Cape Cod needs Cape Cod Community College

College competition starts in just four months

4Cs provides services no university would offer

This week Cape Cod Community College announced an accelerated seven-week home health aide certificate program. Unveiled in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, this program is the epitome of what our community college does well. See that story below.

4Cs shines at workforce training

Home health aide positions are entry level positions but are also a “gateway” to workers interested in advancing in the health care profession. Once a student completes the accelerated certificate program, he or she can go to work in health care and also obtain additional part-time training from 4Cs to earn additional certifications or perhaps even a degree in nursing.

This program is a terrific example of the unique services 4Cs offers to our workforce. I doubt one would ever find a program like this offered by a four-year university in our neighborhood.

New airframe/power plant program

4Cs’ President John Cox’s signature airframe/power plant program is another fine example of where the community college can shine. Training the Cape workforce for global job opportunities and creating a “destination” program for those outside the region, this aviation tech program will put the college on the map and, eventually, help stabilize enrollment a bit. See story below.

Bridgewater State rising

Bridgewater State University will commence classes at its South Yarmouth campus in four months’ time. A very big fish has now entered the Cape’s higher education ecosystem.

BSU is not coming to Yarmouth to kill Cape Cod Community College. It’s coming here to run an excellent program. The problem is that, as the big fish enters the ecosystem, it eats food and breathes oxygen to an extent that may harm or kill the smaller fish in the pond.

Despite both 4Cs' and BSU’s protests that they’re not competitors, the fact that 4Cs' own staff posted a Facebook rant about students “putting off their CCCC fall enrollment, choosing to work now, and in January move to a nearby four-year school when it opens its doors in Yarmouth” proves that the competition has already started.

No matter how much the two colleges talk about partnership, they are competitors.

We don’t ascribe any evil intent to Bridgewater. However BSU’s timing could not be worse for 4Cs as it battles a trifecta of afflictions – sharply declining enrollment, weak marketing and an unattractive, dated campus.

The game’s afoot

If 4Cs brings a laser sharp focus to its workforce training mission, it can survive whatever Bridgewater brings to the game. As stated above, BSU is here to run an excellent program – not to kill Cape Cod Community College.

Last week President Cox told us about a degree partnership “coming soon” between the two schools for a degree in Early Childhood Education. With both state and federal politicians talking about "universal pre-school”, this is a prescient offering by BSU and 4Cs – and a good example of how a genuine partnership could work. However if this is the only joint program offered in January we’d consider the “partnership” rather illusive.

Poaching faculty from the competition

Early signs of trouble would be Bridgewater poaching faculty and administrators from 4Cs, offering 100 level courses at the South Yarmouth campus or not adding more degree partnerships before the campus opens in January.

It is unthinkable to consider Cape Cod without its community college. Our workforce needs CCCC’s creative, Cape-centric programs. The financially challenged need the bargain that is Cape Cod Community College. The non-traditional student needs the mentoring of a student-centric faculty.

The Cape needs its community college. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on