The American Community College, Sixth Edition
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Praise for the Previous Edition ofThe American Community College

"Projecting the future for the community colleges of the early twenty-first century involves projecting the future for the nation in general: its demographics, economy, and public attitudes.... At heart is a discourse on how the institutions may adapt historical structures and practices to a changing world, and how those changes may ultimately affect students, the community, and society at large."

—from the Conclusion, "Toward the Future"

"Since 1982, The American Community College by Cohen and Brawer has been the authoritative book on community colleges. Anyone who wants to understand these complex and dynamic institutions—how they are evolving, the contributions they make, the challenges they face, the students they serve, and the faculty and leaders who deliver the services and the curricula—will find The American Community College both essential reading and an important reference book."

—George R. Boggs, former president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

"I have been a community college president for over forty-one years and a graduate professor for three decades. This book has been an inspiration to generations of students, faculty members, and administrators. It has become the classic of the field because it has great 'take-home' value to us all."

—Joseph N. Hankin, president, Westchester Community College

"Cohen and Brawer's classic work is the touchstone for a comprehensive overview of the American community college. This is a seminal book for graduate students as well as seasoned professionals for understanding this uniquely American institution."

—Charles R. Dassance, former president, Central Florida Community College


Arthur M. Cohen is professor emeritus of higher education atUCLA, editor-in-chief of New Directions for Community Colleges, and the author of numerous books and articles on community colleges.

Florence B. Brawer is former research director of the Center for the Study of Community Colleges and associate editor of New Directions for Community Colleges. Cohen and Brawer together wrote several books on community colleges, including five previous editions of The American Community College.

Carrie B. Kisker is an education research and policy consultant and a director of the Center for the Study of Community Colleges. She is the former managing editor of New Directions for Community Colleges. Cohen and Kisker are the coauthors of The Shaping of American Higher Education, Second Edition.


Preface v

The Authors xv

1. Background: Evolving Priorities and Expectations of the Community College 1

2. Students: Diverse Backgrounds and Purposes 45

3. Faculty: Building a Professional Identity 79

4. Organization, Governance, and Administration: Managing the Contemporary College 109

5. Finances: Generating, Sustaining, and Allocating Resources 151

6. Instruction: Methods, Media, and Effects 177

7. Student Services: Supporting Educational Objectives 209

8. Developmental Education: Enhancing Literacy and Basic Skills 235

9. Liberal Arts and Transfer Education: Preparation for the University 265

10. Integrative Education: Modifying General Education 289

11. Occupational Education: Growth and Change in Workforce Preparation 303

12. Community Education: Extending College Services and Training 333

13. Scholarship and Commentary: Perspectives of the Community College 359

14. Student Progress and Outcomes: A New Age of Accountability 391

15. Toward the Future: Trends, Challenges, and Obligations 435

Appendix: For-Profit Institutions 471

References 487

Name Index 541

Subject Index 549