In the past when the economy weakened, enrollment in community colleges increased as the unemployed sought new skills (“Tumbling Community-College Enrollment Highlights Pandemic’s Broad Impact,” The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 23). But things are different this time.
Uncertainty about which skills will pay off when the economy rebounds likely is the No. 1 reason. But in California at least, the absence of internet service and lack of a reliable laptop also played a big role. Whether this decline will continue is unclear because no one knows for sure how long it will take after a vaccine is available until companies begin hiring again.
The trend is disturbing since community colleges are a bargain for those wanting to use the credits as a ramp to bachelor’s degrees and for those wanting to learn new marketable skills.
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