News from Montgomery College  News from Montgomery College

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For Immediate Release (00-12)
Date: April 4, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Pager #301-930-3880)

Survey Shows Community Colleges
Key in Technology-Based Economy
Montgomery College, With 15,000 in Tech Courses,
Among Community Colleges Participating in Study

(Montgomery County, Maryland) -- Montgomery College and other two-year colleges across the nation are playing a critical role in delivering skills to keep leading industries competitive and have become the de facto provider of choice for computer training, according to national survey findings released today in Washington, DC.

Conducted jointly by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ACT, the “Faces of the Future” survey examined a nationally representative sampling of both credit and non-credit students from the 10.4 million students enrolled in the nation’s 1,132 community, junior, and technical colleges.  Among key findings are:

The “Faces of the Future” study was conducted in credit and non-credit classrooms in fall 1999.  More than 100,000 students at 245 community colleges in 41 states responded.
AACC sees the new data as validation of the greatly expanded and significantly underfunded value of the community college mission.  Although the colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates, they receive less than 30% of state and local higher education dollars.  In addition, community colleges enroll higher percentages of women, minority students, older adults, and the disabled – groups the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will provide most new workers in the future.

Two years ago, in response the growing demand for information technology workers and in recognition of the importance of technology in today's economy, Montgomery College launched its Information Technology Institute. Last year, the college had over 15,000 enrollments in technology-related courses, including 11,000 in credit courses and 4,000 in non-credit offerings. The spectrum of course offerings included basic computer skills through advanced technical training in computer programming, network administration and database administration. The College's strategic partnerships with Microsoft's Authorized Academic Training Program and Oracle's international Oracle Academic Initiative, and other public-private partnerships have fueled the institute's early growth.

"Montgomery College has always been responsive to the needs of its students and its community," said Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. "Our commitment to keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology-based economy -- through our Information Technology Institute, our biotechnology program and other initiatives -- is another example of how the community college is, once again, rising to meet the demands of our students and our workforce."

“Over their 100-year history, community colleges have significantly expanded their role in keeping the great ‘engine’ of this nation running,” said AACC President David Pierce.  “But they have often gone underfunded and unrecognized for the contribution they make to the academic enterprise.  This study documents the essential and, in the case of computer literacy,
leading role the colleges are playing.”

AACC and ACT plan to make the national survey an annual activity to provide ongoing data about this largest sector of higher education.

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ACT, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessment, research, information and program management services in the broad areas of education planning, career planning, and workforce development.  Each year ACT serves millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses and governmental agencies – nationally and internationally.  Though designed to meet a wide array of needs, all ACT programs and services have one guiding purpose: to help people achieve education and career goals by providing information for life’s transitions.

The American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization representing more than 1,100 community, junior, and technical colleges and their 10.4 million students.  The colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates.