It shouldn’t shock you to know that community college’s across the US are growing rapidly. There are, in my mind, two major reasons why the number of students attending these schools is increasing:
- The economy. They are less expensive per credit, plus most students can remain living at home decreasing living costs.
- Lack of clarity. Most graduating high school do not have a clear picture of what they want to do for a career. Community college allows them more time before they have to declare a major. They get essentially the same education, but less expensive and with little commitment. Plus, they can transfer as a junior more easily than get in as a freshman to many schools.
The interesting thing is most college ministries haven’t figured out how to reach commuter campuses. Even most para church campus ministries don’t focus on them. That to say, this is a mission field that is essentially untapped. Also, I’d say that the majority of churches work in this context – most are not close to major university campuses. I did include an Appendix in College Ministry 101 on this that may be of assistance to you. You can also read an article here about the challenges of commuter schools like this.
Although it’s yet to be seen how accurate it actually is, it’s fun to know there is a new show on NBC coming up called, “Community.” It’s all about community college life – supposedly. However “theatrical” they need to make it to be successful, I’m sure there will be a lot of accuracy in regards to culture. I think we’ll be able to relate it to “The Office” and shows like this that have moments of insight that create the humor. Of course The Office has some interesting characters that also add to the humor (of course).
If you want to check out some of the trailers for this new show, click here. But, I thought I’d include one for you below (actually there’s two). I will also be issuing reviews of the show from time to time (if not week to week). I’ve worked mostly with community colleges, attended one myself for two years, and have worked with hundreds and hundreds of students attending them. So, I’m excited to see what the show is like and potentially has to offer in regards to insights (if any) into the life and mindset of those attending community colleges. Higher Ed has an article about some concerns, you can read that here.