Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Worst Community Colleges

Why, if you can come up with a reason, would it be that some of the worst JC's in the country are in the San Francisco area?
Walk a few blocks northeast from Twitter’s headquarters, and you’ll find the City College of San Francisco’s downtown center—one of a dozen or so campuses scattered across the city. Earlier on the same afternoon of my visit, the regional accrediting commission announced its decision to strip the seventy-eight-year-old institution of its accreditation next year, citing broken governance and fiscal mismanagement. Protests erupted almost immediately and the college announced it would appeal the decision, but as it stands now, City College is scheduled to close its doors, or be co-opted by another institution, next July...

Using federal data sets tracking the percentage of students who graduate or transfer within three years and the total degrees awarded per 100 students—the same metrics used by the well-respected Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence—the Washington Monthly ranked 1,011 community colleges in the country and found that nearly all the schools in the Bay Area are bottom-feeders.

San Francisco City College ranked 842. In the East Bay, Laney College slid in at 882. The College of Alameda was an abysmal 971 and nearby Berkeley City College was, astoundingly, even worse, at 982—just twenty-nine spots away from last place.

In the region just south of San Francisco—the cities that Facebookers and Googlers pass every day on their morning commutes from the city—the picture was equally grim. San Bruno’s Skyline College scored a relatively sparkling 772, but neighboring College of San Mateo, where a director of information technology was recently charged for selling the school’s computer equipment and embezzling the cash, ranked 845. Cañada (sic) College ranked a pitiful 979.

North of the city, the College of Marin, where the community college foundation board dissolved last fall and are now involved in a lawsuit over “spending improprieties,” ranked 839. 
I don't have an answer, but I'd love to hear the guesses/excuses of so-called education professionals from the area.

Hat tip to Joanne Jacobs.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

JC's generally have two types of students-those who can't afford a four year degree at the time they graduate and those who are returning to get the degree they couldn't obtain earlier. That being said, in both cases the students are more likely to be working full time and living on their own. That's a huge distraction for any student. I know our local community college district put a surcharge on classes taken more than twice. There is also the issue of people who get grants and loans for college, but which ends up being spent for other things. I have heard of students using such funds for vacations and car down payments. I would love to see a program where all students who wanted post high school classes went to a basic college where just core classes are taught. After succeeding at those core classes, and learning to independently study and cope with the process of learning, students would be better prepared to make educational decisions as to whether pursue tech courses or other courses of study. Our kids go into college without a clue of how to do anything.