“I don’t know what that means — a community college. To me, it means a two-year college. I don’t know what it means” – Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States
Never expected these writings to be a 101-level version of educational opportunities, but never expected to have an Ivy League-educated President who has no idea what a community college is.
So, let’s start at the beginning. Some postsecondary schools are focused on specific professional vocational training – auto mechanics, culinary arts, HVAC repair, bookkeeping, dental assistance, medical office and file management, etc. Other postsecondary schools are professionally-focused, but longer, broader and deeper in approach – pre-med to civil engineering; acting to agricultural management. A third category is often known as a liberal arts education – a broader, less-focused, more intellectual pursuit that encompasses the power of general educational integrity. Other professional and graduate schools range from law and medicine to MBAs and six sigma training.
And then there are community colleges. They were created and continue to operate to inure to the benefit of the community in which they exist. In part of America, their focus has evolved to vocational and career training – particularly in places hardest hit by industry implosion (think car makers, steel mills and the like) – because that is exactly what that community needs (populous and business). In other communities, these colleges are feeders to four-year schools. Another reason? Some (many) students aren’t ready or prepared or interested or able to afford to enroll in a four-year school.
Community Colleges exist to help communities. I know that’s an unusual point of view from this President, but reality is reality…and understanding it would be helpful from time to time.