Spread the Word! It’s Community College Month

This grassroots awareness campaign is designed to increase awareness of the economic, academic, and equity advantages of attending a community college
April 04, 2024

Central New Mexico Community College is on board for #CCMonth, a grassroots awareness campaign throughout April coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The primary goals of Community College Month are to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges, and to debunk longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.

“All of us at CNM know why community colleges are such a powerful force for good for students, communities, and economies,” CNM President Tracy Hartzler says. “We provide affordable, welcoming and high-quality programs that are easily accessible to students from all walks of life, equipping them with the knowledge and skills for a great career and a great life. We provide students with an affordable start toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees. And we provide our regional employers with the skilled workforce they need to grow and thrive. So if you’re active on social media, or when you’re just out in the community, let’s remind people why community colleges are so awesome and important. Join me and our fellow community colleges across the country in pumping up #CCMonth to your friends and connections!"

Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable higher education for all people. Community colleges are the primary educators of critical professionals like life-saving healthcare workers and skilled trades people. We also provide an affordable on-ramp for students to begin pursuing higher-level degrees.

Community colleges like CNM have open admissions, allowing virtually anybody with the desire to learn an exceptional opportunity to improve their life. Without community colleges, many people across America would have no access to higher education at all.

We also embrace diversity and students from all socioeconomic levels. At CNM, we’re proud to provide students in need with wrap-around support services, like our Food Pantries and childcare vouchers, to help them overcome challenges, persist, graduate and access a life-changing career.

Despite some ongoing stigma about community colleges, research from New America's annual Varying Degrees study and other sources reveals that the majority of American people hold community colleges in the highest regard among all higher education institutions with respect to being worth the cost of attendance, whether tax dollars should support them, and whether they spend their resources wisely and run efficiently.

More Americans also believe community colleges are more underfunded than other institutions, and “a majority believe that students need career-related support (88%), financial aid (87%), and academic support (85%). They also strongly believe that colleges and universities must provide more, and favor the provision of housing (82%) and food (76%) support and on-campus child care (70%),” according to the survey report. Community colleges throughout the United States provide these services so that the most disadvantaged students will have a chance at succeeding in their higher education careers.

“The new-and-future economy is a skills-based economy,” says ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee. “The nation's community colleges always have specialized in providing practical education and skills that students can use to advance themselves in a competitive economy. They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”

Each year's #CCMonth campaign made millions of impressions across social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and prominent supporters include the U.S. Departments of Education, Energy, Labor, and State; the U.S. Census Bureau; First Lady Jill Biden and former First Lady Michelle Obama. This year, organizers are encouraging students and others to take the message to their favorite online social platforms to spread the word about the importance of community colleges in cultivating skills for the future, and the unique affordability that community colleges offer to financially challenged generations.