ERIC Number: ED383368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Issues of Class and Culture in Today's Community Colleges.
Rendon, Laura I.
New researchers on community colleges, such as Rob Rhoads, Estela Bensimon, Bill Tierney, James Valadez, Berta Laden, and Romero Jalomo, are exploring new conceptual frameworks to guide thinking about the transformation of community colleges from mere open-access institutions into colleges that make a difference in the lives of students who have nowhere else to turn. Although current policies and practices are very entrenched, this research might come to influence the next generation of college leaders. Rhoads presents the notion of multiculturalism as a conceptual framework by which to restructure the colleges, positing border knowledge, or that which resides outside of the canon, as a legitimate form of knowledge which should be recognized and rewarded. Valadez finds that the community college is organized to meet the needs of community employers as opposed to the needs of students, while Jalomo and Laden examine the experiences of Latino students and the effects on their learning and persistence. This new research points to a conflict between institutional survival and what is in the hearts and minds of students. Ultimately, if colleges merely offer the opportunity to learn vocational skills, they fail to fulfill the real promise of the community college: that even students from non-academic backgrounds can attain an education that goes beyond performing menial tasks and obeying authority. (BCY)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995). For related documents, see JC 950 291-296.