dares to teach must never cease to learn." -
John Cotton Dana
of community colleges at the turn of the 20th century
allowed American society to tap the enormous potential
of millions of citizens who otherwise would not have the
opportunity for higher education. Throughout that century,
community colleges educated a large share of the nation's
workforce and contributed to the development of the highest
standard of living in history. Since the Depression of
the 1930s, community colleges have proven to be responsive
to their community's workforce and general education needs.
As we start
the 21st century, community colleges are once again in
a position to make a critical contribution to America's
future. In their 1999 bestseller, The Coming American
Prosperity, Wall Street Journal writers Bob Davis
and David Wessel identified community colleges as one
of three primary forces driving the U. S. economy in the
next twenty years (computer technology and globalization
were the other two). Community colleges educate more than
half the nation's undergraduates, or more than 100 million
people since 1901.
remarkable success of the community colleges they continue
to face significant challenges:
in most states is a political "football" tied
to the economy, and vulnerable to partisan politics
- Throughout the
system there is a significant demand for faculty and for effective
- In California,
for example, there is an unprecedented need to hire more
community college faculty by 2010 in response to the projected
35 percent student population growth and faculty retirements.
Approximately 18,700 new full-time faculty will be needed
to meet enrollment projections and replace retiring faculty.
- Where once
there were three or four qualified candidates for every
leadership job, now there are perhaps three positions
for every good candidate. A recent report issued by the
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) warned
that the “leadership of community colleges is in peril.”
The AACC report concludes that, “With the retirement of
these leaders, inestimable experience and history as well
as the intimate understanding of the community college
mission, values, and culture will be lost, leaving an
enormous gap in the leadership of community colleges.”
In order to
better acquaint you with the community college system,
this section will take a look at the development of community
colleges in the nation and how their mission and goals
have evolved over the last century.
community colleges more important than in California.
Community colleges provide a comprehensive and inexpensive
education for millions, establishing the most productive
workforce in the nation. In this century, community colleges
may even be more critical to the state, for two reasons:
A huge influx of new students will be entering colleges
in the next 10 years. Since the UC's and CSU's will
not be able to handle the projected 600,000+ new students,
the task will fall to community colleges.
needs: Lifelong learning is no longer a clever
phrase but an economic reality for millions of workers.
meet these challenges through a complex community college
system that is unique from any other in the United States
in two ways:
community colleges have multiple functions:
students for transfer to a 4-year college
to the economic development of the community.
tuition, $11 a unit, is by far the lowest
in the nation. (It's actually gone down in the last
the same problems as the rest of the nation, yet these problems
seem to hit California more deeply.
has been inconsistent from year to year with many colleges
serving students unfunded by the legislature. In addition,
while 80% of funding comes from the state, that funding
is not evenly distributed. Some colleges receive as little
as $3,000 per FTES from the state, while others receive
over $5,000 per FTES.
- While Boards
of Trustees appear to dictate policy in the California
Community Colleges, Proposition 13 (enacted in 1978) moved
much of the true power to the state legislature due to their
- The faculty and
administration hiring crisis is
reaching monumental proportions:
percent of California’s community college faculty
reached the age of 65 by 2002. From 1997 to the present,
many replacements have come from the part-time pool;
however, that pool is now significantly diminished.
due to the ratio of salaries and our high cost of
living, California is challenged in finding diverse
candidates and in attracting and retaining quality
faculty. Lack of ongoing support for professional
development further hinders recruitment, as do relatively
high teaching loads, when compared with other states.
More than 5,000 new adjunct positions will open by
2005. Adjunct instructors educate more than 40% of
the system’s students.
the next ten years, the California system needs an
estimated 360 more community college academic administrators,
for a total of up to 700 new administrators (when
retirement replacements are considered).
- The average
tenure for a community college chief executive officer
is 4.4 years in California compared to an average of 7.5
by Andy Howard and Kristina
This module contains the following main readings:
Events in the Community College Movement
Changing Role of the Community College: Economic
the end of this module you should be able to:
Identify significant events in the history of community
Discuss the changing role of the community colleges
in light of developments in Ed>Net initiatives, contract
education, and workplace learning resource centers.
Define the role of community colleges in community
colleges have multiple functions. These include preparing
students for transfer to a 4-year college, providing technical
A. contributing to community
B. acting as grades 13 and
14 for high schools.
C. performing advanced scientific
D. supporting local political