April is National Community College Month, and we are incredibly proud to be the leading community college marketing and public relations agency. But we’re #MoreThanGreatMarketing — we’re a team of true believers. Community Colleges are awesome — and they deserve all the recognition and support not just in the month of April, but every day of the year.
Here’s just a short list of why we think community colleges are the bee’s knees.
Community Colleges are affordable.
We love four-year universities, we really do. But who doesn’t love saving a buck whenever they can?
For students seeking a bachelor’s degree, the community college is the best discount on a degree there is. For students planning on going to an in-state public college, the cost savings averages about $8,000. The savings are even greater for private colleges — students who attend community college before transferring to a private university save, on average, a whopping $30,000.
Community Colleges are diverse.
Community colleges are addressing diversity issues head-on. A number of community colleges (and many of our clients including San Bernardino Valley College, Santa Ana College and San Diego Mesa College) are embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into their policies, processes and procedures. These institutions are on the cutting-edge of promoting social justice within their institutions, and we couldn’t be prouder to help them promote these efforts.
Moreover, community colleges are more likely to be diverse institutions than their four-year counterparts, both in their student populations and within their employee ranks. According to a 2017 study conducted by the American Council on Education, community colleges are much more likely to have a woman or minority president when compared to their four year counterparts. Just 22 percent of public four-year institutions and 10.6 percent of private colleges were led by minority presidents, and half of all of those aforementioned lead minority-serving institutions. Just 11 percent of all university presidents are from a minority group when those leading minority-serving institutions are removed.
These statistics are reinforced when looking at gender: Thirty percent of all college presidents were women, according to Inside Higher Ed, yet almost half of all California community college presidents were women (50 out of 114).
Nearly one third of all community college students are first-generation college students, which is a larger share of the student population for four-year institutions. Although diversity varies greatly between state and institution, 58 percent of community college student populations identify as being a part of a minority group, while just 42 percent of undergraduates at four year institutions self-identify as a being a part of a minority group.
Community Colleges are flexible.
Community colleges design their course schedules around the needs of their students, many of whom have families, jobs and other obligations. Community colleges offer many of their courses online, in the evenings or on the weekends, so that all of their students can complete their courses when it is convenient for their individual schedules. Many community colleges also offer affordable child care services to make higher education flexible to parents and guardians when it otherwise would not be accessible.
Community Colleges are close to home.
Community colleges are located all over the country, making it easier than ever to access a higher education without having to move far away from home. It isn’t an accident that the word “community” is in the name. Community colleges are designed to have programs, like workforce development programs and professional certificates, that meet the needs of their regions economically and academically. These are mutually beneficial partnerships to help students get good jobs and industries staffed with well-trained professionals.