Students still give their community colleges high marks


One in five community college students expect to delay graduation because of the pandemic, according to survey results from the Strada Education Network. However, even though two-year college students feel stress and anxiety prompted by the pandemic, they still give their colleges high marks for career connections and value.

The new findings come from the nationwide Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey and additional results from a national survey of community college students as part of Public Viewpoint, a research project tracking the impact of the pandemic on Americans’ lives, work and education.

The survey, focused on current students, found that 20 percent of community college students are likely to or definitely will delay their graduation because of Covid. The findings come on the heels of significant enrollment drops in the community college sector this fall, Strada noted.

However, there is some good news. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of community college students believe their education will be worth the cost, compared to 50 percent of those pursuing a four-year degree, according to the survey.

“In general, students are more likely to say their education will be worth the cost if they also believe their institution does a good job of connecting students to meaningful careers — and community college students give their institutions comparatively high marks in this regard,” according to a release from Strada.

Almost half (47%) say their institution does a very good or excellent job with career connections, compared to only 35% of students at four-year institutions.

“While stress and cost are serious concerns, it’s also clear that community college students still see the value of education that is relevant to work and can deliver on career connections,” said Dave Clayton, senior vice president at Strada’s Center for Education Consumer Insights. “As we look for education solutions that can power our economic recovery, colleges and policymakers would do well to focus there.”

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