 #8

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:00 PM

1. Brought to you by your local Chamber of Commerce.

They are members of TAB.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:46 PM

2. TAB puts its money in billboards rather than where it's mouth is

As a community college professor I am disgusted by the TAB billboard lunacy. Kudos to for taking these chamber idiots to task. He is correct about "the workhorse of the Texas higher education system" and challenging them to support investment in the system.

I will go you one more TAB, make sure that our secondary education system is fully funded as well.

I teach American and Texas history, as does my wife. We have some really great students. And then there are those who an barely write in English - their first language. I'm not talking about immigrants, I am referring to Anglo kids who have been brought up through a system that never asks them to think critically. To be fair, as I said, we have some really great students and a few of the best I have seen were actually dual credit students earning credit for high school AND college.

Dewhurst's latest ad in his campaign for the U.S. Senate talks about choking government. "It worked in Texas," he says. Well, they choked alright . . . and the education system in this state is gasping for air. For God's sake, get these Republicans out of the capitol and start electing members of the rational majority! Fully fund education at ALL levels.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:54 PM

3. Community colleges serve the community

Many people enroll to take a few classes with no intention of graduating. Here are reasons that students may sign up for a single class or for only a few classes: they want skills that will help them obtain a promotion at work; they want some classes that will help them in their own businesses; they are stationed at a nearby military base and want to earn some college credits they can transfer when they move to their next base; they want to learn more about a particular subject for their own enrichment.

I know because I taught part-time at community colleges for years.

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Response to Frances (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 02:49 AM

6. Your post is spot-on: community colleges serve as a gateway for further study, as a terminal

training spot for all sorts of jobs, including oilfield safety in our area.

I teach in the public schools here, and I have a master's in education, but I took a non-certificate course of study in paint and body so that my dad (who was a paint and body guy for 40 years) and I could spend time restoring several project vehicles of his, including a 1952 Jag Mark VII, a TR3, a Hillman station wagon, and a BMW Isetta. Great enjoyment for him and me in the last decade of his life.

I took a series of woodworking courses at the same JC, and I have enjoyed restoring antique furniture ever since, including an 1850s rolltop teacher's desk, an 1830s fainting couch, a full dining set of 12 chairs and a 10' table with both leaves inserted.

I never graduated from any of those programs and never intended to. Literally hundreds of my own students have started there taking their basics before transferring to a four year school elsewhere.

As usual, the greedy mucks at the Chamber are grabbing all the cash they can while wiping their butts with the work of decent people.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:12 AM

4. A right-wing business group doesn't understand Education dynamics?

Color me not surprised.
These guys are so dumb they could not find rocks in a quarry.

If you're going to complain about Community Colleges, you need to target something different, since graduation rates is something that cannot be altered very much by a community college (unless it wants to become a diploma mill).

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 06:29 PM

5. community college is for more than degrees

I don't know anyone who "graduated" from community college. CC is to brush up on basics before enrolling at university, taking continuing education classes or for certificate programs. I have a non-profit leadership and management certificate from my local CC- it was a one year program. Great program.

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Response to ceile (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:34 PM

7. Some additional reasons for community college classes

They are a cheap way to satisfy classes that are not that important to you. They allow High School kids get a start at college classes. In some cases they are better taught and more reasonable in their expectations that the corresponding university course. My oldest is planning on doing her Freshman year of engineering while in High School from a community college. Since I am an engineer, I can decide whether the classes are worthwhile or not as good as she will need going forward. Everything that I have found out so far is that they prepare the kids for the last three years of engineering. While I had excellent Math and Chemistry instruction at Purdue, my Physics was the worst taught two courses which I have ever taken.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 09:43 AM

8. Spam deleted by tjwmason (MIR Team)

 

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