34 | COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL AACC.NCHE.EDU
Free classes for SNAP-
eligible students in Conn.
All 12 Connecticut community colleges now offer free classes to anyone
eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), thanks to an expanded partnership between Connecticut State
Colleges & Universities (CSCU) and the state’s Department of Social
Services. Qualified individuals can complete relevant coursework, for
free, in more than 60 programs with high industry demand, including
advanced manufacturing, allied health and emergency medical response.
Capital Community College was the first CSCU institution to implement
Connecticut’s SNAP Employment & Training program more than 10 years
ago. Over 70 percent of students are employed within six months after completion and 1,200 have enrolled in the program for this academic year.
“We have a responsibility to provide a high quality educational
experience to any student who is willing to put in the work to pursue
one, and make sure they are able to compete in today’s job market,” CSCU
President Mark Ojakian said. “This is also an example of how we leverage our system to holistically address all the costs and barriers students
affected by the
The Foundation for California Community
Colleges has established a wildfire relief fund to
support the recovery of affected college students,
staff and faculty affected by the devastating wildfires. Funds raised will be distributed to college
foundations providing emergency and recovery
assistance to impacted individuals. The foundation also has information on how to donate to
As of mid-November, at least 1,400 Butte College
students had been affected by the Camp Fire and
more than 130 Butte College faculty and staff had
been displaced. The fire had burned 138,000 acres.
In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire burned
through parts of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
Several colleges, including Los Angeles Pierce
College, served as shelters for local residents.
Learn how you can help: bit.ly/2B4FrMG
Investing in OER
The U. S. Department of Education (ED) will test using free, open
textbooks through a pilot program that will include seven community
colleges in California and one in Maryland.
ED awarded a $4.9 million grant to the University of California,
Davis to lead the program. The university will head a consortium of
12 campuses that will begin by creating open textbooks focused on
high-enrollment courses, such as chemistry, as well as career and
technical education fields.
This news came around the same time Achieving the Dream
(ATD) released a study on OER use. Students who use OER instead
of traditional textbooks say they are “accessible, relevant and
engaging,” according to ATD, which through its OER initiative
examined 32 community colleges. More than 60 percent of students
reported that the overall quality of their learning experience in an
OER course was higher than in a typical non-OER course.
In terms of cost savings, students saved between $66 and $121 per
course. That translates to net savings of at least $6.5 million to students
in just two years among the colleges in the study, ATD reports.
Pathways between community college
computing programs and those at four-year
institutions need work, according to a new
report from the Association of Computing
Machinery (ACM). The computing and
information technology industry is expecting an influx of new jobs over the next few
years, and it’s turning to community colleges
to help develop pipelines for entry-level jobs
and advanced degrees. But too few students
earning computing-related degrees at two-year colleges transfer to four-year programs to
earn a baccalaureate, meaning those students
are missing out on job opportunities and
increased earning potential.
Only 1. 4 percent of transfer students
who entered a community college in 2007
eventually earned a four-year computer
science (CS) degree, compared to 21. 2 percent
earning another four-year STEM degree,
the report says. One reason for the gap:
most CS programs at community colleges are considered “technician,” and are
designed for certification—not for transfer
to a four-year program the way many other
STEM programs are.
Read the report online: https://bit.