This weeks guest post comes from Ross Dickie, who I've had the pleasure of knowing for a few years. He is always wanting people of all ages to understand more about themselves and make better decisions.
As CEO of Keys to Succeed and President & COO of Human eSources, he is dedicated to helping others "discover educational and career goals based on their unique combination of personality, preferences, skills and talents." Check out this report on the Do What You Are (DWYA) personality assessment, one of my favorite resources..
Like me, Ross started his career at a community college. Read what he has to share about the value of community colleges.
In case you weren’t aware, April [was] National Community College Awareness Month. And never have community colleges played such an important part in helping individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds realize their American Dream.
According to the American Association of Community Colleges, its member institutions serve 45% of all college students and 41% of all first-time freshmen. However, that’s only part of the story.
Over half of all African American college students attend a community college. Representation among Hispanic and Native American college students is even higher. And over one-third of students are the first generation in their family to attend college.
Not surprisingly, community college students represent a wide range of ages, the average student being 29 years old.
Community college students are also a hardworking bunch. Well over half of all full-time community college students are employed at least part time, and nearly 75% of all part-time students hold down some form of employment.
In short, America’s community colleges serve students who are committed to a better life for themselves and their families, and are willing to work hard to achieve it.
Perhaps most importantly, this group of students are at the vanguard of a drive to upgrade their skills and remain competitive in a globalized workforce.
We also know that these students face greater challenges to graduation than most other college students. Nearly half fail to return for their second year of education.
The reasons are many.
In addition to attending to their studies, these students all have jobs to hold down. Seventeen percent are single parents. So, for these students, life has a way of intruding on their best intentions.
Many come to community college socially and academically unprepared, yet are committed to success. As a result, first-year experience courses play a particularly important role in helping these students succeed and matriculate through their college experience.
Our collective future depends, to a large extent, on our ability to teach all students to adapt, compete and thrive in a highly competitive global economy. The role of community colleges in reaching that goal has never been more important.
Through student ministry and educational consulting (career and college planning), I have enjoyed guiding teenagers to discover their higher calling.