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“Free” community college

In an effort to help struggling students help pay to further themselves in their educational journey, President Obama is toying with the idea of offering free community college. This plan is called America’s College Promise, and even if it gets approved, it will be years before it is actually applicable and available to students. The interesting part about this plan is that it would help both traditional and non-traditional students. So even if you work full time and go to community college part-time, you can get your tuition down to $0.

Of course, there’s been a mixed reaction to this idea. Some people think the young generation already has it great and shouldn’t receive any more handouts. Our parents and their parents all had to work hard to go to and pay for school. If “kids” are handed everything up to and through community college (a.k.a. Associate’s Degree) then they will learn to expect things, and become spoiled to some degree. It will also not help them learn the cost of living, the cost of education, etc. Also, while the plan covers community college, what about the non-traditional students who don’t do well in traditional schooling? What about trade schools? Or internships, where some people say that you learn the most on-the-job rather than in a lecture hall.

While the idea seems like a decent one, especially for those people who want to better themselves and yet don’t have the means to, I still think the future of higher education is going to look completely different. Student-centered learning is the direction that higher education is moving towards. While the regular traditional colleges and universities are throughout the US and many other countries, these types of schools don’t cover every and all topics, and their teaching styles don’t always apply to each and every field of study. I believe a mixture of classes and work/internships are required to fully learn and understand of field of work. I also don’t think it’s necessary to spend high dollars on tuition nor have to be where your teacher/professor is in order to learn from them. Online learning is the way of the future, especially for the underprivileged countries which don’t have as many universities, or a lack of funds for students to go to school.

What do you think about Obama’s free community college plan? Do you think it is for the best or not? Why or why not?


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