Women in Community Colleges

Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success

<!– April 30, 2013 –>

More women than ever before — upwards of 4 million — are relying on community colleges for higher education and workforce preparation. Women at community colleges represent all ages, races, and ethnicities; include more than a million mothers; and have a range of goals. The main goal for many women is to gain job skills to be more competitive in the workforce. Mothers are motivated to pursue their education so they can better support their children and families. And for women who want a bachelor’s degree, community colleges provide an affordable path to achieving that goal.

Unfortunately, many women drop out before they can earn a certificate or degree or transfer to a four-year school. This report recommends policies and practices to help more women succeed in community colleges. Specifically, the report calls for increasing the availability of on-campus child care to help parents stay in school and outlines how community colleges can increase women’s participation and success in nontraditional and high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

With increased attention and outreach to women students, the nation’s community colleges can build on their legacy of providing educational opportunity to all. While this report may be of particular concern to women at community colleges, improving outcomes for women will benefit everyone.

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