ERIC Number: ED428800
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Multiple Missions of Community Colleges: Conflictory or Complementary. Community College Research Center Occasional Paper.
Bailey, Thomas R.; Averianova, Irina E.
This report was developed in response to the conflicts that have arisen over the mission of the community college. Critics of community colleges claim that the colleges have become unfocused and lost their way in an attempt to be all things to all people, while advocates state that the colleges play a broad, but essential, educational, social, and economic role in society. The paper is intended to clarify some of the underlying assumptions and suggest a framework for analyzing the optimal set of missions for the colleges. Descriptions of the current arguments about the missions of community colleges are presented, including the collegiate or academic function, vocational preparation, economic development activities, remediation, and community service. The authors then assert that integrating several of these functions at a single institution benefits the colleges by allowing them to take advantage of possible complementarities and economies of scope. Specific advantages may include improved coordination between degree programs and customized training, cross-registration among students, and improved competitiveness. However, these functions are in conflict if they are based on insufficient resources or are not properly integrated. Each institution needs to decide how to focus its efforts within a framework of comprehensiveness. Contains 46 references. (CAK)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Role, Community Colleges, Curriculum, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Institutional Mission, Mission Statements, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th St., Box 174, New York, NY 10027; Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Community Coll. Research Center.