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Joanne Jacobs

Joanne Jacobs, formerly of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, is a freelance journalist who blogs at

Recent Stories

How Silicon Valley schools are trying to boost lower-income students into high-tech jobs

Internships, contests and engineering coursework give teens from the area’s majority-Latino high schools an entree to STEM careers

Sample results from the College Considerator prototype

How much should you pay for a degree?

A new online tool measures the value of college

Rio Hondo College, a community college near Los Angeles.

Critics question Obama’s free community college idea

Students, experts pick apart the pros and cons of proposal meant to speed up degrees

Competency catches on at community college

Competency-based education isn’t an experiment at Bellevue College near Seattle, writes Paul Bradley on Community College Week. The college’s first CBE program —…

Active learning helps first-gen students

Classes that require active learning — as opposed to listening to lectures — help first-generation and black students, according to a new…

They earned a degree and then …

College students don’t work very hard or learn very much, concluded Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa in their 2011 book, Academically Adrift. How did those students do when…

Learning and rebuilding in Ferguson

The shooting death of Michael Brown sparked peaceful and violent protests in Ferguson, Mo. Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.P. Forbes/AP The…

Community colleges should be free

Following Tennessee’s lead, several states are considering free tuition for community and technical college students. Community Colleges Should Be Free,…

California OKs 4-year degrees at 2-year colleges

Nursing students, from left, Caroline Pantaleon, Yang Liu, Melody Saechao and Christine Crivello practice inserting an IV in Saul Jones’ nursing skills lab class at Contra Costa College in…

For remedial community college students, algebra or statistics?

Pass rates are very low for community college students placed in remedial math, typically a review of elementary algebra. Students are more likely to pass college-level, for-credit statistics than remedial…