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ERIC Number: EJ1183015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
The Indispensable Work of Community Colleges: The Conversations We Should Be Having
Reed, Matt; McConnell, Kate Drezek
Liberal Education, v104 n2 Spr 2018
Colleges and universities have become practiced in articulating the value of diversity in relation to their institutional missions. Though the missions of these various institutions of higher education may be distinctive, they are united by the shared goals of educating students and advancing knowledge. AAC&U's membership comprises a range of institutions that share these essential goals. Those who interact with AAC&U regularly may be attracted to its meetings, projects, and publications for this very reason, eager to see what models of assessment and general education reform are emerging from institutions nothing like their own and excited to grapple with the complexity of translating other institutions' innovations into workable strategies on their campuses. Despite AAC&U's broad inclusivity, one sector in particular--community colleges--is underrepresented among AAC&U members in relation to the nearly 40 percent of American students that these institutions enroll. To surface the unique aspects of these and other community college experiences, AAC&U's 2018 meeting offered a session that would provide an opportunity to see how best to underscore and strengthen the connections between AAC&U's mission of promoting quality and equity as the foundations of excellence in undergraduate education and the critical work of the administrators, faculty, and staff who lead America's community colleges. The goal in designing the session was to create a welcoming space for community college leaders at AAC&U's annual meeting by offering a session focused specifically on the conversations they wanted to have. AAC&U regularly involves and features community college educators in its publications, meetings, and projects; nonetheless, the association is not on the radar of many community college leaders, who might see its focus as being of limited relevance to their worlds and, moreover, might feel that community colleges have relatively muted voices within the association. Providing a space for those who attend AAC&U's annual meeting to engage in open, honest, and challenging conversations--both with other community colleges and with their four-year peers--will help AAC&U better serve all its institutional members and the faculty, administrators, and students that compose them. AAC&U wants such conversations to continue at next year's annual meeting and throughout the year ahead as the organization looks to community colleges as critical partners in higher education's work to define and drive forward a shared pursuit of students' American Dreams.
Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: 800-297-3775; Tel: 202-387-3760; Fax: 202-265-9532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A