Community colleges are key institutions in American society—crucial to our economic competitiveness and our efforts to revive the “American Dream.” However, we often hear the mantra that community colleges “need to do more with less”; but if we really care about the promise of two-year schools, why should we accept that limitation? In Brown County alone, since 2015, the programs that Ranger College offers have generated 134 new jobs, 733 upgraded jobs, and the average hourly wage is $19.38. The majority of Ranger College students in Brown County are part-time (54 percent) and non-traditional (average age of 28). This is a segment of our community that is not served by Howard Payne and would not have an opportunity to continue their education and gain skills if not for Ranger College. As we apply accountability to colleges and universities, we need to make sure institutions have sufficient resources to succeed.
Justin D. Murphy, Ph.D.