ERIC Number: ED270175
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-17
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Community Colleges: Aid or Hindrance to Socioeconomic Attainment?
Focusing on the controversy over whether community colleges aid or hinder their students' socioeconomic attainment, this paper aims to definitively determine the effects of these institutions and to explore how they produce those effects. The first section critically synthesizes research comparing the community college and other postsecondary institutions with respect to their impact on educational attainment, economic success, and higher education access. It concludes that baccalaureate aspirants entering community colleges attain less, both educationally and economically, than do comparable four-year college entrants, but that college entrants seeking subbaccalaureate vocational training seem to attain more education if they enter a community college than a four-year college. The second section of the paper examines the process by which community college entrants attain less education than four-year college entrants, focusing on high attrition rates within community colleges, difficulties experienced by community college graduates in transferring to four-year colleges, and attrition after transfer. The paper concludes that even controlling for differences in students' pre-college characteristics, the community college is clearly less able than the four-year college to facilitate the educational and economic attainment of the baccalaureate-oriented student. (Author/RO)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Attendance, College Students, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Educational Assessment, Educational Attainment, Educational Status Comparison, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Social Mobility, Socioeconomic Status, Student Attrition, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).