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Community Colleges: Making Education More Affordable

Nowadays, there are many ideas for people to get an education and have a chance to find a good job and earn a living. Among a variety of traditional ways of education, a community college seems to be one of the most preferable and the easiest options for many people. There are the situations when people are not sure of what they want to study or have to combine their education with some professional or family obligation, but, at the same time, they have to get a degree for their future or present. To overcome the challenges, such people may benefit from the opportunities available with community colleges and enjoy the results of education. As a person with a burning desire to help people and support the development of the most favorable conditions for students and as a future parent, I want to believe and prove that community colleges have to be more affordable because they provide people (both young and adult) with a chance to make their lives better, a hope to create a better future, and a possibility to be helpful for society.

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There are many reasons why community colleges have to be more affordable to people. In spite of the fact that community colleges are characterized by part-time education and a lower graduation rate in comparison with the colleges with full-time education, such options like academic flexibility and a chance to combine family, job, and college make people choose this kind of education more frequently. People are not always able to have time and effort to pass the application exams. Some young people just do not have enough money to choose the most appropriate and interesting colleges. There are also students, who do not know what kind of profession or even a sphere of work they want to have. In this case, community college is the best way out. George B. Vaughan, a professor emeritus of higher education, recognizes the main functions of a community college such as “providing a comprehensive educational program… teaching and learning, fostering lifelong learning” (3) and explain that the presence of such institutions is crucial for a modern society.

High school education may become rather problematic for many students. Not all young people are ready to understand a true worth of education in everyday life; some children are unlucky to have parents who are not able to provide them with solid backgrounds for education; and many students cannot realize what kind of work they want to be involved with. The academic flexibility available to community colleges seems to be a good start for such “uncertain” students. Vaughan mentions that the idea of developmental education available at community colleges is a good chance for students to be brought up to “a level of competency necessary to participate in college-level courses or to gain productive employment” (10). In addition to this flexibility, community college students have a chance to find the necessary balance between education and life. Some people are in need of degrees for their work, but they cannot neglect their families or a number of their career obligations. The attendance of community colleges turns out to be a good option for people with duties. The investigations of Wolf-Wendel, Ward, and Twomby, the representatives of the prominent American Universities in Kansas and Washington, show that even the faculty life demonstrated in community colleges support the necessity to combine different spheres of life and define “a balance between their personal and professional lives” (270). Especially, it touches upon females and their obligations to children. All these reasons and ideas should make people believe in the worth of community colleges and the importance to make them more affordable to people regardless their racial, gender, financial, etc. differences.

As soon as some of the reasons why community colleges have to be more affordable to all people are clearly identified, it is high time to think about the ways of how this kind of affordability is possible. One of the latest decisions that have been made by the government is about the possibility to offer 2-year free community college education for responsible American students. President Obama made this kind of an offer at the beginning of 2015 in order to meet the demands concerning the presence of, at least, one degree for getting a good job. Bailey and Cho, the researchers from the Columbia University, inform that the Obama’s administration aims at “increasing the number of community college graduates by 5 million by 2020 without” (1). However, it is also necessary not to forget about “making significant progress on improving outcomes for students who arrive at community colleges with weak academic skills” (Bailey and Cho 1). In addition to the fact that community colleges are available to many people regardless their academic skills, now, it is possible to make this kind of education affordable by providing it for free. In this case, even students from poor families or unstable financial situation can have a chance to study and learn some general facts to have a good background for their work.

Another idea of how to make community colleges more affordable is to promote the discussions and involve people by a variety of means. In fact, not all Americans know a lot about this kind of education. Though they know about the existence of community colleges, they can hardly guess how they can benefit from them. This is why a number of advertisements, forum discussions, and even questionnaires may become possible options of community college affordability. People get to know about their chance. Some people would be eager to contribute this sphere of life and choose the work at community colleges as their future career. People should remember that humaneness is a peculiar feature that has to be inherent in society. People should support the idea of mutual help, and Obama’s decision to offer free college education is one of the proofs that the world can be changed as soon as the government starts taking some steps.

In general, the idea of making community college more affordable is understandable and clear indeed. People should have a right to free education. Though the current economic situation is not stable, and the government cannot provide the required financial support, people need to come through all those challenges and choose the most successful options. Community colleges become a good solution for people, who do not know what kind of profession should be chosen or how to combine professional and personal lives. This is why they have to be developed so that more people may be provided with the necessary chances to have a good life.

Works Cited

Bailey, Thomas and Sung-Woo Cho. “Issue Brief: Developmental Education in Community Colleges Prepared for: The White House Summit on Community College.” Community College Research Center. 2010. Web.

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Vaughan, George, B. The Community College Story. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges, 2006. Print.

Wolf-Wendel, Lisa, Ward, Kelly, and Susan B. Twombly. “Faculty Life at Community Colleges: The Perspective of Women with Children.” Community College Review 34.4 (2007): 255-281. Print.

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