Study: 40% of community college students take humanities classes

educationdive | March 12, 2019

About 2.8 million community college students took one or more humanities courses in the fall of 2015, according to a new report by Humanities Indicators.More than 1.7 million of those students took an English course, about 700,000 took a history course and as many as 275,000 took a philosophy course. In all, about 40% of community college students took a humanities course in 2015.Nearly half (47%) of the community college population enrolled at a transfer institution, compared to 12% of students who enrolled in a career or technical school. About 1.3 million students at transfer institutions, or about 41%, took a humanities course. Community colleges have seen massive growth in their humanities programs over the past few decades. Between 1987 and 2015, the number of liberal arts associate degrees awarded by community colleges more than tripled, from about 113,300 to 363,500, according to a previous study by the Humanities Indicators. The number of minority students pursuing humanities degrees at community colleges is also increasing, according to a separate Humanities Indicators report. About one-third (32%) of associate degrees in the humanities were awarded to black, Hispanic or Native American students in 2015, up from about 13% in 1989, the first year data was available. More minority students have been receiving associate degrees in the health and science and workforce-oriented fields as well.

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