Community colleges are the higher ed pathway for many immigrant youth. The latest estimate found (for 2003-2004) shows that one about a quarter of the nation’s 6.5 million degree seeking community college students are immigrants.
Quincy College in Quincy and Plymouth, Massachusetts is an example. The municipally affiliated college serves approximately 5,500 students. The college draws a diversity of students from the greater Boston area as well as 100 countries around the world.. It offers 34 associate degree programs and 19 certificate programs. The college plans to expand into a four-year college. An admissions official told me that enrolling foreign born students was extremely satisfying. Barriers such as unauthorized status were heart wrenching.
Quincy College students ranked #1 as top salary earners in Massachusetts and New England across two-year public colleges for the second year in a row. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, Quincy College students ranked #1 as top salary earners in Massachusetts and New England across two-year public colleges.
From a study of immigrants and higher education:
A study of the 25,173 students in the freshman class at the City University of New York (CUNY) system in 1997 found that 59.9% of the foreign-born students began in an associate’s degree program. Among the foreign-born, a greater proportion of first-time students who attended high school outside the United States began CUNY in an associate’s program (66.5%) than those who attended high school in it (58.5%).