Mass higher education has attracted a lot of attention recently as many Americans find themselves in the situation when they cannot afford to enter a university or a four-year college. Researchers, educators, officials, employers and high school graduates argue that the lack of diversity in higher education can have various negative effects for development of the US society (Ward, 2007). Development of community colleges is regarded as an exceptional opportunity to solve the existing issue.
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Community colleges provide educational services to larger populations as they are more affordable and there are more financial aid options available. These educational establishments help young people to evaluate their academic capacity. People can also gain some skills to enter the workforce and get a job with appropriate salary. Another important benefit of community colleges is that they are a good platform for transition from a high school to a 4-year college or university.
Packard, Gagnon, LaBelle, Jeffers and Lynn (2011) state that there is quite significant bulk of research that shows that students of community colleges have more chances to enter and succeed in universities or 4-year colleges. Students obtain significant academic experience in community college and are ready to address challenges of higher education. They feel less pressure compared to high school graduates as those who have studied at community colleges know the ropes of the academic life and they know what to expect.
In conclusion, it is possible to state that community college is a good opportunity for a young person who has limited financial resources and has doubts as to his/her desire to obtain a degree. This institution enables young people to have a glimpse at higher education and decide whether they will benefit from it.
It is not difficult to predict the way education will develop. Within a decade, technology will be incorporated in higher education in a more efficient way. Online courses as well as blended education will be widespread. Universities will become more global as educators from different parts of the world will be able to give lectures while students across the globe will share their ideas (Sorden & Munene, 2013). Mass higher education institutions will comprise a half of all educational institutions.
Aragon and Johnson (2008) state that more and more students are eager to get online courses. Mobile technology will also become more widespread in education. Information will become more accessible. The Internet will play the central role as communication and sharing information will be crucial for education of the future.
Development of MOOCs will make higher education more affordable and will become a part of the mass higher education platform. Colleges will be able to benefit from access to millions of students and participants as communities will share their ideas and work on global projects.
Of course, global economy continues affecting development of global education. Economic crises lead to limited investment into education and fewer people have access to higher education. However, technology (MOOCs) will help education become less vulnerable to economic constraints.
I envision the development of mass higher education. Technology will enable more people to access the higher education through online courses and various ways to share information. Of course, traditional courses, colleges and universities will also remain a part of global education but they are likely to be available for a limited number of students.
Aragon, S.R., & Johnson, E.S. (2008). Factors influencing completion and noncompletion of community college online courses. The American Journal of Distance Education, 22, 146-158. Web.
Packard, B.W.L., Gagnon, J.L., LaBelle, O., Jeffers, K., & Lynn, E. (2011). Women’s experiences in the STEM community college transfer pathway. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17(2), 129-147. Web.
Sorden, S.D., & Munene, I.I. (2013). Constructs related to community college student satisfaction in blended learning. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 12, 251-270. Web.
Ward, D. (2007). Academic values, institutional management and public policies. Higher Education Management and Policy, 19(2), 9-20. Web.