ERIC Number: EJ873948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 0
Avant Garde Community Colleges
Rosenfeld, Stuart A.
Community College Journal, v75 n6 p20-24 Jun-Jul 2005
Community colleges have become many things to many people over their century-long transformation from junior colleges into comprehensive learning environments. They have been able and willing to take on missions and serve people that other sectors of education could not or would not. Today they have become well known for their efforts in delivering education and training, supporting industrial development, and serving all--including the poorest, newest, and underachieving segments of the population--all with workmanlike efficiency. Despite their achievements, few think of community colleges as bastions of creativity or particularly "cool" places. Effective, yes, but they are not places with strong reputations for the arts, culture, or being "hip." And they are not likely to attract alumni, retirees, and knowledge-intensive companies. Whereas universities are expected to anchor creative milieus and attract talent, community colleges are expected to be efficient and utilitarian. They offer convenience and value to students and companies, an easy commute to acquire skills and credits, or simply a place to pursue personal interests. Yet many community colleges are, in fact, unassumingly becoming places students and communities look to for leisure and creative and cultural activities, and they are becoming institutions of choice to qualify for growing creative occupations and industries. An increasing number of community colleges, particularly in small cities and rural areas, have large community or regional theatres and museums on campus. They also host writers' workshops, craft shows, festivals, and concerts. Many now offer occupational and transfer programs in the arts, graphic design, architecture, crafts, film and video, animation, and other "creative class" careers.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Institutional Characteristics, Institutional Mission, Institutional Research, Institutional Role, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Art, Design, Economic Impact
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