I wanted to share an essay I wrote last week about an issue that is close to my heart: community colleges. I am thrilled that President Obama has asked me to spread the word to as many people as possible about the value of these institutions. As I write in my essay, I have seen firsthand how these institutions serve as a gateway to opportunity for so many Americans. I hope you enjoy it.
Here is a short snippet:
I have been an educator for 28 years, and I have taught in the community college system for more than 16 of them. I don't have to look any further than my classroom to see the power of community colleges to change lives. For years I have welcomed students to my classroom from many different educational, economic and cultural backgrounds, and seen how the community college system puts them on the same path of opportunity.
I have seen how community colleges fill important gaps: granting two-year degrees, teaching English to immigrants, providing vocational skills training and certification and teaching basic academic skills to those who may not yet be ready to pursue a four-year degree.
It's also hard to ignore the financial advantages. In today's challenging economy, community colleges are an increasingly affordable way for students from middle-class families to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree before moving on to a four-year university.
Read the full essay here.