Introduction Over the past 109 years, community colleges in the United States grew from one in 1901 to 1,186 in 2005 (Vaughn, 2006). The greatest growth explosion occurred in the 1960s where the number of U. S. community colleges tripled over the next 40 years. Community colleges offer credit and non-credit courses, but more importantly, they serve as cultural, social, and intellectual hubs in their communities. Today’s community colleges serve as training grounds for individuals who work in the global economy. This presentation will examine an article regarding the last 50 years of history of community colleges, the implications of the article under review, and conclusions.
Article Summary Community college enrollment exploded in the 1950s and 1960s because of the passage of the G. I. Bill (Floyd, Haley, Eddy, & Antczak, 2009). The G. I. Bill provided financial assistance to World War II veterans and over two million men and women took advantage of the aid. Increased enrollment led to the opening of one new community college per week in the U. S. during the late 1960s (Floyd et al., 2009). The unprecedented rate of growth called attention to critical issues facing community colleges, such as the lack of qualified administrators and understanding the academic and business needs of neighboring communities.
Article Summary (Cont.) During the 1950s and 1960s, The Kellogg Foundation (Kellogg) stepped up and funded two grants for community college research and the development leadership programs. The first grant fortified community college organizational structures and staffing The second grant addressed research related to developing community college leadership by funding eventually 12 universities to prepare administrators for work in community colleges, which formed the Junior College Leadership Program and eventually became the Council of Universities and Colleges, or CUC (Floyd et al., 2009).
Article Summary (Cont.) Community college growth stabilized in the 1980s The focus of community colleges changed to meet the evolving student population from increased access to college through the Higher Education Acts of 1965 and 1972 (Floyd, et al., 2009). Curriculum changed to meet the needs of technology and the labor market. Lifelong learning and community service became important tenets of community colleges. Part-time students and part-time faculty emerged. By the 1990s, community college issues focused on the need for accountability and institutional research.
Article Summary (Cont.) For the past decade, the focus of community colleges turned to leadership, changing community college missions, financial and governance issues, and expanding academic offerings (Floyd, et al., 2009). Three contemporary issues face community college leadership: The role of women and minorities Current models for educating community college leaders, and Potential leadership shortage as a projected 80% of sitting community college presidents will retire in the next decade (Floyd et al.). Women and minorities face a chilly climate in community college leadership, which creates a greater need for leadership to be based on competency. The CUC developed six leadership competencies: organizational strategy, resource management, communication, collaboration, community college advocacy, and professionalism. Kellogg funded the Leading Forward project, which created formal curriculum to promote community college leadership based on the six core competencies.
Article Summary (Cont.) Community college missions changed in recent years. These institutions serve more minority students than other higher education institutions (Lloyd et al., 2009). Community colleges evolved from transfer schools to comprehensive educational institutions offering baccalaureate programs, which provide another path of access to students for college education. Community colleges face critical financial issues with dwindling private support and shifting public resources. Community colleges struggle to expand academic offerings to meet the globalization of business against the needs of its immediate community.
Implications College leadership is a critical area of concern for community colleges over the next decade. According to Romano, Townsend, and Mamiseishvili (2009), doctorate students in community college curriculum programs seek administrative leadership positions in the community college but do not feel well prepared in all leadership competencies. Resource management, especially fundraising, is one of the areas where personality, experience, and noncredit professional development programs are better pathways of discovery than formal education. Walker and McPhail (2009) noted an emerging area that should be acknowledged in community college leadership is spirituality; it embodies the work of community college presidents by defining and interpreting the manner in which community college presidents express spirituality in their leadership of the institution.
Implications (Cont.) Another implication is that community colleges across the U. S. are changing their missions beyond two-year degrees in order to respond to the workforce demands of their communities. The emergence of baccalaureate degree programs at community colleges represents a landmark change in the landscape of American higher education (McKinney, & Morris, 2010). The awarding of baccalaureates by U. S. community colleges is prompting these colleges to reexamine their missions as two- and four-year degree granting institutions (Floyd, Hrabak, & Falconetti, 2009; McKinney & Morris, 2010). Proponents of community college baccalaureates (CCBs) argue that the basic mission and purposes of community colleges in the country will remain the same; however, the mission will expand to meet the demands of four-year baccalaureate programming. According to Hrabak (2009), the con of CCBs is that scholars fear that community colleges will lose their original mission as this curriculum focus strains already overstretched curricular objectives.
Conclusions For over 100 years, community colleges have been on the rise in the U. S., with the most dramatic changes occurring over the past fifty years. Community colleges have evolved dramatically. Today, leadership and the changing mission of community colleges appear to be the greatest challenges these institutions face. An increasing number of students are enrolled in community college leadership doctorate programs This is important because institutions face a leadership shortage in the next decade with baby boomers retiring. What these students are taught about community colleges and its leadership is likely to impact the future of community colleges. A concern is that formal education is not well equipped to develop competencies in certain areas, such as fundraising. Community college leadership programs should be evaluated for their own effectiveness to prove they are valid.
Conclusions (Cont.) A second issue facing community colleges today combines the changing mission of community colleges with increased academic programs and meeting global workforce needs. Introducing CCBs at community colleges requires significant modifications to existing policies and practices and reshapes an institution’s identity at the local, state, and national levels. Organizational change should be paid attention to prior to launching a CCB. CCB programs should be studied to explore this phenomenon and its long-term implications.
References Floyd, D. L., Haley, A., Eddy, P. L., & Antczak, L. (2009). Celebrating the past, creating the future: 50 years of community college research. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33, Floyd, D. L., Hrabak, M., & Falconetti, A. M. G. (2009). Introduction to the special issue of the community college baccalaureate. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33, Hrabak, M. (2009). The community college baccalaureate movement: Cutting-edge dissertation research. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33, McKinney, L., & Morris, P. (2010). Examining an Evolution: A Case Study of Organizational Change Accompanying the Community College Baccalaureate. Community College Review, 37(3), Romano, R. M., Townsend, B., & Mamiseishvili, K. (2009). Leaders in the making: Profile and perceptions of students in community college doctoral programs. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33, 309–320. Vaughn, G. B. (2006). The community college story. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges. Walker, M. W., & McPhail, G. J. (2009). Spirituality matters: Spirituality and the community college leader. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33, 321– 345.