ERIC Number: ED295698
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Community College Mission: Access or Anarchy?
Reitano, Joanne R.
The mission of the two-year college is complex, controversial, and frought with internal contradictions. From the start, the two-year college has existed outside the mainstream of higher education, deemed neither serious nor selective with a curriculum paralleling the high school rather than the four-year college. Efforts to enhance the position of the community college through curriculum reform will need to take into account key ways in which community colleges differ from four-year colleges. First, community colleges tend to enroll large percentages of low-income and minority college students. Second, community colleges tend to be urban institutions, with closer links to the surrounding community than most four-year institutions. Third, community colleges were designed as commuter rather than residential colleges. And finally, the central mission of the community college has shifted from liberal education to career education. In light of these distinguishing characteristics, efforts at curriculum reform should use the liberal arts and sciences to: (1) examine the class, racial, ethnicity, general, and urban issues that will play pivotal roles in shaping students' futures; (2) enrich and enliven the mastery of basic skills while preparing students for college-level courses; (3) break down the perceived dichotomy between liberal arts and business curricula; and (4) enhance the academic quality of life for the commuting student and the community. Educators must insist on using the liberal arts to extend opportunities for social mobility and personal development to students who need remediation, who want careers, and who dream of equality. (MDB)
Descriptors: College Role, Community Colleges, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Enrichment, Curriculum Problems, Demography, Educational Needs, General Education, Instructional Innovation, Liberal Arts, Nontraditional Students, Remedial Programs, School Community Relationship, Sciences, Two Year Colleges, Urban Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on General Education and the Two-Year College (Buffalo, NY, April 22-23, 1988).