ERIC Number: EJ708605
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: N/A
Community Colleges in a Perfect Storm
Boggs, George R.
Change, v36 n6 p6 Nov-Dec 2004
It is both the best of times and the worst of times for America's community colleges. In the 100 years since their creation, these colleges have spread across the United States to become the largest sector of higher education, representing nearly 1,200 regionally accredited institutions within commuting distance of over 90 percent of the population. Student enrollment has grown to over 6.5 million students enrolled for credit--almost half (45 percent) of the total number of undergraduates in the United States. When noncredit students are added in, more than 11.5 million students take classes at community colleges each year. With their open-door admissions policy, the colleges are often described as the people's or democracy's colleges and are widely credited with opening access to higher education to the most diverse student body in the history of higher education. As a uniquely American innovation in postsecondary learning, community colleges are widely emulated in countries around the globe. The article concludes community colleges are not only the most affordable institutions of higher education for individual students; they are also the most cost-effective for taxpayers. It is time that policymakers at state and federal levels come to understand that community colleges cannot continue to do more with less and maintain the open access and affordability for which they were created.
Descriptors: Postsecondary Education, Community Colleges, Enrollment Trends, Access to Education, Educational Finance, Cost Effectiveness
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States