Great Article on the Importance of Community Colleges in the US

Mary Beth Marklein recently wrote a great article (one in a series) about US community colleges, how they are perceived, and how they are evolving.

The article discusses the role of community colleges and why a negative perception still exists. It includes some great personal stories and anecdotes about real people and their experiences at various community colleges.

Read the full article: ‘Turning point’ arrives as U.S. community colleges’ purview grows by Mary Beth Marklein.

Mary Beth Marklein has been writing & researching higher education for USA TODAY since 1997.

Additionally on Mary’s blog, she encourages discussion about the importance and perceptions of community colleges. She asks:

  • Why do these kinds of stereotypes persist?
  • What’s your experience with your community college?

So, here are my thoughts:

In my humble opinion, the negative perception about community colleges as well as many vocational schools when comparing them to traditional 4-year colleges and universities- is driven by a competitive American culture.

The most obvious example of competitive culture is in the sports and entertainment industries. It’s absolutely rampant in both. For instance, every major sport ensures that a winner can be crowned.
Furthermore, the best professional athlete in a particular sport earns the lion’s share of wealth and fame compared to the rest of the players. Meanwhile, success in the music industry has evolved into stratospheric levels of fame and money or nothing. In both situations: it’s win big or go home…

Read the full post: A Competitive Culture’s Influence on Higher Education

A Quote that is spot on:

Sometimes a quote catches the sentiment exactly:

“Nobody remembers Who Came in Second.”

-Charles Schulz

Just to highlight how ingrained this is in our competitive nature, answer these simple questions: Who lost the first Presidential Election? Who lost the last five? answers here

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