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ERIC Number: ED507877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 49
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
Community College Access and Affordability for Occupational and Nontraditional Students
Castellano, Marisa; Overman, Laura T.
National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
The purpose of this study was to examine what types of initiatives exist to increase access to and affordability of postsecondary education, especially in community college programs that lead to occupational advancement. We reviewed community college agency and state legislative Web sites to discover what initiatives or policies are currently being implemented or considered in the 50 states. We found few state-level initiatives designed specifically for occupational students, so we broadened our target population to include nontraditional students, whom we defined as financially independent working adults (over 25) who commute to a community college part time. We found that common ways of attempting to increase access for nontraditional students were (1) evening and weekend course schedules, (2) distance learning, and (3) awareness campaigns about college and the availability of financial aid. In terms of affordability, we found that states were expanding existing financial aid programs as well as creating new ones that target nontraditional students. States were also targeting specific occupational fields for aid in order to develop the workforce needed in that state. Future research in this area should study the effectiveness of these initiatives and policies in order to determine which initiatives have had the greatest impact on increasing access to and affordability of community colleges for occupational and nontraditional students. Methodological Appendix is appended. (Contains 10 tables and 13 footnotes.)
National Research Center for Career and Technical Education. Available from: The National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education. 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090. Tel: 800-678-6011; Tel: 614-292-9931; Fax: 614-688-3258; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education