For the Jobless, Community College Offers a Safety Net

Noah Berger for The Chronicle

Alley Alvarez didn't plan to go to college, but when she couldn't find a job, she enrolled at Columbia College, in Sonora, Calif. Social services such as free on-campus day care for her son, Julian, make being a student possible.
February 06, 2011 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Alley Alvarez didn't want to go to college, and her parents didn't want her to go either. They told her she should focus on earning money and taking care of her 3-year-old son.

But after Ms. Alvarez quit a job cleaning houses last summer, she...

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