The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of College Planning & Management magazine.

Cengage Learning Findings Reveal Student Perspectives on Community Colleges

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Earlier this month at the 95th American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, Cengage Learning, a global education company, revealed new student data depicting how community colleges fit into today's educational landscape. Most notably, 98 percent of more than 4,250 students surveyed agree that community colleges are an important part of the United States' educational system.

“Community colleges are the heartbeat, the backbone of the education system, and we now have the content and technology to make the experience even more effective for today's students,” says Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage Learning. “We need to make sure we have an educated workforce, fit for purpose, and ready to compete in an increasingly global environment. With the majority of new jobs being created requiring some postsecondary education, community colleges are the answer for a large percentage of the student population.”

According to remarks made by President Obama earlier this year, 40 percent of the country’s college students choose community college, which echoes data from Cengage Learning illustrating that 40 percent of surveyed students indicated current enrollment in a community college. An additional 24 percent of surveyed students said they have been enrolled in community college in the past and have since transferred.

Cengage Learning student survey results highlight the reasons that students choose to enroll in community college with 69 percent of enrolled community college students indicating financial savings as a key dynamic compared to a four year institution. Convenience factors were also major contributors to why students select community college as an option, including proximity of the institution to where students live, course offerings that students need/want, and classes that fit students’ schedules (66 percent, 46 percent and 43 percent respectively). In addition, 37 percent of students enrolled at community college noted that they hope to transfer and 26 percent enroll to improve their grades or study skills before attending a four-year institution.

“Community colleges are diverse institutions that serve a wide variety of needs. The comprehensive mission of community colleges makes them attractive to a broad range of people — including students who are looking to gain skills for a particular job, pursue an associate degree to transfer to a four-year institution, or complete a certificate or technical training,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO, AACC. “Our colleges also serve the community by adapting quickly to the needs of local businesses to provide training and economic development opportunities. Community colleges are the gateway to postsecondary education and well-paying jobs for many minority, low-income and first-generation students.”

Interestingly, Cengage Learning research shows that two-year college students feel their classes are more relevant for an eventual job, as compared to those attending four-year institutions (45 percent compared to 31 percent). Separately, of 2,686 students surveyed who are enrolled in community college, 56 percent indicated that they completed pre-requisite courses in order to prepare for a four-year program. Fifty-five percent learned college-level study skills and 41 percent used community college to become accustomed to student life again in preparation for further schooling.

About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is an educational content, technology and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, with an office hub located in San Francisco.

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