Pathway to middle class : role of the community college in the past, present and future
Tremble, Stephanie M.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The American community college has historically played an important role in providing a means for upward social mobility among lower socio-economic groups by providing an affordable and accessible path to a four-year baccalaureate degree. Over the years the community college model has evolved from its original conception as a "junior"; college to the community college of today, which employs a multipurpose model and serves a diverse student population with varied expectations. As policymakers and administrators contemplate the future direction of the community college, lessons gleaned from studying the institution's century-long history should inform the policies that will direct and shape the school's mission into the current century. In an attempt to identify these lessons, this study examines the community college system within a "Past, Present, Future" framework.; Under the contemporary model, community colleges are expected not only to serve in their traditional collegiate function, that is, preparing students for eventual transfer to a four-year baccalaureate, granting school; but also to fill various workforce and community development roles. Consequently, some critics contend that the schools are increasingly distracted by the emphasis placed on their vocational programs and, as a result, have lost sight of their primary purpose of providing the academic schooling that enables students to advance within the higher education system toward a baccalaureate degree. In light of these criticisms, the primary question guiding this study is whether, with so much emphasis turning to applied and specialized training, the community college will continue to be able to fulfill its collegiate function for students whose goal is a four-year baccalaureate degree.
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