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Strengthening Rural Community Colleges 2021(1)

Report by the Association of Community College Trustees

 Education is one of the most important factors in promoting rural economic development.
As rural economies transition away from resource based industries such as farming and mining,
rural community colleges are uniquely positioned to address the re-skilling necessary.
Providing open access to both education and support services,
rural community colleges play a key role in the success of both rural workforce development and of the overall success of rural communities.

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How Community Colleges Are Serving the Most Vulnerable

Two-year colleges worked quickly to help students get through the pandemic, pivoting to drive-through food banks and community partnerships.

By

September 10, 2020
Wikimedia Commons/Northwalker

Cerritos College was Sunny Saldana’s life before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The 29-year-old mother was at the two-year college’s campus in Norwalk, Calif., from 8 a.m. until 7

“My rule that I made myself was to do school at school and not take it home with me,” Saldana said.

Once she got home in the evening, she had time to help her 9-year-old daughter with homework and spend time with her.

Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly the campus was closed.

“It was a shock to everyone,” she said. “I remember going into my class and my teacher was like, ‘I’m not gonna see you guys anymore.'”

It was hard for Saldana to balance parenting, going to college and working all from home. She quickly realized she had to become her daughter’s teacher in the spring, she said. Once summer rolled around, she lost her work-study job.

By the end of the spring semester, Saldana was discouraged. But support and aid from the college in the form of emergency grants, food donations and more are what kept her on track to graduate.

“Going through this made me appreciate my school so much more,” she said. “Being a community college, it feels more like a family.”

Community colleges tend to serve the most vulnerable student populations, such as low-income or first-generation students.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/10/community-colleges-pivot-support-their-vulnerable-students#.X1oaHEu_PRg.link

AACC

What are leaders in the community college sector saying about the Community Colleges response to COVID-19 and post pandemic environment?

Listen to their interviews here:
https://www.aacc.nche.edu/2020/06/15/community-colleges-addressing-covid-19-and-post-covid-19-issues-webinar/

 


The PA Community College Sector Leader

Visit the website to see what is happening in PA Community Colleges.

PACCC Logo

The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a nonprofit, volunteer membership association and the primary advocate for Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. Members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees and key college administrators. The Commission provides leadership on issues affecting the colleges and represents the collective needs, vision and values of the colleges to state and federal policymakers.

The Commission also assists the colleges in developing positions on their areas of concern, acts as a liaison and facilitator to share information, and coordinates data collection on a statewide level to support the colleges’ advocacy efforts.