ERIC Number: EJ795337
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-3
Reference Count: N/A
Community College No Longer?
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v25 n4 p22-23 Apr 2008
Community colleges have long been the destination of choice for immigrants seeking English-language skills, older nontraditional students seeking flexible class schedules, and students needing remediation to fill the gaps left by substandard K-12 schools. Nevertheless, many community colleges have expanded transfer-focused offerings in recent years, attracting students in other states and even across the globe with classes equivalent to courses offered by top-ranked universities. Some community colleges have taken their missions one step further, developing bachelor's degree programs that have sparked an intense debate over whether "mission creep" is setting into many community colleges that are dropping "community" from their name and slowly adding more and more bachelor's programs. Many scholars openly question whether some community colleges will be distinguishable from four-year colleges as two-year college administrators, faculty, and students begin to promote the idea that their community college is a "junior" college no longer. If mission creep sets in, what will happen to underprivileged inner-city populations to whom the community college is the one hope for gaining the skills to launch and maintain a prosperous career? What will happen to the new immigrant who will no longer be able to walk through the community college open door to gain basic language skills? It is these questions among others that have sparked a debate over a bill pending in the Illinois legislature that would allow Harper College in Palatine to offer two pilot baccalaureate programs in public safety administration/homeland security and technology management. The bill, HB 1434, was passed by the House last April and is now awaiting action in the Senate, and Harper President Robert L. Breuder says though Harper has been climbing a "steep mountain" in trying to get the bill passed and signed into law for the past five years now, they now stand the a chance of having this bill finally cleared.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, State Legislation, Bachelors Degrees, College Programs, Institutional Mission, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois