Colleges across the country will observe a moment of silence today to honor the victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The American Association of Community Colleges is requesting student and faculty members show their solidarity in supporting UCC's campus by joining a moment of silence today at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern and on social media using the hashtag #IamUCC.
Last week the campus of roughly 3,000 students became the site of the third-most-deadly shooting to occur on a college campus.
An article in The Times Free Press explores how free community college is changing enrollment patterns in the Chattanooga area. Enrollment of new high school graduates is up 17 percent at Cleveland State Community College and 60 percent at Chattanooga State Community College. But the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga saw its freshman enrollment of recent high school graduates drop 13 percent.
Multiple people were killed or injured this afternoon by a shooter at Umpqua Community College, which is located in Roseburg, Ore.
NBC News reported at least 13 people may have been killed and at least 20 others injured. Local authorities are busing students and faculty members to the county fairgrounds.
Oregon is one of seven states where people can legally bring guns on campus as long as they have a concealed weapons permit. The college, which is one of 17 two-year institutions in the state, has about 3,000 full-time students.
According to a college policy, “possession, use or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on campus property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in talks with the White House to provide free tuition at community colleges within the state, according to a report from the New York Post. In those talks, the governor has offered up to $500 million to make the state's community colleges tuition-free. The City University of New York system has seven community colleges and the State University of New York has 30 two-year institutions. The Obama administration has been encouraging states, cities and colleges to take the lead on pushing for free community college as a way of encouraging enthusiasm for the America's College Promise initiative. Other states and cities have been looking at similar plans.
A new report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research -- a conservative think tank -- argues that community colleges aren't ready for the consequences of providing "free" tuition until they provide intensive counseling and "emulate" the for-profit college sector with relevant course work and internships. The consequences of free community college, the report said, would be a larger number of students looking to enroll in two-year colleges with low performance rates. As a way to encourage community colleges to make these changes, the report encourages federal funding to be awarded conditionally. Under the proposal, qualifying colleges would need to have proven records of "above-average" graduation rates and "below-average" student loan default rates.