College Material

Community Colleges Come Of Age

A Five-Part Series

America’s community colleges are supposed to offer decent opportunities for all citizens.

With open enrollment and low-cost tuition, these two-year schools serve so-called nontraditional students: full-time workers, parents, military veterans, immigrants and people who speak English as a second language.

Still, few enroll and graduate.

WGBH Radio’s higher-ed desk, On Campus, reports from community colleges across Massachusetts to see whether local two-year schools are making the grade.

Part 1

Accessible, Affordable & Increasingly Popular

A WGBH News poll finds a majority of Americans would recommend community college over taking out loans for a four-year college.


Poll Results

Would You Recommend Community College Over 4-Year College?

Two thirds of those questioned advised pursuing a community college education and saving the rest of the money, rather than going broke for a four-year degree.



A Study In Drive And Determination

Callie Crossley has become a champion of community colleges after spending time on campuses across the country and in Boston.


Part 2

Working Stiff

Seventy percent of all community college students are employed, and nearly half of those students work more than 30 hours a week.



Is Free Community College A Public Obligation?

Greater Boston host Jim Braude weighs in on whether community colleges should be free.


Part 3

Culture Shift

About a quarter of the students who attend community college in the U.S. come from immigrant backgrounds.


Part 4

Playing Catch-Up

Many people view community colleges as an option for students who didn’t get good grades in high school.


Part 5

Narrow Gateway

Advocates say many more could attend community colleges if undocumented immigrants could access in-state tuition rates and financial aid.



Keeping Learners On Track For Success

At the New England Board of Higher Education conference in Boston, educators discuss efforts to prepare and retain community college students.