ERIC Number: ED263937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov-19
Reference Count: N/A
Community College Education in the New Millenium.
Smith, Joshua L.
A decade ago, California's community colleges were the nation's undisputed leaders of community college education--unparalleled in access, quality, diversity, and size. Today, these institutions are deeply concerned with inadequate and unstable funding, declining enrollments, skepticism about the quality of programs, and students' lack of collegiate skills. A look at the history and development of the community college offers some enlightenment regarding the present situation, in that many of the same questions regarding mission and function have been asked throughout the 75-year history of the community college in California. Adding to the confusion about community college mission are governance structures that harken back to the days of affiliation with high schools; plus a board of governors with awesome responsibilities and limited authority; a chancellor's office that is completely controlled by the state's civil service bureaucracy; and a vast number of college presidents, district chancellors, trustees, and special interest groups adding to the administrative hodgepodge. The development of a "system" of community colleges in California could be promoted by the following: (1) the state should retain plenary control, making broad decisions regarding mission, expectations, intersegmental relations, finance mechanisms, and revenue appropriations; (2) the community college system should have a shared governance structure, with the board of governors providing leadership, direction, and oversight; and the colleges operating under districts/regions, being primarily responsible to their communities and the board of governors; (3) each college should devise a charter outlining the participation of faculty and students in institutional governance; (4) policies and procedures concerning faculty tenure, evaluation, ranking, and qualifications should be modified; and (5) departmental and college curriculum committees should propose, initiate, and design all new courses and programs. Educational quality in the community colleges can also be promoted through increased emphasis on academic standards, partnership and collaboration among all levels of California education, and renewed concern with providing a liberal arts education, while affirming the commitment to vocational preparation. (EJV)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, College Faculty, College Planning, College Role, Community Colleges, Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Objectives, Educational Quality, Faculty Promotion, General Education, Governance, Humanities Instruction, Liberal Arts, Statewide Planning, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California