The American Community College, 6th Edition
Community colleges have become a frequent subject of discussion in recent years, both among educators and philanthropists seeking to improve access and success in higher education for all groups, and increasingly among lawmakers and the general public responding to tuition increases at four-year institutions, a high unemployment rate and need for worker retraining, and pressure for all young people to obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate. Much of the buzz has been positive, with community colleges cast as the nexus of national efforts to prepare a highly skilled workforce, as well as the lynchpin in the K-20 education pipeline. Millions of federal and philanthropic dollars have been poured into the community college sector via initiatives such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, Achieving the Dream, and Compete to Complete, and community colleges across the nation have responded with efforts to improve job training and workforce development programs, reforms intended to boost student progress and completion rates, and collaborations with K-12 and university personnel to improve articulation and transfer among the sectors.
For thirty years, The American Community College has provided up-to-date information and statistics about community colleges and has been widely used both in graduate courses on community colleges, and as reference material by community college scholars and practitioners (many of whom are entering doctoral programs in order to advance in the administrative ranks). The sixth edition includes an entirely new chapter focused on community college outcomes and accountability, as well as new sections dealing with the rise of for-profit colleges; vertical expansion, including dual enrollment and community college baccalaureates; cross-sector collaboration; student characteristics and enrollment patterns; the effects of part-time faculty; leadership and administrative challenges; revenue generation and state allocation patterns, including performance-based funding; distance learning; statewide efforts to improve transfer and articulation; and, finally, a response to contemporary criticisms of the institution.
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