The Role and Responsibilities of Community Colleges

Topics: Higher education, College, Community college Pages: 5 (3059 words) Published: November 2, 2014

EDH 6035 Community College in America Final ExamLindsay Deputy University of Florida
Part I: Learning Proposal
A). Principle Questions sought to answer concerning community colleges in this course? Being relatively new to the world of higher education, I entertained many questions and misconceptions about the roles and responsibilities of community colleges. My principle question(s) was what is the purpose of a community college, what benefits do they provide to the community, where do I fit in and how can I be a great leader? Some of the answers I found were very simple, while others very complex and some are yet to be fully answered! I am sure that my question(s) seem very simple, but I previously was very narrow-minded and believed that community colleges were just where students went to get their associates degree and from there moved on to a university to further their education. Since gaining employment at St. Johns River State College, my eyes have been opened to the true nature and purpose of community colleges in America, and yet opened even further after having participated in this course. Having read Community Colleges in America (2009) and Minding the Dream (2008), I have learned a plethora of valuable and interesting information, and now able to grasp the importance of community colleges. The history of community colleges addressed in both text books provided me with the ability to ascertain where the inception of community colleges is rooted, and in acquiring that knowledge I see the broader picture of the goals and missions of community colleges. Community Colleges open the doors of education to all seeking knowledge; provide individuals an path to not only help themselves but to also better the lives of those around them, these goals closely align with my personal beliefs and goals. I feel as though this class did not solely teach me about community colleges, but it also “cleaned the window” so that I can see more clearly where I fit in the scheme of things. The text book and research conducted throughout this course provided the insight and background of the core concepts of the roles and responsibilities, as well as mission and goals of the community college. One part that has really stood out to me in the text was where Cowen & Brawer (2009), write about how community colleges are second chance institutions taking in all persons regardless of their GPA, credits, and awards earned, to equip that individual with the information and skills necessary to either pursue additional education elsewhere or to enter the workforce and make a stainable living. Mellow and Heelan (2008) state “Community colleges are a major part of the production of leaders in our country” (p. 17). This statement stands out to me, having been a graduate of the local community college and now pursuing my dream of being a great leader in my hometown, I am reminded by this simple statement that I can and will achieve my goals. In partnering with the local community college I am able to kill the proverbial “two birds with one stone” by excelling in bettering my community and helping those in my community better themselves through higher education. According to Mellow and Heelan (2008) No other element of higher education provides more access to more students, embeds its activities and initiatives more deeply in the social and economic fabric of the community where it is located, not advances the lives of low-income adults more fully then community colleges. We live the dream of nourishing both private benefit and public good (p. 17). The last sentence in the statement above, sticks me to the core of my being; I relish in the fact that what is offered and provided to students at the community colleges in America can have such a large impact on changing the lives of so many that would never even be given a second look at a university. This embodies who I am, this is where I fit in, helping those that were never given the...

References: Cohen, A. M. & Brawer, F. B. (2008). The American Community College (5th ed.). San
Francisco: Josey-Bass.
Dassance, C. (2011). The next community college movement. New Directions for Community Colleges, 156, 31-39.Mellow, G. O., & Heelan, C. (2008). Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice
Of the American Community College. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
Publishers, Inc.
Mullin, C.M. & Honeyman, D.S. (2007). The funding of community colleges: a typology of state funding formulas. Community College Review, 35 (2), 113-127.Nitecki, E.M. (2011). The power of the program: how the academic program can improve community college success. Community College Review, 39, 98-120. Doi: 10.1177/0091552111404926
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