ERIC Number: ED359997
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A New Paradigm for Community Colleges: A Strategic Planning Issue.
Barr, Robert B.
California's community colleges face tremendous challenges, from diminishing fiscal resources to increasing student diversity. To meet these challenges, community colleges may have to transform how they think about themselves. Organizational restructuring in two-year colleges requires the adoption of a new paradigm about the nature of community colleges. The key assumption in the existing paradigm is that the purpose of community colleges is "to provide instruction." The proposed new paradigm is based on the declaration that "to produce learning" is the purpose of community colleges. Under the old paradigm, community colleges are judged not on the basis of their output, but on the basis of inputs. The focus on instruction, rather than on learning, has made educational innovation suspect. Once this key assumption of the old paradigm is recognized, it becomes easier to recognize and undo the corollary assumptions. Under the old paradigm, faculty were primarily teachers providing classroom-based instruction. Under the new paradigm, faculty become designers and managers of learning experiences and environments. The new paradigm calls on colleges to judge their success not on the quality of instruction but on the quality of learning, allowing for fulfillment of the student outcomes accountability movement. Under the old paradigm, productivity is defined as cost per hour of instruction per student, while under the new paradigm, it is defined as cost per unit of learning per student. A table lists and compares assumptions of the old and new paradigms in the seven categories of mission, purposes, criteria for success, structures, means to ends, nature of roles, and learning context. (Author/PAA)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, College Outcomes Assessment, College Planning, College Role, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Educational Change, Learning Theories, Models, Organizational Change, Outcomes of Education, Role of Education, School Restructuring, Strategic Planning, Teacher Behavior, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California Community Colleges
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Research Conference