Community Colleges: First Responders for Economic Recovery
Abstract: Americans are turning to post-secondary education as an educational safety net during one of the worst recessions in decades. Community colleges around the nation are experiencing record-high enrollment growth—but success is bittersweet. Although they are serving more students than ever before, they are confronted by diminished fiscal support at the state level. The nation’s community colleges have proven that their agility and innovation are vital components of the nation’s economic recovery, reminding us exactly what makes them unique. Quality tools are what led Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) in The Dalles, OR, to develop the first wind technician training program on the West Coast. For Susan Wolff, chief academic officer at CGCC, her daily commute on Interstate 84 from Hood River to The Dalles is what inspired her to create this nationally recognized program in just six months. As truck after truck passed carrying trailers loaded with wind turbine components, she knew there must be an opportunity.
Keywords: Career Development - Higher Education Brief