How Community Colleges Can Lead our Economic Recovery
Posted by Strada Education Network on June 1, 2021
Community colleges are often viewed as the postsecondary system’s workhorses of economic growth and mobility.
They’ve seen their enrollments dip over 10 percent during the months of the pandemic. But new, hyperlocal demand-mapping research shows that across the country, millions of adults — despite dealing with the pandemic’s ramifications on their careers — have strong intentions to enroll in community college or technical school over the next two years.
The task now for education leaders and local and state policymakers is clear: How can they convert this overwhelming intent into real enrollment?
Recent Strada research pointed to several promising ways institutions can mobilize on the strong intent to enroll. Insights include:
- Guidance and coaching are essential to addressing the challenges many adult learners experience with self-doubt and a lack of access to clear information.
- Many adults’ ability to persist in their postsecondary education programs depends on access to basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing.
- Adult learners need to be able to earn while learning and provide for their families.
- Implementing supports through a lens of racial and social equity is crucial to supporting students of color from enrollment to career.
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