Ringing in the new school year

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

New programs and services at community colleges are being launched in time for the fall semester to begin.

It’s back to school time, and many community colleges are rolling out new programs and services this fall to help students and the communities they serve. Here are just a few:

Supporting students

College of the Canyons (California) launched the Resources for Individual Success in Education (RISE) Project, which will improve access to higher education for current and former foster or homeless youth. Participating students will get counseling, priority registration, progress monitoring and assistance with the purchase of textbooks, meals and transportation.  They’ll also have access to on-campus shower facilities, personal care supplies, workshops and resource referrals.

“Our goal is to not only help foster youth and homeless students, but to also empower them throughout college, when they need the most support,” Dora Lozano, the college’s RISE Project counselor, said in a release.

In New York, Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) is going off campus and into the prison. Inmates at Marcy Correctional Facility will be able to take college classes starting this fall. About 20 to 25 students will be able to work toward an associate degree in business management or in liberal arts, or a certificate in small business management. The inmates in the program will have five years or less remaining on their sentences.

MVCC is one of seven colleges in the state awarded a grant through New York’s College-in-Prison Reentry Program. Jefferson Community College also is part of the program.

And at James Sprunt Community College, something that seems small could make a big difference. The college is now running buses to pick up students.

“We are hoping this will remove the transportation barrier that many of our students face on a daily basis,” Brian Jones, associate vice president of student services, said in the college’s newspaper, Spartan Collegiate.

Workforce opportunities

Bevill State Community College (Alabama) has a new dental assistant program and it’s already capped in enrollment. The 15-week course, which can enroll 15 students, has a waiting list.

California’s College of Marin just started a new cybersecurity program. The college is collaborating with San Jose-based Cisco Systems Inc., to provide training for six different computer network certifications.

In South Carolina, Spartanburg Community College’s new sustainable agriculture certificate program will prepare students for jobs in the agribusiness and food systems industry.

“Students will learn the ecological, biological, environmental and economic impact of growing food such as fruits and vegetables sustainably,” Jason Bagwell, SCC’s department chair of horticulture, said in a release. “The program is designed to strengthen our local environment, food systems and economy by providing educated and skilled employees for the farm to table industry in our state.”

What’s new on your campus? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.