ERIC Number: ED202279
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Quality in Higher Education: A Community College Perspective.
Priest, Bill J.
A perspective on quality in higher education suggests that standards and assumptions about quality that have been traditionally accepted for upper level colleges are not applicable to community colleges. It is proposed that quality standards be established for community colleges to reflect their unique mission and goals. The most distinctive characteristic of the community college movement has been the absence of admission standards. It is suggested that this policy has provided access to higher education for all Americans, and has been the primary contributing factor to charges of low quality at community colleges. Research has indicated that selectivity in admissions is highly correlated with reputation for quality in higher education. It is noted that lack of admissions standards does not indicate a lack of concern about exit standards. The community college's comprehensiveness in academic offerings and the student-centered focus on teaching have also been criticized. Views that quality is linked to either specialization, an emphasis on research, prestige, or physical facilities are questioned, and it is proposed that there is a need to recognize that quality is rather a continuing process of critical self-examination that focuses on the institution's contribution to the student's intellectual and personal development. Student-centeredness, a focus on teaching, and responsiveness to change are characteristic of the community college and are part of the new view of quality for higher education. It is emphasized that the students and missions of community colleges are different than those of upper level colleges and that quality standards need to be somewhat different as well. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.; Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. Inservice Education Program.