ERIC Number: ED466244
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
The Potential of Community Colleges as Bridges to Opportunity for the Disadvantaged: Can It Be Achieved on a Large Scale?
This paper analyzes the role the community college plays as a bridge to opportunity for the working poor and economically disadvantaged. Because educating the disadvantaged is expensive and often under-funded--particularly in the area of basic or remedial education--many community colleges opt to focus on educating more advantaged students in programs popular with employers and policy makers. This paper suggests that the delivery methods for developmental classes be retooled, particularly in light of the high dropout rate in these programs. The author addresses the following issues: the career pathways approach to developmental education, the reasons why more community colleges have not adopted this approach, and the potential benefits to community colleges of rethinking developmental offerings and other programs for disadvantaged students according to the career pathways model. Table 1 examines the digital divide in light of wage and salary differences for unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled, and professional technical jobs. The differences in salary and wages range from $7.52 an hour for a medical orderly/attendant to $57,000 a year for a mechanical engineer. Table 2 examines career pathways program features, from Workplace Basics 1 to Associate of Science degrees. Contains two tables and six figures. (Contains 32 references.) (NB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Community Colleges, Compensatory Education, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Opportunities, Educationally Disadvantaged, Institutional Role, Job Training, Low Income Groups, Nontraditional Students, Poverty, Poverty Programs, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education, Working Poor
For full text: http://www.iuc.edu/cuppa/gci.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Chicago. Great Cities Inst.
Note: Some of the insights in this paper came from research the author conducted as a part of a team organized by the Workforce Strategy Center and funded by the Ford and Irvine Foundations.