Road to graduation by Ginia Bellafonte
Community college face a Very long road to graduation by Ginia Bellafonte
Response to Questions Related to the article entitled “Community College Students Face a Very Long Road to Graduation” by Bellafante Ginia
My personal experience can attest to the fact that community college learners often experience a long road to graduation. Bellafonte justifies this statement by focusing on Vladimir de Jesus, who he describes as prototype and outlier. Mr. de Jesus is considered a prototype considering that his attendance of classes is inconsistent just like other community college learners (par. 21). Mr. de Jesus is also described as an outlier as he provided sharper observations than those of other learners in his English class (par. 20). Bellafonte emphasizes the problem of foreign born learners in learning English when he states “Almost all struggled with aspects of vocabulary (words including “stable” and “infelicitous”) or analyzing texts” (par.16). This statement is valid, as all the foreign-born students that I have encountered have significant problems with learning English.
Community college students always experience several barriers to consistent attendance of classes, which makes their road to graduation a long one. Financial barriers are among the factors that prevent these students from attending classes in a consistent manner as they have to attend to other obligations (Bellafonte par. 7). In my experience, I have seen many community college students missing classes, as they have to work to fend for their learning needs including pocket money, transport, and college fees, as well as the needs of their siblings and parents. The basic math requirement also presents a barrier to success among community college students. This level of math is higher for these students, as it is always taken by affluent children in eighth or ninth grade. Moreover, community college students face the barrier of child rearing. Relative to other learners, community college students spend the longest times of commuting within the country (par. 22). For instance, de Jesus had to take his daughter to school before attending LaGuardia’s campus, which significantly increased his commuting time (par. 22).
Apart from barriers to consistence attendance faced by students, community college themselves face financial challenges that prolong the journey of learners to graduation. Dr. Gail Mellow states “…financing for the colleges themselves, which rely to a great extent on government appropriations and foundation grants, has risen only modestly” (par. 11). Therefore, it can be noted that the federal administration has been allocating inadequate funds for funding the community colleges over the years. Moreover, these colleges do not receive adequate attention from individual donors (par. 11). In relation to this, my question concerns the measures that should be embraced to ensure that adequate financing is directed towards community colleges to enable them to address their financial needs. I am left with the query on what should be done to address the issue of basic math and early parental responsibilities for community college students. In my opinion, addressing these issues will contribute significantly to shorting the journey of these students towards graduation.
Bellafante, Ginia. “Community College Students Face a Very Long Road to Graduation”. (2014). Accessed from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/nyregion/community-college-students-face-a-very-long-road-to-graduation.html