About UsLocal ChaptersExecutive CommitteeStaffRelated LinksPictures Help Desk
Board Meetings


Community Colleges and Economic Self-Determination

By Rob Jenkins

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how community colleges are often perceived by the news media and by politicians as simply “engines for ‘work-force development’”—in other words, job-training centers.

The problem, I said, is that people tend to overlook the other important role of community colleges, which is providing a liberal-arts education for nearly half of America’s college graduates.

If the vision of two-year colleges as primarily job-training centers is the one that ultimately wins out, I believe that could do irreparable harm not only to our educational system but also to the egalitarian foundations of our democratic society. I’ve often said that one of the best things about community colleges is the opportunity they provide for students to figure out what they want to do in life. In that sense, community colleges are a uniquely American invention.

Other industrialized nations typically employ some sort of “track” system, by which students are funneled early on—perhaps as early as middle school—into either a technical track or a university track, based on test scores and other factors. In other words, the system decides for them, while they’re still children, whether they’re going to be leaders or relegated to worker-bee status.

Not so in the United States. Here students get to decide for themselves whether they want to go to college, go to technical school, or not pursue any postsecondary education at all. They get to decide what profession or vocation they wish to follow, and (theoretically, at least) they can go as far in that chosen field as their abilities and hard work will take them.

Full Article




TFA Organizing Facebook Page

Upcoming Events

Information Re: The 84th Legislative Session

Dates of Interest

Texas Fiscal Information

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Texas Legislature Online

What's New?

Chronicle Salary Data

Govt Salaries Explorer

Faculty Salary Data

Higher Education Explorer

5 Ways to Kick Student Debt

State News

National News

Universities

Community Colleges

More News

Higher Education Almanac

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Inside Higher Ed

The Scientist

NEA Higher Education Advocate