Roxbury Community College is facing a crucial moment in its life. Its leadership has changed, and it finds itself in a classic tension between local control and state oversight.
RCC has appeared disorganized and a harbor of low expectations in recent years. But it unquestionably remains a key local resource in a time when the college degree is now considered a basic employment requirement, the way a high school diploma used to be. RCC is an important stepping stone, and an affordable option in a collegiate world largely devoted to charging ever more obscene prices for ever less valuable degrees.
Gov. Deval Patrick believes in the power of education in a personal, visceral way, as anyone who has seen him visiting a school can attest. His call to consolidate and reform community college governance comes from the right place.
But local input is important and righteous as well. The state would be wise to hold open meetings to hear what local residents need and want from their community college. And RCC would be wise to have official representation at more community events, including in Mission Hill.
The future of RCC is the future of a lot of young people in this neighborhood.