Community College Finance Cuts Undermine The College Dream
ECS provided this summary of the ominous community college funding context :
In this economy, community colleges are widely seen as the solution to many problems. But with state financing slashed almost everywhere, many institutions have cut so deeply into their course offerings and their faculty rosters that they cannot begin to handle the influx of students. In some parts of the country, the budget stresses are so serious that the whole concept of community colleges as open-access institutions – where anyone, with any educational background, can enroll at any point in life – is becoming more an aspiration than a reality. (New York Times, 06/23/10)
But what will happen when some of the money is restored? Should it be spent on just restoring and intensifying the existing model of community colleges, or will it lead to some changes in basic assumptions like more on- line delivery? Should the 16 week course be the approach to most education, including developmental education where students need to retake a whole course rather than a module ? Sometimes fiscal famine leads to non-incremental change.