Richland Community College announced today that it will join #CCMonth, a monthlong grassroots education and stigma-busting campaign coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The primary goals of #CCmonth are to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges, and to bust longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.

“The past year has proved beyond any doubt that our college is absolutely vital to our community and our state,” said Dr. Cristobal Valdez, President, Richland Community College. “#CCMonth is an opportunity to reach out into both and to demonstrate not only that community colleges should be the first choice of many collegegoers, but why community colleges are first-class institutions that are vital to our local and state economies.”

Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all people. They are the primary educators of life-saving nursing and other healthcare professionals among many others. They also serve as an onramp to bachelor’s, master’s, and higher-level degrees for many students, and particularly for the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse students. They guarantee fair admissions for all students. They offer supports for adult students who must work to support their families. And without community colleges, many American students would not be able to access higher education at all.

Despite all this, many American people wrongly believe that community colleges are inferior institutions, and in most states, universities receive significantly more per-student state support than community colleges do. These negative attitudes and disparities support and encourage ongoing socioeconomic and demographic disadvantages and inequities in the United States.

“Community colleges are engines of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee. “They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”

Learn more about the state of your community college and the impact that Richland Community College is making on our students and in our community during our State of the College Luncheon and Tour event Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Shilling Community Education Center. Luncheon tickets are $15/person or $100/table of 8. Limited seating is available. Purchase tickets at www.richland.edu/stateofthecollege or by contacting Debbie Ellison at 217.875.7200 ext. 6350 or emailing dellison@richland.edu.