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[Susan notes: I like the hope these letter writers offer. I also like the fact that they reveal that community colleges have always welcomed "the unprepared." Having taught at a community college years ago, I can testify to this. The student range of skill and ability was as wide as in any high school. All that meant then is the same thing it means now: the teacher has the obligation to teach who's there.]

Published in New York Times
09/08/2006

To the editor


“At 2-Year Colleges, Students Eager but Unprepared’’ (front page, Sept. 2) could have been written about me. I hope that those struggling students take some heart from my experience.



I graduated from high school with a combined verbal and math SAT score of less than 800. Enrolling in junior college, I had to enroll in arithmetic and to relearn addition, subtraction and fractions. Although I took college-level English courses, I still had to go to the study skills center to keep up with the class.



Ultimately, I got through calculus with a grade of B and a tutor. I went on to complete two master’s degrees, and have held a well-paying job with the Florida Legislature for the last 20 years.



My advice to those students is to take heart and keep trying. Junior colleges work!



Linda Vaughn

Tallahassee, Fla.



To the Editor:



You focus on the lack of preparedness of community college students.



I graduated from a community college. What stands out for me in your article is that community colleges educate everybody, prepared or not, whether they are accomplished high school students or homemakers starting college for the first time.



Not all might end up succeeding (though many do), but all have a chance.



Few elite colleges can honestly claim that they offer this to their students.



Rose Hart

Washougal, Wash.

multiple authors


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