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ERIC Identifier: ED411929
Publication Date: 1997-10-00
Author: Foote, Elizabeth
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges Los Angeles CA.

Community Colleges: General Information and Resources. ERIC Digest.

The community college is defined as any institution accredited to award the associate in arts or science as its highest degree. There are 1364 publicly supported community colleges in the United States. Most offer a comprehensive curriculum including the following programs: transfer/liberal arts programs designed for students who plan to obtain a baccalaureate degree; these programs lead to an associate degree in science or the arts; vocational/occupational programs leading to a certificate or an associate degree in applied science; community education and personal interest courses which do not award academic credit; developmental/remedial programs designed to prepare students to enter degree or certificate programs by improving their communication or mathematical skills. In addition, there are 437 private institutions, including accredited proprietary institutions.


Approximately 42% of the first-time, full-time freshmen in the U.S. enroll in a community college, earning some 465,053 associate degrees in 1993-94. Credit course enrollment totaled 2 million full-time and 3.5 million part-time students in Fall 1993. The average age of the student is approximately 32. The modal age of the student is 19. Women make up 57.8% of community college enrollments. In terms of ethnicity, 69.8% of community college students are Caucasian, 11.1% are African- American, 10.5% are Hispanic, 4.6% are Asian, and 1% are Native American. Approximately 1% are nonresident aliens. Approximately 46.4% of all minorities enrolled in higher education are attending two-year colleges.


76,413 faculty members teach in two-year institutions. About 69% are part-time instructors. 63.9% of the faculty have a masters as their highest degree and 18.9% hold a doctorate or professional degree. The average salary for instructors in public two-year colleges in 1995 was $42,101.


State appropriations, tuition, and local funds comprise most of the operating funds. State appropriations accounted for 43% of the operating revenue for public two-year colleges in Fall 1992. Tuition accounted for 22% of the revenue in Fall 1994. Local funds accounted for 19% of the revenues in Fall 1994. Average charges in 1996 for tuition and fees were approximately $1245 at public community colleges and $11,502 at private two-year colleges.


American Association of Community Colleges

President: David R. Pierce

One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 410

Washington, D.C. 20036-1176


American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges

State Technical Institute at Memphis

5983 Macon Cove

Memphis, TN 38134


Association of Canadian Community Colleges

President: Tom Norton

1223 Michael St., Suite 200

Ottawa, ON K1J 7T2


Association of Community College Trustees

President: Ray Taylor

1740 N. Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036


Community College Consortium

Managing Director: Patricia Carter

2034M School of Education Building

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259


Community College Humanities Association

President: David A. Berry

Essex County College

303 University Avenue

Newark, NJ 07102


ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges

Director: Arthur M. Cohen

3051 Moore Hall, Box 951521

University of California

Los Angeles, CA 90095

800/832-8256 League for Innovation in the Community College

Executive Director: Terry O'Banion

26522 La Alameda, Suite 370

Mission Viejo, CA 92691


National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)

Director: Suanne Roueche

University of Texas at Austin

College of Education, SZB 348

Austin, TX 78712-1293



Many other groups formed around curricular areas and special interests are active in the two-year college field.


Community College Journal

American Association of Community Colleges

One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 410

Washington, D.C. 20036

Community College Journal of Research and

Practice Taylor & Francis, Publishers

1010 Vermont Avenue N.W., Suite 200

Washington, D.C. 20005

Community College Review

Box 7801

Raleigh, NC 27695-7801

Community College Times

American Association of Community Colleges

One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 410

Washington, DC 20036

Community College Week

10520 Warwick Ave., Suite B-8

Fairfax, VA 22030-3136

Journal of Applied Research in the Community College

Department of Educational Administration and Foundations

Illinois State University

331 DeGarmo Hall

Normal, IL 61761-5900 New Directions for Community Colleges

Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers

350 Sansome Street

San Francisco, CA 94104


INFORMATION? Addy, C. L. (1995). The president's journey: issues and ideals in the community college. Jaffrey, NH: Anker Publishing Company, Inc. 145 pp. Baker, G. A., III, & Others (Eds.). (1994). A handbook on the community college in America: its history, mission, and management. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 720 pp. Cohen, A. M., & Brawer, F. B. (1996). The American community college (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 539 pp. Eaton, J. S. (1994). Strengthening collegiate education in community colleges. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc. 202 pp. Falcone, L. (Ed.). (1994). The critical link: community colleges and the workforce. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges. 97 pp. Griffith, M., & Connor, A. (1994). Democracy's open door: the community college in America's future. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 159 pp.

Grubb, W. N., (1996). Working in the middle: strengthening education and training for the mid-skilled labor force. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 304 pp.

Myran, Gunder, & Others. (1995). Community college leadership in the new century: learning to improve learning. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges. 100 pp.

O'Banion, T. (1997). A learning college for the 21st century. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges and Oryx Press. 260 pp.

Peterson's guide to two-year colleges, 1997 (27th ed.). (1996). Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides. 711 pp.

Raby, R. L., & Tarrow, N. (Eds.). (1996). Dimensions of the community college: international, intercultural, and multicultural perspectives. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. 334 pp.

Ratcliff, J. L., Schwarx, S., & Ebbers, L. H. (1994). Community colleges (2nd ed.). ASHE Reader Series. Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster Custom Publishing.

Rhoads, R. A. & Valadez, J. R. (1996). Democracy, multiculturalism, and the community college: a critical perspective. Critical Education Practice, 5. Garland Reference Library of Social Science, 1081. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. 231 pp.

Roueche, J. (1997). Embracing the tiger: the effectiveness debate and the community college. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Community Colleges. 200 pp.

Roueche, J. E., & Others. (1995). Strangers in their own land: part-time faculty in American community colleges. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges. 201 pp.

Seagren, A. T., & Others. (1994). Academic leadership in community colleges. Lincoln, NE: Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. 176 pp.

Witt, Allen A., & Others. (1994). America's community colleges: the first century. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges. 344 pp.

The statistics cited were gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics.


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