Eduardo Porter, a writer for the economic scene for The New York Times, writes about the pros and cons of community colleges. Community colleges present two things to the general public; opportunities for those that are less privileged and a "more equitable and inclusive society" (Porter, 1). Obama, a full supporter of enhancing opportunities involving community colleges, has said that "they are 'essential pathways to the middle class'" (1). While all of this might be true, it does not ensure that these students will finish their schooling. Community colleges do not provide enough security for students involved in their institutions.
According to the Community College Research Center, about 45% of undergraduate students were enrolled in a community college during the 2012-2013 school year. However, of that 45%, only "15% of those students who started at two-year institutions in 2006 completed a degree at a four-year institution within six years" (Community, 2012). When Obama made his address at Pellissippi Community College, he failed to realize that of all the students enrolled there, only 22% graduate the two year program within three years and 8% transfer to a four-year college.
Obama's offer seems like a very feasible and positive drive towards an increased enrollment status. By 2026, the White House is predicting 1.6 million more students to be at community colleges. Whether more students attend community colleges or not is not the issue, but rather how policy makers do not see those that attend these colleges as an equal member of society. They see a higher accomplishment as someone with a bachelor's degree and do not recognize that a majority of young Americans are "not prepared, either financially, cognitively or socially for that kind of education" (Porter, 2). College is being seen as something only for the elite and those that do not participate are not up to American standards.