EMERGING TRENDS AND ISSUES
FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES THAT MAY IMPACT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
colleges are spending more and more of their budgets on
remedial education and may seek alternatives in order to
maintain fiscal accountability and strengthen degree attainment
63% of students at two-year postsecondary institutions take
remedial courses (College and Career Transitions Initiative,
2003). Students with disabilities take a higher percentage
of remedial or developmental courses than other student
groups. Research by the Education Commission of the States
(2002) shows that 25% of students who must take remedial
courses fail to complete all their remedial coursework.
Less than half of students who took remedial coursework
attained a two or four-year degree by the time they were
thirty. With funding increasingly tied to accountability
measures such as degree attainment, community colleges may
try to reduce the amount of students in need of remediation
by requiring a standard high school diploma or GED (Savukinas,
2003). Some community colleges are experimenting with outsourcing
remedial education to specialized private tutoring vendors
programs for students with disabilities ages 18-21 are increasing
on community college campuses.
to Grigal, Neubert, and Moon (2001), students with more
significant disabilities, especially those with intellectual
disabilities who require extensive educational support services,
have typically remained in public school settings until
they "age out" of their entitlement to services
under IDEA. Many of these students and their families have
advocated for continued inclusive opportunities in different
settings for the post-high school years of 18-21. Encouraged
by inclusive philosophies and systems change grants, public
schools have approached community colleges about providing
opportunities for these students to receive their public
school instruction on the campus. The local education agency
usually provides the funding, transportation, and instructors,
while the community college provides space and an inclusive
environment. The students (although not officially admitted
to the college) have access to peers without disabilities,
classes (in some cases community college classes are available
for auditing or credit), and work experiences in a more
age-appropriate environment. A database of Community-Based
Transition Programs for students ages 18-21 can be found
on the Transition Coalition's website: www.transitioncoalition.org
enrollment for students with and without disabilities will
increasingly be an option to promote the transition from
high school to postsecondary education.
is increasing emphasis on K-16 education rather than K-12
education. Policymakers are interested in streamlining linkages
between public schools and community colleges and promoting
more seamless transitions for students to access postsecondary
education and gain career and technical skills. The impact
of accountability standards in education is more accurately
measured when tests, requirements, and outcome data are
aligned across educational systems. Dual enrollment, where
students remain enrolled in high school while accessing
community college coursework, is one way to expose students
to the opportunities and demands of a postsecondary environment
while they are still in secondary education. The Education
Commission of the States (2000, p. 3) postulates that dual
enrollment can better prepare high school students for college
coursework, expose them to motivating coursework including
career and technical programs that may be unavailable at
the high school, help students progress more quickly through
their college educations, make their high school experience
more productive, and help to bridge gaps between high school
youth and young adults with disabilities qualify for WIA
services through One-Stop Career Centers. Community colleges
are often key partners in local workforce development activities.
with disabilities may find themselves accessing community
college services and/or programs even if they intended to
seek employment training rather than postsecondary education.
Community colleges in many states are considered prime mechanisms
for implementing state-supported workforce development and
training under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Many
state and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) have
community college representation, and in some cases the
community colleges have primary responsibility at the local
level for implementing WIA training programs or operating
one stop centers. This means that students with disabilities,
who are typically highly qualified for WIA youth and adult
services, may receive services (traditional coursework or
customized non-credit training) through a community college
as a result of accessing a one stop career center or other
WIA-funded services. For more information about WIA services
through community colleges in your area, or to search for
training and education resources in your community, go to
America's Service Locator at http://www.servicelocator.org/.
K., & Logan, J. (2002). A Comparison of Accommodations
and Supports for Students with Disabilities in Two-year
versus Four-Year Postsecondary Institutions. National Center
for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports. [online].
College and Career Transitions Initiative (2003). Clearing
the Path to Life's Work. League for Innovation in the Community
Education Commission of the States Policy Brief (October,
2000). Building Bridges Not Barriers: Public Policies that
Support Seamless K-12 Education). [online]. Available from
Clearinghouse for Community Colleges (Spring 2003). Disabilities
and the Community College: Topical Bibliography. [online].
T.P. & Jones, M. A. in Gaylord, V., Golden, T.P., O'Mara,
S., and Johnson, D.R. (Eds.). (2002). Impact: Feature Issue
on Young Adults with Disabilities & Social Security
Administration Employment Support Programs, 15(1) [online].
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community
Integration. Available from http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/151.
M., Neubert, D. A., & Moon, M. S. (2001). Public School
Programs for Students with Significant Disabilities in Post-secondary
Settings. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and
Developmental Disabilities, 36 (3), 244-245.
D., & Boswell, K. (2002). State Policies on Community
College Remedial Education: Findings from a National Survey.
Education Commission of the States Policy Paper. [online].
Available from http://www.communitycollegepolicy.org/html/publications_main.asp
M. S., Grigal, M., & Neubert, D. (2001). High School
and Beyond: Students with Significant Disabilities Complete
High School Through Alternative Programs in Post-Secondary
Settings, Exceptional Parent, July, 52-57.
Center on Secondary Education and Transtion Parent Brief
(March, 2002). Parenting Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities:
Becoming the Mentor, Advocate, and Guide Your Young Adult
Needs. [online]. Available from http://www.ncset.org/publications/viewdesc.asp?id=208.
D.J. (2000). Enrollment Policies and Student Access at Community
Colleges, Education Commission of the States Policy Paper.
[online]. Available from http://www.communitycollegepolicy.org/html/publications_main.asp
Maxine (1999). Workforce Development Reform in Illinois:
Implications for Community Colleges. Update on Research
and Leadership, 10, (3). Office of Community College Research
and Leadership. [online].
R. (2003). Community Colleges and Students with Disabilities,
HEATH Resource Center. [online].
R.A., & Jones, M.A. (2002). Supporting Youth with Disabilities
to Access and Succeed in Postsecondary Education: Essentials
for Educators in Secondary Schools. National Center on Secondary
Education and Transition. [online]. Available from http://www.ncset.org/publications/viewdesc.asp?id=706
States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
(July, 2002). Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary
Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities. [online].
Available from http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html
States Department of Labor (July 11, 2003). Workforce Investment
Act Operations Bulletin, 2, (26). [online]. Available from