Criticism of higher education is ubiquitous in the media these days—driven by rising costs, massive student debt, the culture wars, and other factors. Some commentators have stated that a college education is not worth it any more.
But Americans appear to have a strong positive view of community colleges and their importance to the workforce, their value, and their ability to prepare students for success, according to a new survey from New America. It’s reported in Community College Daily. Please have a look.
The inaugural higher education survey by the respected think tank—which polled 1,600 Americans ages 18 and older—gauged views on higher education and economic mobility, and even broke data down by race, generation, and social economics, among other categories. Overall, Americans hold public two-year colleges in high regard: 83 percent of survey participants said community colleges contribute to a strong U.S. workforce; 82 percent said the colleges are worth the cost; and 80 percent stated that the colleges prepare people to be successful, the article states.
The rates in each of the categories surpassed those of private and public four-year universities and for-profit universities, according to the survey. For example, only 40 percent of survey participants said for-profits were “worth the cost,” followed by 43 percent for private four-years.
It is certainly easy to become dispirited these days, especially given the stubborn low rates of student success, as young people enter our open doors woefully unprepared to perform college-level work. But apparently the public is on the team and supports our efforts. This is good to know.