ERIC Number: ED326261
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Responding to Student Diversity: A Community College Perspective. Minority Achievement Counting on You.
Richardson, Richard C., Jr.
More than half of entering community college students lack the basic skills required to do college-level academic work. Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians disproportionately rely on community colleges as their point of initial access to higher education, making the issue of preparation inherently tied to factors of race and ethnicity. In some areas, community colleges enroll 40% of all high school graduates, but 80% of the minority graduates. The prevailing community college approach to student preparation issues involves a deficiency model in which remediation is emphasized as the dominant strategy for bringing everyone to minimum standards. Also needed is an achievement model that challenges faculty to design an environment where diversity is valued and individuals are inspired to build on their strengths to attain maximum potential. The task of implementing achievement models in institutions historically committed to access is, above all, a task of managing culture. While culture management is more time-consuming and difficult than the introduction of technology, it is the only approach through which faculty can be influenced to augment deficiency views and practices. A complicating factor is that the two models will need to coexist in most community colleges for the foreseeable future. Efforts to manage culture will be aided by the opportunity to employ new staff as those faculty who represent founding values and beliefs retire in large numbers over the next decade. A flow-chart model of institutional adaptation to student diversity and a 28-item bibliography are included. (JMC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Aptitude, Academic Aspiration, Access to Education, Affirmative Action, Change Strategies, College Outcomes Assessment, College Preparation, Community Colleges, Diversity (Student), Educational Assessment, Educational Environment, Ethnic Groups, Minority Groups, Models, Organizational Change, Remedial Instruction, Student Attitudes, Student College Relationship, Student Recruitment, Teacher Recruitment, Two Year Colleges
ECS Distribution Center, 707 17th Street, Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427. (Order Number MP-90-2, $5.00 per copy).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.; National Center for Postsecondary Governance and Finance, Tempe, AZ.