My New York Times Piece on Community Colleges

This week’s post: a Valentine to community colleges and their students. You’ll find my latest New York Times article “The Community College-Real College Divide” here at this link. And this: Dr. Jill Biden called it a “must read” on twitter. I hope you like it, and if you’ve got a community college story to share, please do. They’ve touched so very many lives and deserve nothing but respect. Thanks for reading!

25 Responses to My New York Times Piece on Community Colleges

  1. mom February 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Beautifully done, Kristin. I am very proud of you and as an educator very proud of what community colleges have achieved for their students

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Thanks mom. Can I also just add how great it is that my mom always comments on my posts? She’s the best–she always makes me feel heard. Love that.

  2. Andrea Brenner February 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    What an important topic and what a well-written piece… and I say this as an educator! Congrats to my friend Kristin!

  3. Julie February 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    This article is floating around the community college where I work as an instructor.

    I hope to share it with students next week. Thank you.

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Julie. Maybe the students will want to share their experiences on the NYT website. There’s such a variety of voices, it would be great to add some Heartland students.

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 13, 2015 at 8:57 am #

      Julie, might be of interest: NYT started a discussion with students on the article here:

  4. Tori Hall February 12, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Simply: awesome. You nailed this, Kristin.

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 13, 2015 at 12:34 am #

      Thanks Tori.Your mom was exactly the kind of professor that made community colleges so special.

  5. Petra Perkins February 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Great article! Glad to see someone beating this drum. We need to ditch this “academic” vs “non-academic” dichotomy. It is one of the most harmful ideas in education. I started my College 101 class this quarter explaining to my students the very phenomenon you identified in your article. I plan to share your article with them tomorrow in class. I love teaching and working in the community/technical college world. BTW, I also think it’s great that your mom comments on your posts!

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 13, 2015 at 12:33 am #

      Hi Petra, thanks for the nice feedback. Please tell your students I said hi and I meant every single thing I said about how amazing they are–and how proud they should be of themselves. Also, have them post their comments on the NYT website–it would be great to see some current student perspectives up there. Enjoy your class and let me know how it goes.

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 13, 2015 at 8:57 am #

      Petra, saw this link on NY Times this morning: a guide for talking about the article in class:

  6. mom February 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    quite a conversation you have started, honey. I am really enjoying following it.

  7. Brad Phillips February 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    Can I mail this to the entire MD General Assembly?! Great article. – Brad

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 13, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      Absolutely! It would be great to see it shared. Proud to support team MD Community Colleges.

  8. Kathy February 16, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Dr. Biden was right! I came to your blog after reading your article and it is a must read!

    My blog post today, Why Community Colleges Are the Secret Ingredient in Career Change, offers another reason these schools are treasures.

    Nicely done!

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Kathy–Thanks, and back at you! Just read and tweeted your piece, very nice. ! Hope the secret gets out and the rest of America understands what community colleges can offer them.

  9. J.S. February 17, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Thank you for this timely commentary. I am one of those community college graduates whose successful career includes an engineering degree and medical school.

    • Kristin O'Keefe February 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi J.S. – Thank you for sharing–I hope your community college knows your story. (I bet they’d love to share it to inspire current students.) Best, Kristin

  10. Mona Levine February 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Beautifully written, Kristen. I’m proud to have worked with you.

  11. Colleen Hopkins February 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm #


    I really appreciated reading this. You bring up such valid points in a very articulate manner in this piece!

  12. Virginia Downie March 8, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    Thanks Kristin for your words. I am a retired Community College teacher and have often called them “life saving stations.” I taught about 10,000 students a Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga CA. Now that I am retired I keep a website and sign the praises of education and community college specifically–among other interests. Thanks again. I have written a flier in which I directly quote you. I hope you don’t mind. The flier goes out to thousands in the state of VA (where I now spend half the year) and is about to be published on my website–in about 20 minutes HA! (

    • Kristin O'Keefe March 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      That’s terrific, Virginia! Absolutely, love that you’re singing the praises of our community colleges–and I’m glad to be part of it. I’ll look up your website.

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