ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

The Power of Community Colleges

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There has been quite a bit of hubbub about Obama’s support for the community college system very recently.  Time magazine and the Atlantic Monthly have a few good reads here and here that provide an overview.  A few key highlights (our emphasis added):

While four-year universities have the financial resources to lure top professors and students, they are by nature slow-moving. Community colleges, on the other hand, are smaller and able to tack quickly in changing winds. They often partner with local businesses and can gin up continuing-education courses midsemester in response to industry needs, getting students in and out and ready to work — fast.

Chronically cash-starved, two-year schools pull in an average of just 30% of the federal funding per student allocated to state universities — though they educate nearly the same number of undergraduates.

Increasing college support directly helps communities like Ord address strategic workforce needs and well as provide services to meet the educational attainment desires of the community.  The increased financial support could provide an easier pathway for the colleges to meet private sector training needs for vocations that are very much in demand.  Many communities in the midwest have carried skilled workforce shortages through the recession and in many respects Valley County is no different.

It will be interesting to see  if the increased federal support for the community college system manifests in an economic turnaround like Time suggests.  This bodes well for our area regardless if Central Community College gains from these recent federal developments.

Stay tuned!

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Written by Caleb

July 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

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