ERIC Number: ED322972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul-9
Transfer: Major Mission of Community Colleges?
Cross, K. Patricia
Though recent research indicates a stronger sense of purpose and satisfaction among faculty at community colleges relative to four-year institutions, criticism of community colleges for alleged deficiency in facilitating transfer to the four-year schools is widespread. This function however, is only one of the many comprehensive services provided by the community college. Such a comprehensive approach caters to first generation students, those who have previously done poorly as students or workers, those interested in career change and, generally, those who look to the community college as the only adult learning institution prepared to meet their needs as life circumstances change. To focus exclusively, or even primarily on the transfer function as some critics demand, jeopardizes the efficacy of the community college in its other roles. The diverse ends serviced by the more comprehensive philosophy ought not be subordinated to the attainment of the baccalaureate. Access to the community college, which includes flexibility in terms of points of entry and exit, must be maintained. Transfer cannot be maximized without doing some damage to comprehensiveness, which is not to say that transfer cannot be made more effective within the context of comprehensiveness. Community colleges are not simply the weak link in the transition from high school to college. Given its relative youth, the community college should be left to develop its own unique identity and not be limited in scope owing to its relation to the four-year colleges. Restrictions on movement within the community college system may ultimately discourage student participation and impede experimentation. The transfer function is an important role, but is one among many played by community colleges. (GFW)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Access to Education, Articulation (Education), College Role, College Transfer Students, Community Colleges, Educational Mobility, First Generation College Students, Higher Education, Open Enrollment, Role of Education, Terminal Students, Transfer Policy, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference on Leadership Development of the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, "Leadership 2000" (2nd, San Francisco, CA, July 8-11, 1990).