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State-level governance of community colleges has become increasingly common in the United States, with governance decisions affecting budget appropriations, rules on how appropriations can be spent, and the missions that colleges must strive to fulfill. The most common elements of state-level community college mission statements over the past 100 years have been general education, college transfer, occupational programs, and non-credit continuing education programs, with community services and remedial education often included. State-level mission statements influence actual college practices by, first, communicating to local college leaders the mandates, desires, and prohibitions of the state and, second, by using the statements as guidelines for funding. These mission statements have changed considerably as competition for funds has increased. Specifically, occupational programs have gained in importance over transfer programs in state priorities, and funding and community services and non-job-related continuing education have long been supported only by user fees. Additionally, based on case studies of governance and funding in 10 states, economic and workforce development programs seem to have become the most important components in the eyes of state decision makers, surpassing transfer and community service. Contains 35 references. (BCY)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Community Colleges, Educational Finance, Educational Trends, Governance, Institutional Mission, Institutional Role, Mission Statements, Organizational Objectives, State Aid, State School District Relationship, Statewide Planning, Two Year Colleges

Autor: Tollefson, Terrence A.


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