The Value of Two-Year Community Colleges: Rate of Learning to Mastery

I offered the following insights on the “Get Schooled” blog of Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist, Maureen Downey.  Here is the link to that thread on Ms. Downey’s blog:


 “I chose

“I chos  to follow the university track. I was able to take remedial classes that were immensely helpful to me.”


As I have often asserted on this blog, based on my 35 years of teaching experience, grade levels 1 – 12 , and my training, M.Ed. as a certified Reading Specialist, students will learn the same content mastery at different rates. This will always be true because students will always be unique and varied. When we push students faster than their individual rates of learning concepts to mastery level allows, we, ourselves, create the educational problem of student failure.  Wise educators know this.

Noel Khalil’s testimony gives credence to the value of community colleges, basically free to all earnest students, to continue their academic advancement to 14 years instead of only 12.  Knowing that there are remedial courses in a two year college in which certain students can keep climbing the curriculum continuum to full mastery but at a slower rate, can inspire many students to keep trying to learn (at a pace equivalent to their individual ability to absorb content) instead of simply dropping out of high school (and later possibly becoming incarcerated, as a result of few skills and no high school diploma).


Below are excellent suggestions and information posted by a poster named “Cere” on this same thread of the AJC’s “Get Schooled” blog:

“A high school diploma does not go far in getting you the job you need to forge a life and family. Technical and community colleges train people for real careers – in all kinds of professions – professions we can use a lot more highly trained people in.

It’s true that this is already almost free in GA. First, there is the HOPE GRANT, which has a much lower GPA requirement than the HOPE Scholoarship. The HOPE GRANT pays pretty much all tuition for technical school. Students can sign up for a technical diploma and complete the requirements for free. Then layer on the necessary classes to turn that diploma into an Associates Degree for not too much more (and apply then for the HOPE Scholarship, if your GPA makes it!) No one can take that Associates Degree away from you ever! Later, turn that Associates Degree into a Bachelor’s Degree if you so choose.

It’s a very well kept secret, IMO. I have never heard a school counselor propose this kind of plan to a student, (I have heard Clark Howard talk about it though!) but in Georgia, it is very doable – and we have some really great tech schools.”

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