ERIC Number: ED337228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Conflicting Voices in the Definition of the Junior/Community College.
Frye, John H.
The history of the first 40 years of the community college movement was characterized by wide variations between the professional interests of educators and the educational interests of the public, with professional rhetoric attempting to minimize any apparent conflict. By 1930, the leadership elite of the junior college movement was comprised mainly of American Association of Junior College figures and university professors of education. While this group employed a rhetoric of public service, their intention was to associate junior colleges with secondary education and to emphasize the terminal function of junior college as a way of supporting the naturally hierarchical structure of society. The public, however, supported the junior college as a source of upward mobility through access to higher education. Comparing the terminal education policies promoted by the national leadership with the actual practice of junior colleges reveals another marked incongruity, this time between leadership rhetoric and the reality of public junior colleges. While the leadership was almost uniform in insisting that the primary purpose of the junior college should be to educate semiprofessionals who would not go on to the baccalaureate, the college curriculum invariably emphasized the first 2 years of university work over terminal education and junior college students were transferring in great numbers. These realities drew strong criticism from the university community, who attacked the poor quality of teaching and were hostile to competition for freshman and sophomore students. However, neither the university critics or the junior college proponents of terminal education had much effect on the course of junior college development. (JMC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A