Sunday, October 31, 2004

Who Are We?

The Chronicle has an article on the community college's identity crisis.


At 5:27 PM, Blogger jocalo said...

Thanks for that link, clc. The transcript of the colloquy that followed publication is better than the article.

I am beyond bored with the so-called "identity crisis" claim, which is quite old and beside the point. The reporter's account of vocational programs being added in the 70s and 80s is also misleading. Voc programs developed widely right after WWII and the merging of the transfer, vocational, and remedial functions was occurring by the mid-60s when I started teaching.

The shift from "junior" to "community" provided the conceptual integration the institution needed and that occurred in the 1970s. There's nothing fuzzy about "community"--the colleges build programs responsive to their community and in ways that contribute to the quality of community.

Palinchak is one of many of the commentators on the colleges that takes old dichotomies (as though academic and professional are at odds) and then claims community colleges are confused because we do both. The fact is we do both well. We have developed sophisticated systems for monitoring the local economy for new needs and then creating or modifying programs to meet them.

The main criticism that comes from universities boils down to: "Hey, you guys aren't a university." Most of the critique takes assumptions about selectivity in universities, applies them to community colleges and says "See, you have people we don't have--how can you be serious?" In my view, it's a vacant and stupid criticism. CCs should be critiqued in terms of their central animating spirit: "community". Let the university study the universe. We'll create learning communities, we'll provide students with skills they can apply to work or to study, and we'll do it very well. And when we don't, criticize us on those terms.

OK, I'll step off the soapbox--at least for a moment.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a free casino game site/blog. It pretty much covers free casino game related stuff.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Tom Naka said...

Your blog is excellent - keep it up! Don't miss visiting this site about cardinal health care

At 7:16 PM, Blogger jobs123 said...

Hey nice blog! I just want you too know that I have a montauk motel blog/sie too!
It's a free information web site for discount hotel rooms!
It can help you save big on your next trip!
You should check it out if you get a chance :-)

At 12:48 PM, Blogger tom naka said...

Your blog is excellent - keep it up! Don't miss visiting this site about restaurant los angeles

At 2:49 AM, Blogger nope said...


I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family

TV Central - Download full TV shows and series, newest movies, plus other downloads. Watch TV and movies online. Burn Them right to Blank CD's and watch them over and over again.

Messenger City - 10,000+ emoticons - Use Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and AIM all in one, skins, nicknames, bots, add-ons, emoticons, avatars and smilies.

Baja música gratis ahora. Busca y encuentra MP3, Películas, Software y más. Downloads ilimitados, Quema CDs & DVDs.

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wiser on this subject now that I've read your gift shopping More info here online gift shopping

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you could find Classes for a multitude of subjects on your area , like class class college estate find napa real valley and they could be found by visiting class class college estate find napa real valley

At 12:19 PM, Blogger answer-man said...

Hi, enjoyed your blog/site related to **clothes shopping**

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey nice info you posted.
I just browsing through some blogs and came across yours!

Excellent blog, good to see someone actually uses em for quality posts.

Your site kept me on for a few minutes unlike the rest :)

Keep up the good work!


At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a blog exchange traffic site. It pretty much covers blog exchange traffic related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

At 2:46 AM, Anonymous R. Palinchak said...

Community colleges do not have a clear identity and their characteristics vary more with size and geographical location than anything else.

It's fair to say they are NOT two year anymore, they are not just for young folks anymore, they are not destined to serve freshmen or sophomores, they have replaced the high schools as a main provider of literacy and job training, their students and faculty often share nontraditional characteristics, and they are becoming social service agencies that provide multiple services with educational resources.

They are no longer viewed primarily as the first two years of a four-year college program, some offer baccalaureate degrees, the mission of many is economic development, and many of their courses and studies overlap with the high schools that they hace recently replaced as the characteristic educational imstitution of the United States.

Many started with voctional programs while most started with transfer studies as their main mission. Many also started as upward extensions of the high schools while others were downward extensions of large public universities. Some started in their own right somewhere between the secondary schools and the senior colleges with comprehensive missions.

Very little of this applies anymore as community colleges continue to evolve sharply from their earlier days. They have multiple missions that vary with time and geographic location; they no longer are what they once were.

It may not be a crisis of identity but it could be one of mistaken identity unless you look deeper into what they were and what they are becoming. They continually evolve!


Post a Comment

<< Home