Higher Education Trend for Community Colleges

When you think of community college, you think two years, right? Wrong. A national survey that included Tallahassee Community College suggests otherwise.

The days of two years and out may be long gone for many community college students.

Lillian Bleakley, a TCC student, says, “I've been here already a year and a half and I probably still have a year or so or maybe another year and a half.”

A survey of 92,000 students nationwide shows it's more than likely at least a four-year experience. Some contributing factors are two thirds of community college students attend only part time, 60 percent work more than 20 hours a week, and 45 percent predict financial burdens will lead them to drop out.

Dr. Barbara Sloan, VP of Academic Affairs, says, “And we also have a large number of returning adults. They have families and jobs and already trying to fit college among all those other things.”

Sloan adds that many students are not college ready.

Jakia Mitchell says performing poorly on the placement test backed her up at least a year taking prep classes.

Jakia says, “It's sort of puts you behind because now I'm like how long am I going to be at a university, another four years? You spend more time at school and get depressed.”

Jakia says her advice to high school students is to study hard so they do well on the placement test. Meanwhile, TCC administrators say this survey helps them adjust and meet the needs of its ever changing student body.