Will free community college plan put students to work?

The Obama administration is proposing to make community college free for as many as 9 million students nationwide, with a plan modelled on a new programme in Tennessee launched by the state’s Republican governor, writes Catherine Dunn for IBTimes.

The White House says the policy would save students about US$3,800 a year on average. But the viability of such a proposal hinges on the question that many US community colleges are struggling with, as the New York Times reported: Even if you get students in the door, can you get them to graduate – and with degrees that lead to good jobs?

As Mark S Schneider, former head of the National Center for Education Statistics, puts it: Once students enrol, “Do they come back? Do they progress? Do they complete? Do they succeed?”
Under the Tennessee programme, “We don’t know the answer to any of those questions,” says Schneider, now a vice-president and institute fellow at the American Institutes for Research, as well as the president of College Measures, a startup that analyses student success in the labour market.
Full report on the International Business Times site