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Community colleges: Restoration drama 美国社区大学  

2012-04-30 22:09:56|  分类: Overseas学校 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Apr 28th 2012 | CHICAGO AND BOSTON | from the print edition
 
COMPARED with its world-famous universities, America’s community colleges are virtually anonymous. But over half of the nation’s 20m undergraduates attend them, and the number is growing fast. Poor, minority and first-generation-immigrant students are far more likely to get their tertiary education from community colleges—where two-year courses offer a cheap route to a degree—than from universities. And, increasingly, many policymakers are wondering whether more attention to the colleges might be a low-cost way of resolving the nation’s shortage of skilled workers.
与美国的名牌大学相比,美国的社区大学确实就显得有些默默无闻了。但美国有超过一千万的学生就读社区大学并且这个数字还在快速地增长.贫困子弟,少数民族以及第一代移民的学生更倾向于在社区大学完成高等教育。社区大学只设两个学年,就读社区大学是一个比就读名牌大学平价的获得文凭的方式。同时,越来越多的政客们开始思考,对社区大学给予更多的关注能否在不花大价钱的基础上就可解决美国技术工人短缺问题。
America’s problem with training was laid bare in a report published last year by Deloitte, a consultancy firm, and the Manufacturing Institute. It identified 600,000 positions that were going unfilled because there were too few qualified skilled workers. Too many colleges, it seems, still fail to align themselves with the needs of local employers, a mismatch that is bad both for the employers and for potential employees, though arguably universities are even worse at doing this.
美国的工人培训问题在制造协会、咨询公司德罗伊特去年发布的报告中暴露无遗。该报告列出了因缺乏技术工人而受到生产影响的60万个职位。大多数的社区大学似乎不能将对学生的培养与工作的需求结合起来,这种脱节对雇主和潜在的雇员都不利,名牌大学在这方面毫无疑问更加糟糕。
In rare cases companies have taken the lead—UPS has set up a training college in Louisville, Kentucky, for example. But elsewhere, community colleges have been blazing the trail with notable transformations taking place in a number of states including Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Most recently the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, has pursued a similar strategy of matching students to companies’ requirements as part of his attempt to tackle a crisis in the city’s colleges. The city’s college graduation rate is still a dismal 10%, though at least that is up from 8% a year ago.
UPS公司就在肯塔基州的路易斯维尔设立了培训学校,可是很少会有公司作出带头行动。但在其他地方,仍然是由社区大学来完成这一任务。密歇根州,俄亥俄州和佛罗里达州的一些社区大学正在进行改变,使学生培养与工作需求相符。最近,芝加哥市长拉姆 伊曼纽尔采用了相似的政策,使学生培养与岗位要求一致,并以此作为解决社区大学危机的一部分。虽然社区大学的毕业率至少是从去年的8%上升到了10%,但这个数字仍然不容乐观。
Under a plan produced for the mayor in December last year, each of the city’s community colleges is to be tailored for training in a specific sector of industry, such as health care, transport or logistics. Large numbers of these kinds of jobs are expected to be created locally in the next decade. (In health care alone, the city expects 84,000 openings in the Chicago area.) The mayor wants to make sure that local young people, rather than new arrivals from outside the city, have a shot at these positions. Malcolm X College, for example, will get a $251m campus and its courses will be redesigned to match the needs of its new partners, such as the nearby Rush University Medical Centre.
去年十二月市长的计划中,每所社区大学将进行调整以设计如健康保健、运输或物流的工业部门。未来十年,当地可能大规模产生相关领域的职业。(就健康保健这一领域而言,在芝加哥范围内可能会开办84000个健康保健所。)市长希望当地的年轻人而不是外来人员可以参考一下这些工作职位。例如马尔科姆x大学将得到一个价值2.51亿美元的校园,同时,该大学的课程将会进行调整,以符合如附近拉斯大学医学中心等新搭档的需要。
All this chimes perfectly with the objectives of the Obama administration. The president has said he wants 2m Americans to be trained in skills that will lead directly to a job, and has praised college-industry partnerships between businesses and community colleges in Charlotte, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida.
这一切都与奥巴马当局的目标一致。奥巴马总统表示,希望有两百万的美国学生能够受到与岗位直接相关的技能培训,同时他还赞扬了夏洛特,北卡罗来纳,奥兰多,佛罗里达的商业与社区大学之间的学校—工业合作关系。
Such a rethink is also in tune with a new report organised under the auspices of the American Association of Community Colleges. It turns out that many of the policies needed to improve the failing colleges of Chicago, while surprisingly ordinary, are also needed farther afield.
这样的一个反思也与在美国社区大学联合会赞助之下组织的新报告不谋而合。事实证明,芝加哥需要出台许多政策来提高社区大学,而让人感到惊讶同时也再普通不过的是,这些政策也需要扩大到其他的地方去。
One strategy that works well is to schedule classes in fixed blocks of classroom time, rather than scattering them across the working week. This is more of a headache for the teaching staff, but helps students to combine their college work with an existing job, or with looking after children. (Nationally, 32% of community-college students have dependants and 84% already work, but are seeking to upgrade their skills and, with luck, their incomes.) Another step is to design different courses so that they fit together better, with no need to repeat course material.
将技能培训课程安排到课堂时间内而不是分散到工作周中,这个办法成效不错。可是怎么安排对教职工来说就是一件头疼的事了,但这可以帮助学生将自己的大学课业与工作或者照顾孩子结合起来。(全国范围内,32%的社区大学学生需要兼顾家庭,84%的学生已经开始工作,但他们都希望能够提高自己的工作技能,如果运气好的话,工资也会跟着上涨。)接下来要做的就是设置不同的课程,使之能与具体的岗位更好对接,而不需要去重复课程材料。
More broadly, the report suggests that community colleges could benefit if they were given additional financial incentives based on the success of their students, in terms of graduation rates or employment, rather than simply being paid according to the numbers they enrol, as is usually the case at the moment.
除此以外,该报告表明如果社区大学能够受到基于其学生的成功,如毕业率和就业率等的额外经济刺激,而不是仅靠缴费学生数量来获利,就如现在通常的做法,那么社区大学也许能够从中得益。
Although community colleges across America are showing they can innovate quickly, it is hard for them to achieve all they might against a backdrop of deep cuts. California’s community-college system is the largest higher-education system in the country, with 2.6m students. Despite a growing demand for places, funding cuts in response to the state’s deep deficit have meant that students have had to be turned away. In consequence, enrolment in the colleges has declined by a steep 300,000 since the 2009-10 academic year. So much for that American dream.
虽然全美的社区大学表示他们能够很快地进行革新,但是在学生人数大量减少的背景下,想要实现所有目标是十分困难的。加利佛利亚的社区大学拥有260万名学生就读,是全美最大的高等教育系统。尽管要求学校数量增加的呼声越来越高,但因美国财政赤字而导致财政资金的减少使得愈多学生无缘大学。因此,从2009年和2010年的学年开始,学生注册的数量剧烈下降了30万人次。以上就是全部的美国梦。

from the print edition | United States
来自打印版|美国


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