The Community College Alternative

Harper College instructor Scott Nelson (left) shows students a welding technique on the community college campus in Palatine, Ill., in 2013. (John Gress/Reuters)

Not so long ago, most Americans thought that “real” college meant a four-year school. Those who earned their bachelor’s degrees had a mark of distinction, whereas anyone who attended a community college branded himself as a loser.

Things are changing. More and more people understand that a bachelor’s degree might represent four years of fun and academic nonsense, indicating little about the holder other than persistence. On the other hand, quite a few Americans avail themselves of useful training programs offered at community colleges. In fact, it’s not uncommon for BA holders to eventually enroll in a community college for some beneficial program.

In today’s Martin Center article, Shannon Watkins interviews Thomas Stith, the president of North Carolina’s community college system.

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