The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has found that one out of every 14 people attending a community college already has a bachelor’s degree. Most of the degree holders returned to school to find a new career, particularly in the field of health care, while others are looking to upgrade job-related skills.
“There’s a lot of disciplines universities aren’t offering,” Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, associate professor of education at the University of California Los Angeles, said in an article for The Hechinger Report. “The universities aren’t keeping up.”
Instead of being a good thing for community colleges, the trend is causing some problems. Nearly 60% of community college students need to take remedial math, including college graduates returning to school, according to the Community College Research Center. Providing remedial math to more students could lead community colleges to spend more of their limited funds on supporting students who already have degrees.
“If it detracts from their ability to serve students without credentials, I think colleges might be reluctant to do it,” said Kent Phillippe, associate vice president of the AACC.