Insightful and Important
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 06/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"According to this documentary, half of all college students attend community colleges. States spend much more on advanced degrees and elementary education than they do at community colleges. These colleges educate many populations whose numbers are sharply increasing in this country. Still, they have many struggles which go unappreciated or underappreciated. If you watch this work alongside "Declining by Degrees," you may be horrified to see how these community college students are bearing all kinds of crosses, yet some students at universities just hop from one fraternity party to another and have doors opened to them that will make them comfortable or rich forever.
This work is diverse in terms of the obvious markers like race and gender. However, it is diverse regarding geography (CA, IL, and NY) as well. The interviewees include community college students, faculty working in those schools, and education professors at 4-year universities. The work is honest in saying that though numerous students enter these schools, many also drop out. They show both success and failure stories here.
This work somewhat chides community colleges for offering tango classes, self-defense classes, and other 6-week or 10-week programs. However, those self-improvement courses really help local adults who may already have degrees. Knowing that you can pick up a skill or some knowledge from the school down the block is beneficial to some. I do wonder how on-line colleges are affecting community colleges. If a smart adult attends community colleges at night because they work in the daytime, will they still go if they can study something online at their own convenience? This work does hint that community college instructors may not have that much training, but I heard word-of-mouth that these institutions have many instructors with Masters or no advance degrees and that would make them far different from 4-year colleges where so many instructors have Ph.D.'s or are acquiring them."