The push to support community colleges, as exemplified by President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative in 2009, is one more Obama agenda that is failing.
Obama said in 2009:
But today I’m announcing the most significant down payment yet on reaching the goal of having the highest college graduation rate of any nation in the world. We’re going to achieve this in the next 10 years. And it’s called the American Graduation Initiative. It will reform and strengthen community colleges like this one from coast to coast so they get the resources that students and schools need — and the results workers and businesses demand. Through this plan, we seek to help an additional 5 million Americans earn degrees and certificates in the next decade — 5 million.
The sub-baccalaureate system in the United States now enrolls 45% of all U.S. undergraduates, but only a small percentage of them ever earn a degree. While 80% of entrants to that system believe that they will achieve a bachelor’s degree, only one third of community college students get a certificate or degree within six years. The numbers are even worse for urban community colleges, where the national three-year graduation rate is 16%.
Nearly 70% of high-school graduates continue their education with post-secondary schooling; in 1980, that figure was roughly 50%.