90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Community Colleges On America’s Front Line

American community colleges say they’re on the front line of holding together an unravelling society. We’ll get the message.

Students at the Bunker Hill Community College "LifeMap Lab" on the Boston-area college's campus. (Courtesy Bunker Hill Community College)

Students at the Bunker Hill Community College “LifeMap Lab” on the Boston-area college’s campus. (Courtesy Bunker Hill Community College)

An awful lot of America’s biggest challenges these days run through the humble institution of America’s community colleges.  K-12 education falling short?  Let community colleges retrofit.  Industry needs job training?  Call the community college.  Higher education too expensive?  Go to a community college.  Worried about inequality?  Pray community colleges will build a floor under the workforce.  Where America unravels, community colleges knit, or try to.  This hour On Point:  community college leaders from across the country on their “hold it together” role now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Pam Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College. (@PamEddinger)

Bruce Leslie, chancellor of Alamo Colleges. (@AlamoColleges1)

Paul Brown, president of the Zane State College in Zansesville, Ohio.

From Tom’s Reading List

Times Higher Education Supplement: US rural community colleges hit by economic upturn — “US rural community colleges face a battle to survive in the face of declining state funding and falling enrollment, an expert has warned.J. Noah Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Community College Trustees, told Times Higher Education in a podcast interview that the ‘huge increase’  in community college enrolment during the recession had ceased, leaving many institutions at risk of closure.”

Washington Monthly: America’s Best Community Colleges 2013 — “Today, community colleges remain a pillar of the American system of higher learning, with more than a million new freshmen—42 percent of the total—starting their college careers in a two-year institution every year. Politicians love to praise their salt-of-the-earth qualities, including President Barack Obama, who began his administration with bold promises to invest in the two-year sector.”

The Hechinger Report: New figures suggest community college grad rates higher than thought — “Of the estimated one in four students who start at community colleges and then move on to four-year institutions, more than 60 percent ultimately graduate, the National Student Clearinghouse reports. And another 8 percent who haven’t finished haven’t dropped out, the study says; they’re still enrolled. The revelation suggests that the proportion of community college students who successfully complete their educations is higher than the dismal 18 percent the U.S. Department of Education calculates finish their two-year degrees within three years.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 20, 2014
A shot from the AMC reality series, "Freakshow." (Jessica Brooks / AMC)

From TV to Broadway, circus sideshows — freak shows — are having a big cultural moment. What’s the history behind the comeback?

 
Nov 20, 2014
In this file photo, Hillsborough Sheriff deputy patrols outside the gate of JP Morgan Chase annual stockholders meeting held Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. JP Morgan is one of several large financial institutions currently under investigation for alleged violation of Federal bankruptcy laws. (AP)

You’re supposed to have a clean slate after bankruptcy. But that’s not always true. We’ll ask what’s going on.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments