January 31, 2004 - Letter to the Editor: Dayton Daily News: Peace Corps recruiting effort distorted

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: January 2004 Peace Corps Headlines: January 11, 2004 - Dayton Daily News: Peace Corps opens up to younger volunteers : January 31, 2004 - Letter to the Editor: Dayton Daily News: Peace Corps recruiting effort distorted

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps recruiting effort distorted

Peace Corps recruiting effort distorted

Peace Corps recruiting effort distorted

It is unfortunate that a partnership between the Peace Corps and community colleges that has the potential to help so many people - in the United States and abroad - has been inaccurately reported by the Dayton Daily News (`Peace Corps opens up to younger volunteers,' Jan. 10).

Of even greater concern is the story's not-so-subtle denigration of students who attend community colleges, almost 11 million students each year.

Reporter Russell Carollo gets his facts wrong at the beginning, then draws specious conclusions. He notes that a new campaign to recruit selected community college graduates to Peace Corps service will `open the door for younger Americans' to serve overseas. In fact, the Peace Corps has been open to students who earned an associate degree for years, and many have served. In addition, the average age of community-college students is 29.

The reporter next includes critical statements related to the recruitment of `borderline candidates' and the 2002 expulsion of some volunteers from Russia. Neither of these activities had anything to do with community-college students, but a negative connection is implied.

He then refers to the `lower academic requirements' to attend community college, ignoring the fact that the colleges routinely and rigorously assess entering students to ensure that they are prepared to do college-level work.

Most egregious of all, he states that community-college enrollments are 57 percent women, then proceeds to write about the past vulnerability of Peace Corps volunteers as though the two things are related. This is unconscionable and unprofessional reporting.

Enrollments at community colleges - which comprise almost half of all U.S. undergraduates - are at record levels for very good reasons. Our colleges provide affordable education at a time of soaring tuitions, and they are highly responsive in educating graduates in career fields that are much in demand.

That includes 50 percent of new registered nurses, close to 80 percent of law enforcement officers and firefighters, and a growing percentage of information technology and other technical specialists. Little wonder, then, that host countries internationally are specifically requesting graduates with the very skills community colleges provide.

These are the real reasons the Peace Corps is reaching out to community colleges, and our Association is pleased to help give our mature, well-educated students this exciting new opportunity. It is unfortunate that the DDN has chosen to distort and sensationalize the real and positive story here.

George R. Boggs Washington, D.C.

Mr. Boggs is president of the American Association of Community Colleges.

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Story Source: Letter to the Editor: Dayton Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Community Colleges



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