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The Community's College: The Pursuit of Democracy, Economic Development, and Success

The Community's College: The Pursuit of Democracy, Economic Development, and Success - Robert L. Pura

The Community's College: The Pursuit of Democracy, Economic Development, and Success


Co-published with An Agenda for Leaders / A Text for Leadership Courses While community colleges promote American ideals of democracy, opportunity, and social mobility; they provide a vital, accessible, and affordable education for nearly 12 million first-generation, economically-disadvantaged, and minoritized students; are engines of local workforce and economic development; and enroll nearly half of all students who go on to complete a four-year degree; they remain the least resourced and the least funded institutions in the United States. Offering the insights of the former president of Greenfield Community College--located in Massachusetts's poorest rural county--who was a national leader in community college and higher education organizations as well as closely involved with local businesses and organizations; and commentary and background data provided by Professor of Higher Education and Chair of the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, this book addresses the challenges that community colleges face as they strive to achieve their complex missions in a changing world. By providing vivid accounts of the diversity of students that community colleges serve, the complexity of their missions--from dual enrollment with high schools, to vocational training, adult education, and transfer to four-year colleges--and the role they play in supporting and responding to the needs of local business, as well in regional economic development, the authors make the case for increased investment, while at the same time making apparent to all stakeholders--from policy makers and trustees to college leaders, faculty and staff--how they can contribute to the vital development of human capacities. Community colleges are open-access, train nearly 80% of all first responders, graduate more than half of new nurses and health-care workers, and have a history of nimbleness and responsiveness to community needs, and can play a vital role in training for tomorrow's jobs, over 60% of which will, in the next decade, require some college education. The first four chapters set the scene, demonstrating the key foundational linkage between education, community, and democracy, presenting a history of the community college movement, illustrating what's involved in building strong and reciprocal community relationships, and covering a whole panoply of leadership issues such as governance, institutional culture, facilities planning, resource
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Co-published with An Agenda for Leaders / A Text for Leadership Courses While community colleges promote American ideals of democracy, opportunity, and social mobility; they provide a vital, accessible, and affordable education for nearly 12 million first-generation, economically-disadvantaged, and minoritized students; are engines of local workforce and economic development; and enroll nearly half of all students who go on to complete a four-year degree; they remain the least resourced and the least funded institutions in the United States. Offering the insights of the former president of Greenfield Community College--located in Massachusetts's poorest rural county--who was a national leader in community college and higher education organizations as well as closely involved with local businesses and organizations; and commentary and background data provided by Professor of Higher Education and Chair of the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, this book addresses the challenges that community colleges face as they strive to achieve their complex missions in a changing world. By providing vivid accounts of the diversity of students that community colleges serve, the complexity of their missions--from dual enrollment with high schools, to vocational training, adult education, and transfer to four-year colleges--and the role they play in supporting and responding to the needs of local business, as well in regional economic development, the authors make the case for increased investment, while at the same time making apparent to all stakeholders--from policy makers and trustees to college leaders, faculty and staff--how they can contribute to the vital development of human capacities. Community colleges are open-access, train nearly 80% of all first responders, graduate more than half of new nurses and health-care workers, and have a history of nimbleness and responsiveness to community needs, and can play a vital role in training for tomorrow's jobs, over 60% of which will, in the next decade, require some college education. The first four chapters set the scene, demonstrating the key foundational linkage between education, community, and democracy, presenting a history of the community college movement, illustrating what's involved in building strong and reciprocal community relationships, and covering a whole panoply of leadership issues such as governance, institutional culture, facilities planning, resource
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