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ERIC Number: EJ794346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
America's Secret Educational Weapon: Community Colleges
Magrath, C. Peter
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n9 p640-642 May 2008
The U.S. has a powerful weapon in its educational arsenal: its community colleges. Yet these institutions, according to the author, are so often overlooked in discussions of the future of U.S. society and the U.S. work force that they might as well be deemed "top secret." More than 1,200 community colleges enroll some 47% of all undergraduates. Each year community colleges enroll 6.5 million students in credit courses and another 5 million in valuable noncredit learning experiences. Nearly half of all baccalaureate degree recipients in the U.S. first attended a community college. Despite these extremely large numbers, many leaders and faculty members at four-year colleges and universities and many secondary school counselors engage in a subtle put-down of community colleges. A patronizing attitude is all too common in the view that these institutions are fine for less talented or less well-off individuals, who deserve some educational opportunity even if it is "just" at a community college. In this article, the author suggests that in the highly economically competitive 21st century, the U.S. needs to be fully armed educationally, and that all parts of the system are essential. Without strong and educationally challenging elementary and secondary schools and without strong collegiate education--both two- and four-year--America will not compete successfully in this new century. (Contains 1 note.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A