The Community College of the Twenty-First Century.Report as inadecuate

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From their beginnings, community colleges have evolved and continually improved their mission to better serve community residents. Previously, two-year colleges were mainly private institutions, committed to occupational and professional preparation, general education, and academic transfer. After 1965, legislation provided federal funds to colleges, allowing great increases in enrollment. Two-year colleges evolved from mere extensions of high school to collegiate junior colleges, then to complex governance and funding structures, and finally to comprehensive community colleges that emphasize educational quality and diversity. During its early years, the community college's role was unclear, with some emphasizing liberal arts and transfer to four-year institutions, and others focusing on vocational and technical training. Presently, both American and Canadian community colleges are reevaluating their institutional missions, emphasizing open access for everyone--especially disadvantaged groups. They are developing curricula, improving articulation agreements, and addressing governance and funding issues. For the 21st century, the community college's vision is to restructure into a new four-year institution, focus on workforce training, utilize the information highway, pursue partnership opportunities, and enhance access while sustaining academic transfer, vocational training, community service, and special needs. Contains 35 references. (YKH)

Descriptors: Access to Education, Articulation (Education), Community Colleges, Curriculum Development, Diversity (Institutional), Educational Development, Educational Finance, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Planning, Foreign Countries, Futures (of Society), General Education, Institutional Advancement, Institutional Autonomy, Institutional Mission, Institutional Role, Job Training, Organizational Objectives, Partnerships in Education, Transfer Programs, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education

Author: Fusch, Gene E.


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