A Diverse Population

In addition to knowing the actual number of students who attend community colleges, it is also important to consider that this population is more diverse than the population of students at a university.  According to an article titled,  Validation Experiences and Persistence among Community College Students, forty-six percent of community college students are over the age of 24 and sixty-three percent will attend college part time. In addition, there is more racial and ethnic diversity and students have lower family incomes than those attend a university.

These factors could also have implications for career service delivery. Although acknowledging that a student receiving services is a transfer student, these demographics show that there is great diversity within the population of individuals who attend a community college.

Take adults returning to school – their educational and career development needs are most likely going to be very different than a traditional college student. What would it be like to work with an adult who’s had a previous career and has lived a decade or two since the last time they entered a classroom? The link below highlights the thought process of a man who was contemplating returning to school in order to find a career that he is “truly passionate about.” He describes his work history, which includes being in the same position for 24 years! He also speaks about his first college experience, which did not last long due to lack of interest in most classes and the feeling that he was wasting his money. But now, he finds  himself at 53 years old, feeling like he needs to have a college degree in order to change his career.

Based on this story alone, the needs of the adult population returning to college could be complex. If forty-six percent of students at a community college are over 24, there could be so many similar stories of adults contemplating going back to school and changing the course of an already established career.

The story can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-dauphinais/contemplating-college-at-_b_6463578.html

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