ERIC Number: EJ873922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
The Promise of Community Colleges
McClenney, Kay M.
Community College Journal, v75 n3 p12-14 Dec 2004-Jan 2005
The American public sees community colleges as high quality institutions, offering access to higher education and job training for everyone. Results from a new national survey confirmed Americans' strong endorsement of the opportunity provided by community colleges, indicating that the colleges are highly valued and integral in American society. In fact, two in three Americans support expanding the community college system to serve more students. The most compelling message from the poll is that the central reason Americans are so supportive of community colleges is that they offer the promise of educational and economic opportunity for everyone. Community colleges are the recognized open door of higher education. They serve disproportionately high numbers of first-generation college students, low-income students and students of color. Many of their students are the ones who were least well served by their previous public school education and therefore most likely to have academic challenges as well as fiscal ones. Overall, community college students are three to four times more likely than students in four-year colleges to reflect factors that put them at risk of not completing their education. At the same time, community colleges provide affordable and convenient options for academically talented students who seek a solid start toward a baccalaureate degree. Serving this whole array of students--and doing it exceedingly well--is the mission embraced by the community college. And the colleges in turn, it seems, are embraced by the public.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Public Support, Financial Support, Access to Education, Institutional Mission, Economic Impact, Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/bookstore
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A