A degree of security: is the government recruiting community college students for the war on terror?Young, poor people of color Noun 1. people of color - a race with skin pigmentation different from the white race (especially Blacks)
people of colour, colour, color
race - people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock; "some biologists doubt that there are important who signed up with the U.S. military to get college money ended up fighting in Iraq. Meanwhile, their peers back home who take the community college route to higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. may also end up fighting the "war on terror This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. For other conflicts, see Terrorism.
The War on Terror (also known as the War on Terrorism ."
Money problems for community colleges, as well as their students, are forcing both to buy into what can only be called "homeland security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States education." The federal government is offering colleges a way to survive and the students a way to get educated: money specifically earmarked for the war on terror.
This year's federal budget includes more than $4 billion for homeland security research and development. The Department of Homeland Security Noun 1. Department of Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States is offering $64 million directly to colleges and universities that will develop anti-terrorism programs.
In a Squeeze for Money
Community colleges depend primarily on states for their funding, but states get part of their funds from the federal government. At the end of April, the U.S. House and Senate voted to cut the total education budget by $5.5 billion, as recommended in President Bush's budget proposal for 2006. Only five percent of community colleges' financial support comes through federal grants. But now, even that is in jeopardy. For community colleges, the "Strengthening Institutions Program"--Title III-A of the Higher Education Act--provides funds to institutions that have few resources and serve high proportions of low-income students and "historically underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. " populations. Grants from this program help community colleges improve their educational programs and related services.
But institutions must compete for money from the program, which currently totals $81.3 million. Proposed legislation in Congress would allow for-profit schools to compete with nonprofit community colleges for these and other dollars, including those coming through the federal Pell Grant and student loan programs. As a result, community colleges are scrambling for a way to stay afloat.
Money has increasingly become an issue for students themselves. Four-year public universities cost an average of $5,132 a year, according to statistics from the College Board. Last year, the Department of Education reduced the federal Pell Grant program by requiring families to show a higher degree of need. Affirmative action affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. programs, and the financial aid that often comes with them, are disappearing. Consequently, the two-year, community college option, with an average annual cost of $2,076, is becoming the predominant one for poor students of color. According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC AACC American Association of Community Colleges (formerly American Association of Junior Colleges)
AACC American Association for Clinical Chemistry
AACC American Association of Cereal Chemists
AACC Anne Arundel Community College ), of all college students nationally, 56 percent of Latinos, 48 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders, 57 percent of Native Americans and 47 percent of Blacks are attending community colleges.
Recruiting Schools and Students
Community colleges have responded to the Department of Homeland Security offer by repositioning themselves as the training ground for "first responders"--the police officers, firefighters, emergency workers and health professionals expected to arrive first on the scene after a terrorist attack. "We use the term 'homeland security' rather broadly," admits Laurie Quarles, Legislative Associate for the AACC. "Some of our community colleges have successfully gotten money to develop their programs."
The AACC insists that community colleges are responding not to a changing funding environment but to the need for trained professionals to assist in preventing and recovering from terrorist attacks. "Our role is that we have to anticipate the current and projected needs of the community, whether or not there is new funding coming," Quarles says.
Democrats, too, are jumping on this trend. In March 2004, Senator Hillary Rodham Rodham is an English surname which may refer to a number of persons or places. People
Family of Hillary Rodham Clinton
MCC was founded in 1961 and began offering degree programs in September 1962. The college is part of the State University of New York system, also known as SUNY. Current Administration
President: R. in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , Clinton toured the school's Public Safety Training Center.
"Most places have a community college," she said at a press conference. "The institution, the infrastructure is already in place, and most community colleges perform the training for law enforcement, criminal justice, firefighting already. Yet, when it comes to figuring out how to most efficiently prepare our homeland security forces, there aren't many places that are looking first and foremost to their community colleges. And I think that's a mistake."
Indeed, the courses and curriculum that fall under homeland security are not new. Monroe Community College, for example, has been training police and fire safety officers for more than 30 years. However, it created its Homeland Security Management Institute in December 2003.
By repackaging their health care, law enforcement and other course programs under the broad category of "homeland security," community colleges can assure themselves of money through direct government programs and loans and grants to students.
For students, the Department of Homeland Security is offering stipends of $1,000 a month during the school year, or $5,000 for the summer, for course programs related to homeland security. Students at community colleges can realize their dreams of attending four-year institutions through one of these scholarships. Recipients of the scholarships must, according to the application form, "indicate a willingness to accept, after graduation, competitive employment offers from DHS DHS Department of Homeland Security (USA)
DHS Department of Human Services
DHS Department of Health Services
DHS Demographic and Health Surveys
DHS Dirhams (Morocco national currency) , state and local security offices, DHS-affiliated Federal laboratories, or DHS-related research staff positions."
It remains unclear whether young, poor people of color are specifically being steered into homeland security courses, as they have been into the military war on terror. Quarles points out that there are recruitment efforts.
"Many of [the colleges] put out brochures about what they have," she says. "They really make an effort to reach those students who might not have thought about going to college." She adds that some community colleges are starting attempts to attract students to their homeland security programs, but concedes that, "I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how aggressive they are."
The DHS scholarship program excludes those with outstanding military service commitments, who have already earned a bachelor's degree or who plan to study abroad.
There has been resistance to the growth of homeland security training at community colleges. In December 2004, students and faculty members at the New York's Borough of Manhattan Community College Founded in 1963, Borough of Manhattan Community College, or BMCC is one of six two-year colleges within the City University of New York (CUNY) system and the only one in Manhattan. demanded that the school abandon plans for a certificate program in security management. They viewed it as an endorsement of the Bush administration's Department of Homeland Security. Members of student government leafleted an administrative meeting with a flyer titled, "Stop BMCC BMCC
bulk milk cell counts. 'Homeland' Repression Program Now!" The flyer stated concerns that, among other things, a homeland security program at the college "will intimidate and drive away many present and potential students, especially immigrants."
Another concern is that students studying homeland security may not find jobs. In Michigan, Lansing Community College Lansing Community College is a two-year public college founded in 1957. The college's main campus is located on an urban, 42-acre (170,000 m²) site in downtown Lansing, Michigan. A West Campus opened in 2004 in Delta Township, southwest of Lansing. instructor Charles Bogle bo·gle
A hobgoblin; a bogey.
[Scots bogill, perhaps ultimately from Welsh bwg, ghost, hobgoblin. fears that community college students are being steered away from programs that will allow them more flexibility in their careers. "Michigan community colleges will no doubt have to get their own homeland security departments There were gaps in the U.S. system for detecting and deterring terrorist acts in the homeland. That became clear September 11, 2001. The Department of Homeland Security is the george w. bush administration's plug for those gaps. in order to compete," he wrote in 2003. "But what will our working class students do when, after having received a program degree or certificate in a defunct or saturated field, they are forced to compete with a graduate of a good liberal arts college Liberal arts colleges are primarily colleges with an emphasis upon undergraduate study in the liberal arts. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers the following definition of the liberal arts as a, "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge for a job that requires an education rather than training?"
Students and activists can expect to see community colleges become the newest battlefield in the war on terror.
Leah Samuel is a journalist based in Pittsburgh.