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The Evolving Mission of the American Community College


The Evolving Mission of the American Community College ... while retaining the open-door ... 170,000 college-qualified students Attend no college at all ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Evolving Mission of the American Community College

The Evolving Mission of the American Community
  • Kenneth P. Walker, Ph.D.
  • Council for the Study of Community Colleges
  • AACC Annual Convention
  • April 13, 2007

  • The revolution in American education, in which
    the two-year college played a leading role, is
    almost over. Two years of post-secondary
    education are within the reach financially,
    geographically, practically of virtually every

Education in America
  • Revolution Almost over
  • Evolution Continues in full force

New movementnew revolution
  • Baccalaureate degrees awarded by some community
    colleges will continue the democratizing process
    for access to the bachelors degree.

Joliet Junior College America's oldest public
community college
Why Baccalaureate Degrees at Community Colleges?
Globalization of the economy Demands of business
and industry Increased job competition Exporting
of jobs Increasing demand by students Limited
university access Rising costs
Benefits of Baccalaureate Degrees at Community
Increases access to higher education
Promotes cost efficiencies
Maximizes human resources
Supports success of non-traditional students
Promotes articulation and upward mobility
Provides cooperative facility use for work-based
  • Maintains family and employment relationships

Expands commitment to economic development
Responds to local need for specialized programs
Capitalizes on facilities, faculty, staff and
Community College Mission Responsive,
Adaptive, Growing
  • The institution must be able to change as
    communities change with new conditions, demands,
    or circumstances. Any time we can describe the
    community college in definitive, specific terms,
    we will destroy it. It has to change. It has to
    be different in different areas.

Ed Gleazer, Jr. The Community College Values,
Vision Vitality
  • Responding to the Crisis in College Opportunity
  • National Council for Public Policy and Higher
  • The nation should provide a space for every
    eligible student to enroll in higher education.
  • YET

Financial barriers prevent
  • 48 of college-qualified low-income high school
    graduates from attending a four-year college, and
    22 from attending any college at all

43 of college-qualified middle-income high
school graduates from attending a four-year
college, and 16 from attending any college at
Study by the Advisory Committee on Student
Financial Assistance
Why Baccalaureate Degrees at Community Colleges?
Present Next decade
Unable to attend a four-year college 400,000 college-qualified students
Attend no college at all 170,000 college-qualified students
4.4 million
2 million
Why Baccalaureate Degrees at Community Colleges?
  • The vibrancy of our democracy and our
    knowledge-based economy is dependent upon
    ensuring access to college for high school
  • --Empty Promises, 2002

Access to the Baccalaureate Degree
  • Access to the baccalaureate degree must be
    expanded so that future generations will be
    equipped to cope with the magnitude of change
    instigated by technology, industry, finance,
    commerce, and government.

Frank Newman
Changes in the marketplace for higher education
are producing a new vision for the delivery of
higher education that has not yet become fully
Access to the Baccalaureate Degree
Vision for community colleges offering
baccalaureate degrees not currently understood
  • Vision for four-year colleges becoming
    universities not understood at the turn of the

Higher education mission
Graphic National Conference on Teacher Quality
  • always has and always will adapt and conform to
    the changing needs and demands of society.

75 Years of the University Transformation Era
  • The most prominent element in the transformation
    was the emergence of the university.
  • Arthur M. Cohen

Slow introduction of universities
  • Colleges had to modify concepts adhered to since
    colonial days including expanding the educational
    experience from four years to a greater length of
    time by organizing graduate schools and awarding
    advanced degrees.

  • Mission Creep

Mission Adaptation
  • Idea Converting colleges to universities
  • Attributed to men familiar with German higher

University evolution
  • Added masters degrees, doctoral degrees,
    postdoctoral studies, new majors

Business Journalism Engineering
Architecture Pharmacology Dentistry
Agriculture Mining Forestry
Psychology Sociology Education
Community College evolution
Adding baccalaureate degrees in areas of need
  • Unless the old rural colleges revive themselves,
    it was argued, they stood in danger of slipping
    into oblivion.
  • --Christopher J. Lucas
  • Restructuring driven by a potent combination of
    social, political, cultural, and economic factors
  • Same factors which are driving baccalaureate
    degrees as community colleges
  • Today, no clear understanding of what constitutes
    a four-year community college

Ultimately, the outcome of decades of ferment
and turmoil, would be the supplanting of the
old-time college as a dominate institutional
model by that of the modern university. Existing
collegessome of them at leastwould be
transformed in succeeding years to entirely
different kinds of academic institutions. The
rise of the American university, marked though it
was by false starts and much trial and error, was
to prove itself a momentous phenomenon of almost
revolutionary proportions. American higher
education would never be the same
again. --Christopher J. Lucas
  • Baccalaureate degrees at community colleges now
    authorized in 15 states!

Tremendous opportunity for university faculty and
graduate students to study, research and write
about this new type of institution, still in its
Graphic ASHFoundation
Continuing democratization of access to the
bachelors degree will result in a higher
standard of living and a higher quality of

--Kenneth P. Walker