ERIC Number: EJ902287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Today's "Neglected Majority"
Risley, Rod A.
Community College Journal, v78 n1 p36-38 Aug-Sep 2007
In 1985, then American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) President Dale Parnell wrote of the "neglected majority," a phrase he coined for the astounding 70 percent of high school graduates who did not plan or aspire to attain baccalaureate degrees. Twenty-two years later, community college and public policy leaders still face the challenge of developing a competitive workforce, but the playing field has changed dramatically. The workforce skill level necessary to compete in a global economy and earn a livable wage will require, at minimum, an associate degree; higher-paying jobs will require a baccalaureate degree. New strategies are urgently needed to address today's "neglected majority." As part of a comprehensive plan to prepare students for success, more community colleges should explore establishing or expanding honors programs. Honors programs forge new opportunities for previously neglected students. Such programs have been shown to improve student retention, boost graduation rates, and increase the number of students pursuing baccalaureate degrees. Honors offerings also address the concerns of corporate leaders who call for workers with critical-thinking, communications, and problem-solving skills. What's more, a strong honors program is a vehicle for student recruitment and improves the institution's image in the eyes of the community and the education arena at large.
Descriptors: Student Educational Objectives, High School Graduates, Educational Attainment, Community Colleges, Honors Curriculum, Student Recruitment
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/bookstore
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida; Kansas