Who's in the Community of Community Colleges?

Authors: Diane Snediker*, U.S. Bureau Of the Census, Laura Nixon, U.S. Bureau of the Census
Topics: Regional Geography
Keywords: Education, Community College, American Community Survey, Post-Secondary, Demographic
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Community colleges are conceived to serve the communities in which they are located, and this research set out to discover whether there are significant differences between areas near community colleges and those farther away. We used the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) postsecondary schools shapefile and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Supplemental Colleges and Universities shapefile to determine college locations, and block-level American Community Survey (ACS) data to examine the demographic characteristics of the communities near them. We examined populations within 15 and 25 miles of community colleges, baccalaureate colleges and universities, both types of postsecondary institutions, and neither, to determine whether there were overall differences in race, education, job type, internet access, poverty, and English ability. As some of these factors also tend to vary based on location, particularly in terms of how urban or rural an area is, we also examined the NCES Locale codes for the blocks. We found that there are differences in the populations and geographic areas near educational institutions and those that are not.

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