Academic journal article College Composition and Communication

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education

Academic journal article College Composition and Communication

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education

Article excerpt

Rose's book illuminates the issues of class in a way that is markedly different than the other three works included in this review. He asserts "the stories in this book affirm the transformational potential of the college classroom, the occu- pational workshop, the tutoring center, the mentoring relationship" (xii). While the danger here is that Rose will sing praises exclusively, I was fascinated to see he is open about the problems inherent in the community college structure, including: the push-pull between basic skills programs, vocational programs and academic transfer programs; the powerfully chaotic lives of numerous stu- dents; chronic underfunding both of the institutions and of individual students; and a false hierarchy within higher education that replicates these challenges.

Using student voices, supported by a well-constructed context of the larger issues with reliable data and information, Rose highlights the community col- leges and basic skills programs as locations for students to alter their lives, to reach for goals they didn't even know existed when they began their educational journey. He reminds all of us that education brings richness to individual lives that cannot, and perhaps should not be measured by completed certificates and programs. The power and elegance of higher education is brought to the surface through the language of the students he interacts with and shares. …

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