ERIC Number: ED275368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Toward More Precise Measures of College Contributions. Southern Association of Community and Junior Colleges Occasional Paper, Volume 5, Number 1.
Cohen, Arthur M.
A major reason for the paucity of usable data on the contributions and effectiveness of community colleges is that the definitions on which the data are based are imprecise. Colleges' contributions might be better understood if their functions were reconceptualized. The collegiate dimension of community colleges (i.e, that portion of the curriculum stemming from the liberal arts and the services designed to promote transfer) does not resemble the contemplative, text-centered courses that are held as the university ideal, but instead is oriented towards general education. While the collegiate dimension of the community college serves the general education function well, it is inappropriate to characterize this curriculum as a transfer program. The fact that a class carries transfer credit is an artifact of college accreditation, staffing, and financing, having little to do with the perceptions, goals, or intentions of the students who are enrolled. To differentiate curriculum content from student intent, the curriculum could be characterized as comprising liberal arts (i.e., science, social science, humanities, and fine and performing arts) and skills (i.e., basic, recreational, occupational) courses. Students' intentions can be determined by asking the students to indicate whether they are attending college at this time to: (1) prepare for transfer to a four-year college or university; (2) gain skills necessary to enter a new occupation; (3) gain skills necessary to retrain, remain current, or advance in a current occupation; or (4) satisfy a personal interest. By separating questions of curriculum content from student intent, both may be assessed more accurately. (LAL)
Descriptors: Academic Education, College Curriculum, College Role, Community Colleges, Curriculum, Data Collection, Definitions, Educational Objectives, General Education, Liberal Arts, Research Problems, Student Educational Objectives, Transfer Programs, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Editor, SACJC Occasional Paper Series, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, VA 22901 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Association of Community and Junior Colleges.