Article emphasizes important role of community colleges in American higher education

Published on Nov 20, 2008

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

image of Lightcast gradiant

This week the Washington Post published an article reinforcing the critical role that community colleges play as an ideal avenue for job retraining. With unemployment at a 14-year high, enrollment at two-year colleges has increased 8 percent this fall, according to one group’s estimate cited in the piece.

While the United States has one of the highest proportions of young adults enrolled in college, it lags behind a dozen or so rivals in the proportion who complete a degree.

The new philanthropic attention was underscored last week when the giant Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it would spend up to half a billion dollars over the next four years on a college completion initiative.

The goal is doubling the current proportion of about 25 percent of low-income people who earn a postsecondary credential. And it was notable that officials said the initial focus would be on two-year schools.

“More young people are enrolled in college this year than ever before,” Melinda Gates said at the Seattle conference where the initiative was announced. “But the payoff doesn’t come with enrolling in college; the payoff comes when a student gets a postsecondary degree that helps them get a job with a family wage.”

If you’re working at a community college and you’re wondering what your region’s largest training needs are, give EMSI a call.