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History and Evolution of American Community Colleges

Added on -2019-09-19

This article explores the history and evolution of American community colleges, their rise, and the social forces that contributed to their growth. It also examines their governance, administrative, curricular, and programmatic dimensions, including best practices, concepts, and trends.
| 3 pages
| 700 words

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Reflective study of its history, evolution,The American community college dates from the early years of the twentieth century. Severalsocial forces contributed to its rise. Most prominent were the need for workers trained to operatethe nation's expanding industries; the lengthened period of adolescence, which mandatedcustodial care of the young for a longer time; and the drive for social equality, which supposedlywould be enhanced if more people had access to higher education. Community colleges seemedalso to reflect the growing power of external authority over everyone's life, the peculiarlyAmerican belief that people cannot be legitimately educated, employed, religiously observant,ill, or healthy unless some institution sanctions that aspect of their being. Social institutions ofpractical value to society were being formed. Probably the simplest overarching reason for thegrowth of community colleges was that an increasing number of demands were king placed onschools at every level. Whatever the social or personal problem, schools were supposed to solveit. As a society we have looked to the schools for racial integration. The courts and legislatureshave insisted that schools mitigate discrimination by merging students across ethnic lines in theirvarious programs. The schools are expected to solve problems of unemployment by preparingstudents for jobs. Subsidies awarded to businesses that train their own workers might he a moredirect approach, hut we have preferred paying public funds to support career education in theschools. The list could he extended to show that the responsibility for doing something aboutdrug abuse, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, inequitable incomes, and other individual andsocietal ills has been assigned to schools soon after the problems have been Background 3identified. Schools were even supposed to ameliorate the longstanding problem of highwaydeaths. Instead of reducing speed limits and requiring seat belts in the 1960s, many statesenacted laws requiring schools to provide driver education courses.

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