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Community colleges in the United States have shown a “cold” decline in registrations during a pandemic.Universities in the United States – News


David Ramirez, a student at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, struggled to balance work and class during the pandemic. Ramirez, who works at Starbucks, worked at least 30 hours a week in addition to the class.

He was not alone. The number of students enrolled in community colleges, a local institution that offers two-year courses and is often regarded as an affordable stepping stone to higher education, fell 9.5% this spring, about more than in the spring of 2020. 476,000 people are down.National Student Clearing House data Released last month.

In the fall, experts are concerned about the long-term effects of pandemics on worsening health.Admission to community colleges during the recession To increase Those who are unemployed return to school. However, as Covid-19 had a disproportionate impact on low-income, non-white Americans, community colleges tended to serve and attended community colleges plummeted during the pandemic.

“I didn’t really have the option of staying virtual and working from home, so I was basically exposed to the virus every day. I handle it on a daily basis and go home and work on my studies. It was hard, “Ramirez said. “This is a daily experience for students, especially because financial assistance to community colleges does not actually cover the full cost of attendance.”

Online classes, especially for science, technology, engineering, and math (Stem) subjects, were particularly frustrating to manage because it was difficult to virtually learn the materials.

“I think many students just gave up,” he said.

The number of attendees at the university as a whole decreased by 5%, or 727,000, but compared to last year, community colleges compared to four-year universities and graduate schools because many students opted out of virtual learning this spring. And it decreased most rapidly. The number of students enrolled in graduate school actually increased by 4.6% compared to last year.

Most of the decline in enrollment at community colleges was seen in the youngest students in schools between the ages of 18 and 24. data National Student Clearinghouse graduates show that the number of graduates of the 2020 class who attended college shortly after high school decreased by 6.8% compared to the 2019 class.

This means that while undergraduate students have many advanced degrees, many high school graduates have chosen not to go on to college at all this year.

Davis Jenkins, a senior research scholar and research professor at Columbia University Teachers College, said the decline in college enrollment among high school graduates was “chilling.”

“Delaying college really reduces your chances of graduating from college,” Jenkins said. Especially when the number of enrollments in community colleges is declining, it “takes away college opportunities for millions of students.”

“It will increase the gap between what education has and what it does not.”

Community college students make up about 40% of all undergraduate students in the country. total Over 1,400 community colleges total 8.2 million, most of them public institutions.

Many students who choose to attend a community college at a four-year institution do so because tuition can be thousands of dollars cheaper. Two-thirds of community college students come from families with household incomes of less than $ 50,000, and about 45% are colored students.

Low-income Americans were hit hardest by the economic impact of Covid-19 compared to middle- and high-income Americans. More likely Losing a job in the process of a pandemic and staying unemployed.Pandemic victims also disproportionately hit blacks and Hispanic Americans who saw Covid. Mortality It was at least twice as high as white Americans.

In a survey of about 25,000 students, community college students were more likely to cancel all college plans than students enrolled in four-year colleges. They were also more likely to catch, worry, care for, and worry about the affordability of colleges for people infected with the virus.

The manager of Kaiyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, heard similar concerns from students who were busy caring for their families and working and did not understand the benefits of attending virtual classes. Schools have seen a 17% reduction in enrollment in the past school year.

“Even if someone in the family loses their job and has to go to work instead of going to school, whether it’s a family that may have contracted with Covid or a family that has contracted with Covid, they’re wrong. I was influenced by this, “said Karen Miller. Provost and Executive Vice President of Access, Learning and Success at Cuyahoga Community College. Some students were worried about inconsistent Wi-Fi and lack of quiet space to study at home.

According to Miller, community colleges have begun efforts to allow students to re-enroll in the fall and send phone calls, emails and text messages to let them know that the school will return with at least 50% of their face-to-face ability. Did.

“We’re trying to reach out to them again and let them know that they have ground-based opportunities, more ground-based lessons, and will reopen the service footprint in August,” Miller said. .. “We hope we will see [students] Please come back this fall. “

Community colleges in the United States have shown a “cold” decline in registrations during a pandemic.Universities in the United States

Source link Community colleges in the United States have shown a “cold” decline in registrations during a pandemic.Universities in the United States

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