How Community Colleges Are Expanding Beyond The “Community”

by Chad Agrawal

globalWhen you think of community colleges, you likely picture insular institutions that cater to a local demographic.

In other words, you might think they have very little interest or influence beyond the targeted community they serve.

In the years past, this has largely been true.

While 2 year community colleges may have brokered "community college transfer deals," more formally known as transfer articulation agreements, with nearby state schools in order to feed students into four-year programs, their main goal was to help students that were somehow disadvantaged to bridge the yawning chasm between the underprivileged classes and a college degree.

Of course, the stance of many community colleges has changed over time.

Most community colleges now offer two year programs that prepare students for certification or licensure so that they are qualified to work and earn livable wages once they leave. And a few have even started to adopt four-year programs that can help low-income students complete a bachelor's degree.

But many have also expanded their reach on a national and even global scale to increase the opportunities for education they might offer their students.

For example, students can transfer from community college to Ivy league universities.

Some community colleges have started to engage in networking at the national level.

Several different organizations have begun offering community college rankings over the last few years, and some campuses have parlayed this status into greater opportunities for students by expanding their network of four-year affiliates.

In other words, they are using this exposure and noted success to reach out to otherwise unresponsive colleges and universities in attempts to garner preferential treatment for community college transfer students seeking admission.

When four-year colleges and universities are highly ranked, they may be able to offer students better job opportunities upon graduation.

When community colleges are found to be better than their competition, their best course is to use that information to push their students along to a wider network of degree programs so that they have the best chances for success in life.

For more information, check out our Top 10 Best Community Colleges for 2012

But some community colleges aren't just looking to expand their network at the national level...

They also want to provide inroads for students on a global scale. In some instances they do this by making deals for their students to join overseas degree programs, but they might also increase their global reach by creating a sister school program.

Although it is rare for community colleges to engage in study abroad programs, perhaps because of issues surrounding costs (tuition, housing, chaperones, etc.), a handful are beginning to explore the option.

In most cases, students at the community college level will have to approach outside organizations if they want the opportunity to study abroad (at least before they enter a four-year institution).

But as community colleges strive to meet the increasing demands of their student body, more may soon provide such opportunities.

The simple truth of the matter is that global expansion requires all of us to have a greater awareness and understanding of our foreign neighbors, especially where education is concerned.

And college students that are able to broaden their horizons by interacting with other cultures, whether in person or via technological means, will have an edge.

So while some students may opt to go to a four-year school for these opportunities, and others will pass them up entirely by electing to enter online programs (likeĀ education degrees), it seems that there may be a new option for students that want to attend a school with a global appeal as community colleges are adapting to these growing trends.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah December 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

good site, good work!!!


Mark February 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

Thank you for this wondrous post, I am glad I discovered this internet site on yahoo.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: