The Atlantic has a fantastic piece on the issues facing community colleges and how they might be solved. In short, the aim of most community colleges is to offer cheaper education to people who have trouble affording or getting into regular colleges and universities. The problem is, many of the people they serve aren’t graduating because, in part, community colleges are difficult to navigate and there are few resources out there to help students do so.
The the popular potential solution is cheap MOOCs, or massive open online courses. However, those offer many of the same drawbacks as community colleges, like being difficult to navigate and requiring students to have a “self starter” personality.
The solution posed in the article is a program called ASAP. It sounds pretty cool, and has been showing positive results in small scale testing. You can read all about it here.