Hearing from the Voices Behind the Variables: Community College Students Speak Out on School and Work

Anderson & Nieves / / January 2020

why first gen

Community colleges provide an affordable pathway for students to gain a valuable credential that can be leveraged for work or continuing on a postsecondary pathway. Black and Latinx students are enrolling in community colleges at unprecedented rates; however, persistence and degree attainment numbers are still alarmingly low for these populations. Often, community college students are working while they are in school, along with juggling personal and family obligations. In ignoring this reality, these programs do a disservice to their students and fail to provide the resources needed to support persistence and completion. With the inclusion of student voices and experiences in policy conversations, community colleges can build services that bolster greater outcomes, for first-generation college goers, immigrants, and students of color.