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How important are community colleges in rebuilding the economy?

Enrollment in community colleges across the country is surging with many underemployed and unemployed workers seeking new job skills. And yet many states are slashing community college budgets. 35 states cut higher education funding last year and 31 will do so this year.

By Ryan Kellett  |  November 26, 2010; 6:49 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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they will produce more workers in certain fields than what we need...
balance must be restored...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 27, 2010 7:50 AM

Most of the students who graduate from our community colleges here cannot find work in the field they study except for nursing which is now becoming over-crowded with more applicants then jobs. However, community college student can transfer credits to state universities and colleges...if they can afford the tuitions which are rising, where they can continue to be educated in fields that will not be hiring in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: 123Njord | November 27, 2010 7:51 AM

It is not clear that community colleges can dramatically impact our current problems but they have always been very important to the education community with respect to teaching skills or acting as an affordable bridge to higher learning. In fact, self-directed learning requires it's own skill set.

Posted by: Beacon2 | November 27, 2010 8:52 AM

Community colleges also provide an important stepping stone to 4-year colleges for the non-wealthy. We've made 4-year college tuitions so expensive that working-your-way-through-college is virtually impossible. But community colleges have not been transformed into expensive country clubs yet and make a college education possible for many.

Posted by: mjcashen | November 27, 2010 9:50 AM

In a changing economy, it is important that we can retrain ourselves to adapt to the new market. Community colleges is an important venue where people can re-invent themselves and become more competitive, thus, bring about a general work force that is more educated, more skilled, and more fit for the economy. Cutting funding for education now is as short-sighted as not sharpening your tools when they become dull.

Posted by: pspox | November 27, 2010 12:06 PM

I don't think they're important in rebuilding the economy, as only time is required for that.

However, they are important as they allow access to education by all. A four year university is necessary for any serious white collar job, but it's a great stepping stone that greatly reduces the cost of a four year degree. And you learn more in a community college because the class sizes are smaller.

Posted by: antispy | November 27, 2010 9:08 PM

In communities where corporations shut factory doors or DoD closes military bases, community colleges are essential partners with local government and business to educate, retrain and assist with job placement of workers. They provide a forum where involved members of such communities can meet, discuss their future and make decisions. And prospective businesses increasingly look at a region's community colleges and the programs they offer when deciding whether to locate there. Community colleges play a much larger role in many local economies than most in Washington and other large urban areas think.

Posted by: ausura | November 29, 2010 7:31 AM

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