ERIC Number: ED444613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Selected Policy Issues Facing the 21st Century Community College.
Townsend, Barbara K.
The paper discusses some policy issues facing community colleges in the 21st century: remedial education, K-16 initiatives, and workforce preparation. Identifying social needs and then determining appropriate policies to address them happens within an historical and cultural context. Within our capitalistic and democratic society, four cultural or social values dominate in determining educational policy: choice, quality, efficiency, and equity. Realizing that these values sometimes conflict with one another will help community college leaders better understand why some policies arouse so much controversy. The provision of remedial education at the college level results from the two social values of equity (access) and quality (excellence), two values that are often seen as"mutually exclusive." Policies regarding K-16 initiatives reflect the cultural values of efficiency (easing the transition from high school to college and quality concerns over the rigor of dual enrollment courses). The primary social value behind legislation that allows for two-year colleges to be providers of short-term workforce training designed to result in a job is efficiency or the desire to "reduce duplication and expenditures for operating workforce development programs and services." As much as this kind of legislation benefits two-year colleges financially, there is some risk that the legislation will indirectly lead to an undermining of the community college's transfer mission because of a preponderance of short-term training programs. (Contains 12 references.) (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Alabama Community College Leadership Academy (Tuscaloosa, AL, July 2000).