Teachers College, Columbia University

CCRC in the News

NOVEMBER 10, 2021

'How Do We Rebuild?": Community Colleges Try to Claw Their Way Back

Community colleges across the country are attempting to rebuild in the wake of pandemic-related challenges and enrollment slides. CCRC Director Thomas Brock told the Chronicle of Higher Education that an extraordinary number of people who hoped to go to a two-year institution changed their plans as a result of COVID-19.

NOVEMBER 09, 2021

Community Colleges in Texas Find Creative Ways Around Decreased Funding in Response to Low Enrollment

The Texas state legislature decreased funding for community colleges that saw enrollment declines in fall 2020—a common plight for institutions in the COVID-19 era. CCRC Director Thomas Brock told Diverse: Issues in Higher Education that these reductions could lead to a downward spiral, as colleges may struggle to meet the needs of students with less funds and cause enrollment to decline further. 

OCTOBER 28, 2021

Biden’s Free Community College Plan Is Dead. But There Are Other Ways for Congress to Help Students

Teachers College President Thomas Bailey and CCRC Director Thomas Brock wrote a new op-ed in The Washington Post about why modest federal investment would go a long way toward enabling community college students to complete their studies and enter the workforce.

OCTOBER 19, 2021

Lesson Study Could Transform Community College Math Instruction

This Campus Technology story provides an overview of CCRC's new Lesson Study report, which describes a mixed-method study of the adapted model’s implementation among community college faculty, as well as  limited findings on student learning and progression in developmental mathematics.

OCTOBER 13, 2021

The Effects of COVID on Community Colleges and Students

Community colleges have adapted significantly throughout the course of the pandemic, shifting to online programming, attempting to counteract enrollment slides, and more. CCRC Director Tom Brock described these changes in this Affordable Colleges Online piece, explaining how the two-year sector has changed in the last 18 months as well as what he thinks may be ahead for community colleges.

OCTOBER 08, 2021

‘Demographics Are Not Destiny’

A new report from Brookings found that community college students enrolled in programs with more underrepresented students earn less and struggle to pay back their student loans. In light of these findings, CCRC Senior Research Scholar Davis Jenkins told Inside Higher Ed that many colleges have programs that lead to well-paying jobs—it's just a matter of steering students toward them. 

OCTOBER 04, 2021

More Community Colleges Are Mandating Coronavirus Vaccination

Community colleges in Maryland are increasingly imposing vaccine requirements on faculty, staff, and students, but their counterparts in Virginia have instead opted to encourage rather than require the COVID-19 shots. CCRC Senior Research Scholar Davis Jenkins told The Washington Post that community colleges tend to avoid appearing partisan, noting that the open-access institutions are still recovering from pandemic-related enrollment declines and therefore may not want to impose additional barriers like vaccine requirements on prospective students. 

OCTOBER 02, 2021

Student Enrollment at Arizona's Community Colleges Continues to Fall

Arizona community colleges are still seeing enrollment number drop more than 18 months into the pandemic. CCRC Director Tom Brock told AZ Central that one explanation for the declines is that the virus has disproportionately affected populations that community colleges serve. 

OCTOBER 01, 2021

Community Colleges in Recovery

CCRC Director Tom Brock spoke to the E.W. Scripps network of TV stations for this story on how the pandemic has affected community colleges. Open access two-year colleges have seen enrollment plummet since spring 2020. 

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Reynolds Community College Works to Re-enroll Lost Students

Officials at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, a Virginia college where enrollment has dropped by 20% since the start of the pandemic, are considering new approaches to bring students back into the classroom. CCRC Senior Research Scholar Elisabeth Barnett told The Henrico Citizen that there several reasons for the national decline in community college enrollment, including that students' lives are complicated and that online learning may not offer them as great a value.