Community colleges were created first as an extension of High School. In 1901, Joliet Junior College, located in Illinois, added two extra years to their high school curriculum. The enrollment rates were low at first since they mostly focused on liberal arts studies. During The Great depression of the 1930s, community colleges started to offer programs such as manual learning and vocational education, to workers. Then, after World War II, the change from a military industry to consumer industry created different types of jobs that required skilled workers, and with that came the need for specialization. In the 1960s, the number of enrollments in community colleges increased drastically, and the community college national network was created, opening 457 public community colleges between the years of 1965 to 1970. After that, enrollments of students increase from around 1 million to 2.2 million.
The student population in community colleges has changed since the first one was open. After 1970 an increasing number of women enrolled in community college classes, and the number of men dropped. By 1980, the number of women enrolled for community college classes was greater than the amount of men, and it has been since then. However, the increase in the enrollments made by women was not the only change that took place in the student body of community colleges. Between the years 1976 and 1999, minorities made up an ever increasing portion of all students enrolled. In 1976, racial and ethnic minorities consisted of 20% of all the students enrolled, and by the year of 1999, they were up to 30%.
The number of community colleges has also been steadily growing since 1901....
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...ents also has have the opportunity to apply for direct loans at a low interest on any of the campuses, with long repayment conditions. Each campus has their own Financial Aid office to assist students, and students can also apply for federal work study programs, that would allow them to work part time on campus while studying.
With their financial aid help, low tuition costs, flexible schedule and growing diversity, community colleges have educated over half of the United States. They are important part for undergrads, and they provide easier access to post-secondary education, providing skills training, and development for workers.
The American Association of Community Colleges states that without community colleges millions of students would not have access to the education they need to join a four-year university, or to advance in the workplace (Aacc.nche.edu).
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