ERIC Number: ED462095
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Four-Year College Students' Use of the Community College: A Middle-Class Takeover? ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Townsend, Barbara K.
This paper questions the effects of middle-class student enrollment on the historical institutional mission of community colleges--offering access to higher education to groups who might otherwise not be able to attend college. Because higher education is viewed as a public good that also contributes to individual socioeconomic mobility, the two-year college has been traditionally supported as a vehicle for opening up access to higher education. As a result, some have asserted that the community college's first priority should be to serve students not typically accepted into higher education. The author argues that recent admission and curricular trends are attracting students who do not fit this profile. The article lists high school dual enrollment programs, four-year college concurrent enrollment programs, and "reverse transfer" trends as evidence of these changing enrollment patterns. The paper argues that this trend can jeopardize access for other groups when enrollment is limited. Community college leaders need to decide whether the mission of meeting any and all community needs takes precedence over its mission of providing education for those who would not normally participate in higher education. (Contains 26 references.) (NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Richmond, VA, November 15-18, 2001).