WORKFORCE EDUCATION

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Community Education Extending College Services and Training

Community education, the broadest of all functions, embracesadult and continuing education (often called lifelong learn- ing) as well as numerous other activities not part of traditional college programs. It may take the form of classes for credit or not for credit, varying in duration from one hour to a weekend, several days, or an entire school term. Community education may be sponsored by the college, by some other agency using college facilities, or jointly by the college and some outside group. It may be provided on campus, off campus, or through television, the newspapers, radio, or the Internet. It may center on education or recreation, on programs for personal interest or for the benefit of the entire community.

The various forms of community education usually are fully supported by participant fees, grants, or contracts with external organizations. Participants tend to have short-term goals rather than degree or certificate objectives. They are usually older than the traditional eighteen- to twenty-four-year-old students, and their range of prior school achievement is more varied: Many of them already hold baccalaureate or graduate degrees; many more have never completed high school. They usually attend the course or activities intermittently and part time. They have their own reasons for attending, and program managers design activities accordingly.

Found in the earliest community colleges, these activities were carried along for decades on the periphery of the occupational and liberal arts functions. They expanded greatly in the 1970s, slowed

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Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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in the 1980s as college services came under closer scrutiny from external budget allocators, and grew again in the 1990s as college leaders continually sought new avenues for funding services to particular community groups.

This chapter reviews the rationale for and scope of community education, emphasizing themost popular activities: continuing edu- cation; adult basic education; and community services. It considers also the perennial problems of funding, assessing effects, and validating these services that fall outside the traditional collegiate offerings.

Rationale

Beginning with Jesse Bogue, who popularized the term community college in the 1950s, and continuing with theAmericanAssociation of Community and Junior College’s (AACJC) 1988 Commission on the Future of Community Colleges report, Building Communities (AACJC, 1988), the leaders of the association have been vigorous in their support for community education. Edmund J. Gleazer, Jr., president of the association from 1958 until 1981, wrote exten- sively in favor of education for direct community development, the expansion of the colleges beyond their role in postsecondary education, and continuing education as the main purpose. He emphasized the community, rather than the college, in the institu- tion’s title. To him, it was a resource to be used by individuals throughout their lifetime and by the general public as an agency assisting with community issues. Gleazer’s primary contention was that “the community college is uniquely qualified to become the nexus of a community learning system, relating organizations with educational functions into a complex sufficient to respond to the population’s learning needs” (1980, p. 10).

Other commentators have favored community education as a dominant function. Myran traced the community education concept through university extension services and the adult and

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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continuing education offered by the public schools for the past century. These institutions were able to provide educational ser- vices to individuals and groups without being wed to traditional academic forms, such as credits, semesters, and grades. In Myran’s view, the community-based college was eminently equipped to provide such services because of its ability “to coordinate planning with other community agencies, its interest in participatory learn- ing experiences as well as cognitive ones, the wide range of ages and life goals represented in its student body, and the alternative instructional approaches it arranges to make learning accessible to various community groups” (1969, p. 5).

The Commission on the Future of Community Colleges urged the colleges to coalesce around the community education concept:

The community college, at its best, can be a center for problem-solving in adult illiteracy or the education of the disabled. It can be a center for leadership training, too. It can also be the place where education and busi- ness leaders meet to talk about the problems of displaced workers. It can bring together agencies to strengthen ser- vices forminorities, working women, single parent heads of households, and unwed teenage parents. It can coor- dinate efforts to provide day care, transportation, and financial aid. The community college can take the lead in long-range planning for community development. And it can serve as the focal point for improving the quality of life in the inner city. (AACJC, 1988, p. 35)

This seems like a large order, but the commission was dedicated to fostering the colleges as centers of community life. Its report began with the premise that “the term community should be defined not only as a region to be served, but also as a climate to be created” (p. 3), and many of its seventy-seven recommendations followed from that theme.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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What has stimulated these calls for completely revised structures? What has made these advocates so concerned with community building and noncampus forms? One clue is provided by the nature of the colleges’ political and fiscal support. They draw minuscule funds from private donors and have few federal or foundation-supported research contracts. Instead, they depend almost entirely on public monies awarded in a political arena. And here they have difficulty competing with the more prestigious universities for support in legislatures dominated by university alumni. They seem to be turning to their local constituents, seeking links with taxpayers at the grassroots level.

Community education proponents foster activities different from the traditional courses taught by regular faculty members, say- ing that these are archaic, restrictive, discriminatory, and narrowly focused. They seem to feel that doing away with the traditional forms in which education has been conducted will inevitably lead to a higher quality of service. In their desire to eschew elitism, they articulate populist, egalitarian goals. The more diverse the popula- tion served and the less traditionally based the program, the better.

The overarching concept of community education is certainly justifiable; few would quibble with the intent of an institution to upgrade its entire community rather than merely provide a limited array of courses. However, the total seems less than the sum of its parts. The components of community education must be addressed separately to understand its scope and effect. Are all segments of equal value? Who decides what shall be presented, and who shall pay for it?

Categories

In this chapter, we subdivide community education as follows:

• Lifelong learning: Intermittent education designed for people who have either completed or interrupted their

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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formal studies and who seek to develop their potential or resolve their problems.

• Adult basic education: Basic skills instruction for adults who function at less than a high school level. Instruction may include English as a Second Language (ESL), General Education Development (GED) preparation, and literacy programming.

• Continuing occupational/workforce education: Any type of noncredit instruction or training designed to upgrade job skills or prepare one to enter an occupation. Courses may be tailored for a specific job or industry, or they may have broader applicability.

• Entrepreneurship training: Courses provided specifically to assist entrepreneurs in the tasks necessary to establish and run a new business.

• Community services: The broadest term—whatever services an institution provides that are acceptable to the people in its service area, such as daycare, radio or television stations, and recreational activities.

• Community-based education: Programs designed by the people served and developed for the good of the community, including cooperative arrangements with local clubs or other educational organizations.

• Correctional education: Credit and noncredit education and training provided to inmates.

Conceptually, community education includes elements of occu- pational, developmental, and liberal arts education. Occupational education is organized around programs that prepare people for the job market, whereas community education includes short courses offered for occupational upgrading or relicensure. Liberal arts and

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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transfer education is directed toward preparing people for academic degrees, whereas community education may include regular col- lege courses taken by adults, the awarding of college credit for experience, and noncredit courses taught at the college level—for example, conversational foreign languages. Developmental edu- cation is designed to remedy the defects in student learning occasioned by prior school failure, whereas community educa- tion may include adult basic studies that focus on literacy, high school completion, and general education development. Some ele- ments of community education—programs for the disabled and for prison inmates, for example—may cut across all three of the other functions. However, different elements in community education relate also to providing noneducative services to the community. In this category would fall the opening of college facilities for public functions and a variety of recreational services—the community service notion. As an example, residents in rural areas may find the only readily accessible arts and cultural activities to be those presented through their local colleges.

Enrollments

The variations in definition and categories make it difficult to esti- mate the magnitude of community education. Enrollment figures, especially, are unreliable; they are usually understated except when being pronounced by advocates intent on showing that the col- leges serve nearly everyone in their district. Because degree-credit courses are funded at higher, more consistent levels than most of community education, the tendency was to classify as much as possible as degree credit, thus inflating those numbers at the expense of community education enrollment figures. However, as the states placed limits on the number of credit hours for which they would reimburse the colleges, that practice was curtailed. Actually, the total community education enrollment would far exceed the combined enrollment in the career-certificate and transfer-degree

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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programs if people who enrolled in college-credit classes but with- out degree aspirations were classified instead as adult education students. But enrollees in noncredit courses and participants in community service activities are those typically counted.

The enrollment figures that are available are worth recounting. Community education enrollments (in service, recreational, and life enrichment programs that are not part of for-credit academic programs) reported in the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges Directories ranged from three to four million per year during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, the introduction to the 1980 directory states that “because these programs vary in length, with no clearly defined registration periods, it is difficult to get a clear picture… Some institutions do not routinely collect enrollment figures from community education students” (p. 3). Extrapolating from the 877 institutions that did report student head count in noncredit activities in 1984–85, the compilers of the directory estimated that 4,848,065 participated nationwide. The AACC has since stopped reporting these data because of the imprecision of the figures.

Data difficulties make it impossible to compare community edu- cation enrollments between states as well. Some state reports include adult basic education or participation in recreational activities (or both), and others do not. Furthermore, head-count enrollments in community education usually include duplicate enrollments occasioned when the same person participates in more than one noncredit course or activity during the year. Nonetheless, state enrollments are useful as an estimate of the magnitude and types of functions included in the community education definition.

In Florida, the community colleges have major responsibility for offering courses to individuals aged sixteen and older who had legally left the lower schools. In 2010–11, 52,219 were enrolled in adult basic education, 2,452 in lifelong learning, and 57,761 in recreation and leisure (Florida Department of Education, 2012). That same year, Mississippi had 19,238 students enrolled in

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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adult basic education and continuing education courses as well as GED and literacy programs. An additional 76,541 students were involved in noncredit workforce education (Mississippi Community College Board, 2011). In California, 347,195 students participated in basic skills courses offered by the state’s 112 community colleges in 2010–11 (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2012).

There is no question that the demand for non–degree-related courses is high across all segments of the population. The NCES estimated that 44 percent of the population aged sixteen or older participated in adult education activities in 2005, up from 40 percent in 1995. Work-related and personal interest courses attracted the highest percentage of adults (27 and 21 percent, respectively, for each activity).

A New York Times poll conducted in spring 2012 asked a nationwide random sample of adults if they had gone back to school in the previous five years. Of the 23 percent who said they had, most had done so to gain training for jobs. Of that group, 75 percent said they had completed the training or were still enrolled, and 29 percent that it had helped them get a new job or promotion. Nearly all responded that the training was a good investment of time and money (Connelly, Stefan, and Kayda, 2012).

Scope

The scope of community education is reflected in documents from colleges around the country. Lifelong learning alone covers a broad area. The concept describes an area of service that knows no limits on client age, prior educational attainment, interest, or intent, and the scope of offerings is limited only by staff energies and imagination and by the funds available.

Lifelong Learning

A Ford Foundation Study reported by Gittell (1985) found many low-income adults involved in community education and

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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concluded that community-based colleges provide an important option for many people who are not served elsewhere. Whatever the financial circumstances, many groups of people are involved because community education addresses a wide variety of con- cerns, including child care, substance abuse, senior citizen services, student achievement and school effectiveness, community pride and support for schools, unemployment and underemployment, literacy and diploma and degree completion, and community eco- nomic development. When sufficient funding can be obtained, programs for special groups are provided: women; displaced work- ers; gerontology programs for both the general public and providers of direct services to older adults; retired persons; single parents; and displaced homemakers.

In general, adult and noncredit education serve an especially versatile population: parents; older adults and those who are dis- abled or homeless; out-of-school youth and dropouts; unemployed and underemployed people; adults receiving public assistance and welfare recipients; persons involved with the penal system; and new immigrants.More than 750 colleges participate in the Servicemem- bers Opportunity Colleges (SOCs), which allows members of the armed forces and their families to enroll in college-level programs at community and state colleges and universities. It features flexible access to higher education for members of the armed forces who find difficulty in regular attendance because of their geographic mobility. Service members may earn transferable credits toward degrees, and academic residency expectations are limited to no more than 25 percent of degree requirements.

Adult Basic Education

Continuing education programs also serve other special groups. Adult basic education (ABE), centering onbasic skills development for functionally illiterate adults, is a major component. In 2007, over 135,000 students, 17 percent of the total served by the North Carolina Community College System (2007b), were in ABE.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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Noncredit ESL and GED preparation courses are often categorized as part of ABE, as both provide literacy and less-than-college-level instruction. In the Illinois colleges, 8,811 students were in ABE, 5,001 participated in adult secondary education programs, and 22,215 were enrolled in ESL classes (Illinois Community College Board, 2012). Milwaukee Area Technical College (Wisconsin) is one of many that helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents obtain GED degrees and either gain employment or continue their education in postsecondary institutions outside the agricultural setting.

Entrepreneurship Training

Establishing a small business has always been a natural sequence for some graduates of community college career programs. In 1980, a congressional act created Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), a venture funded jointly by the federal government, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and state and local public and private agencies. These centers, in many cases housed in community colleges, were designed to help individuals interested in starting a business and those who already had businesses but required management assistance.

Carmichael (1991) discussed the steps in establishing SBDCs and described Lane Community College (Oregon), which had the first community college–based network in the nation, and Bergen County Community College (New Jersey), which had one of the first pilot programs funded by the Small Business Administration. Other exemplary programs include Montgomery Community College (Maryland) and several other colleges in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The difference between entrepreneurship training and small- business development, on one hand, and workforce training, on the other, lies in program centers and in people for whom the programs are intended. The content of entrepreneurship training, designed to assist people starting their own businesses, ranges from

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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developing a business plan to obtaining licenses and loans to employing other people. A small number of colleges are involved in business incubation: the practice of assisting emerging small businesses by creating an environment where business owners are provided with opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills. However, in many cases, the colleges provide entrepreneurs with little more than space and clerical support.

In 1994 the Center for the Study of Community Colleges, sponsored by the E. M. Kauffman Foundation, examined the scope and magnitude of entrepreneurship training and found that most large-city colleges had some such involvement, usually provided through their continuing education division or through a center for economic development or small-business development institute. The programs were organized on an ad hoc basis when state, federal, foundation, or local-agency funds could be acquired. Typically, the people toward whom the training was directed could afford to pay little or no tuition.

According to the Kauffman Foundation (2007), in 2006 more than five thousand entrepreneurship courses were being offered at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the coun- try, and over five hundred of these institutions were offering a formal entrepreneurship program involving majors, minors, or cer- tificates. In Virginia, a majority of community colleges present at least one course treating topics of entrepreneurship and small- business management. REAL Enterprises (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) operates in 151 postsecondary insti- tutions, mostly community colleges, with programs focusing on the development of small businesses through experiential learning, self-assessment, community analysis, and business plan writing.

Community-Based Education

Several types of cooperative endeavors between community col- leges and other community agencies may be found. Arrangements between the colleges and local and state organizations as well as

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other educational institutions are most prevalent, as are coopera- tive arrangements with county andmunicipal government agencies and private enterprises. These joint ventures range from sharing facilities to offering mutually sponsored courses. The majority of funds come from tuition and fees charged to participants, but many of the programs are supported by college community service funds, often generated by local taxes.

One study, conducted by the Workforce Strategy Center, cited community-based organizations (CBOs) as essential to the goal of colleges to extend their education and training opportunities to wider local communities. CBOs offer counseling, casemanagement, social support, rehabilitation services, and education and training to adults in local communities who lack ties to educational insti- tutions. Partnerships between community colleges and CBOs link these resources with accessibility for underserved adults. The study sought examples of programs focusing on economically and edu- cationally disadvantaged adults, offering credit-bearing instruction and integrating social support and counseling.West Side Technical Institute at Daley Community College (Illinois) collaborated with Insituto del Progreso Latino to provide metalworking, machinist, adult basic education, vocational ESL, andGED programs designed to prepare economically and educationally disadvantaged adults for jobs in manufacturing. Austin Community College (Texas) part- nered with Capital IDEA to provide over six hundred low-income adults with postsecondary training in health care, high technology, accounting, adult education, ESL, GED, and customized training for employer demand. The study group concluded, “Making com- munity colleges the key institution in career pathwaymodels allows local workforce agencies, community-based organizations (CBOs), social service agencies, and employers to work together to build an effective workforce development system that enables disadvan- taged individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency” (Gruber, 2004, p. 3).

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In community-based programming, promoted by the Academy for Community College Leadership Advancement, Innovation, and Modeling, colleges act as leaders and catalysts facilitat- ing collaboration among community agencies and organizations. Community-based programming was used in Guilford Technical Community College (North Carolina) as a means to improve work- force preparedness; in James Sprunt Community College (North Carolina) with a focus on literacy and economic development; in Florence-Darlington Technical College (South Carolina) to address issues of local water quality; in Technical College of the Lowcountry (South Carolina) to spur economic development; and in Paul D. CampCommunity College (Virginia) emphasizing issues related to substance abuse (Boone, Pettitt, and Weisman, 1998). Some colleges have developed community-based forums in which the participants discuss subjects reported in the local newspaper, a procedure that has been used to bring the humanities to par- ticipants through lectures, panels, debates, dramatizations, films, and radio broadcasts. Many colleges offer job fairs to help connect people with businesses seeking employees, recreational activities in senior citizens’ centers, parenting classes, child-care training programs, and drug and alcohol abuse workshops.

Although not included in the community education figures, the many programs that fine arts and humanities departments sponsor in cooperation with local agencies, such as arts councils and museums, are properly a part of the concept. Such activities have been promoted for decades: Fields (1962) described how Tyler Junior College (Texas) shared cultural events in its community; Goldman (1969) found rural colleges in California offering several types of cultural programs; and Terry, Hardy, and Katsinas (2007) found nearly all the rural community colleges inAlabama providing theatrical productions and musical and literary events open to the public and funded by small grants, some from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Correctional Education

Community education often involves providing special services to other publicly funded institutions, as in, for example, nearly every prison system in thenation. ErismanandContardo’s comprehensive study found that “as of 2003–04 more than 85,000 prisoners—just under 5 percent of the total prison population—were taking college courses” (2005, p. 47). The largest numbers were in federal prisons (17 percent) and in Texas and North Carolina (11 percent each). Since 1967, Arizona community colleges have offered basic skills and occupational training to inmates within their prison system, in 2003 servingmore than 25,000 inmates (MPRAssociates). In 2006, 45 North Carolina colleges had a 65,000 duplicated inmate head count, which represented 30 percent of the inmates in 78 prisons (North Carolina Community College System, 2007a). Lakeshore Technical College’s (Wisconsin) prison program includes ABE and secondary education, ESL, andGED testing. Coastline Community College and Palo Verde College, both in California, enroll high numbers of inmates through their distance learning programs.Chaf- feyCollege (California) andQuinebaugValleyCommunityCollege (Connecticut) have programs especially for female inmates.

These programs for prisoners are effective. The Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders Program operates through numerous colleges and correctional facilities, offering credit and noncredit courses to inmates. Students in these programs recidivated at a significantly lower rate than other ex-offenders—46 percent lower inNorthCarolina. Texas prisoners who earned associate degrees while incarcerated returned to prison at a rate of 27 percent comparedwith a 43 percent recidivism rate for the state prison system as a whole. Legislation in 1994 eliminating Pell Grants for prisoners depressed these involvements, but ten years later enrollments were higher than the previous level. State

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corrections funds and charitable donations make up for the loss of federal grants (Erisman and Contardo, 2005).

Effectiveness

Are community education programs in general effective? Assessing the outcomes is difficult; because the entire community is the client, effects are diffuse and subject to contamination from innumerable sources. One way of measuring the effects of continuing education courses has been to ask the participants if they benefited or how they liked them. When students enrolled in community service are asked why they enrolled, their responses cluster around “to improve my chances of employment,” “to further my cultural or social development,” and “to learn a certain hobby.”

Other evaluations typically are process related.McGuire (1988) provided a set of criteria by which entire community-based pro- grams might be measured. But these again are process criteria: the extent to which community members were involved in program planning; the linkages that were built between the college and other community agencies; the feedback received from community leaders and clients; and similar subjective measures that are depen- dent on an observer’s interpretation. All of community education seems to be assessed as though it were continuing education for individuals raised to the level of the broader group. If the clients define the goals and the processes, success is measured by their saying that they achieved those goals. Independent ratings based on measurable change seem as scarce as advance determination of the change to be effected.

Organization and Funding

The organization of Coastline Community College (California) in 1976 as a noncampus institution devoted primarily to community education, and similar institutions in Arizona and Washington, stimulated the development of a new form of professional educator.

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The managers of these institutions not only must be curriculum and instructional designers, the role played by practitioners in all colleges, but also must interact with community advisory commit- tees, find agencies to bear the cost of their programs, advertise for students, employ part-time staff members, produce varieties of new instructional media, and resolve jurisdictional disputes with other agencies—in sum, must act as entrepreneurs. Although such roles are not as well defined in the more conventional community col- leges, those with sizable community education efforts of necessity have a number of people acting in those capacities.

Separate administrative entities have also been organized in several individual colleges. Valencia Community College (Florida) began theOpenCampus in 1974 (nowknown asValenciaContinu- ing Education) to coordinate all continuing education, community services, and functions that the college provides away from the campus. Similarly, the off-campus lifelong learning center operated by Lansing Community College (Michigan) provides community education, continuing education, programs for youth and older adults, and a small-business development center. These types of organizations—which coordinate the noncredit courses, distance learning, and related community education activities—have been built in many colleges. They typically have their own staff, budget lines, and funding sources.

The ways that community education has been funded reflect its growth and variety. Some community education activities receive no direct aid; all expenses are borne by the participants themselves or by an agency with which the institution has a contract. Others are funded by enrollment formulas that tend to yield less money than the formulas used for the occupational and transfer courses. Funding for the recreational and avocational activities within the community education definition is the most difficult to obtain because those activities seem least justifiable for support at taxpayer expense.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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Some states have funded adult basic education at the same rate as occupational and transfer programs. Others have funded them well but under different formulas. In Florida, developmental and com- munity instructional services received nearly as much state money per full-time student equivalent (FTSE) as the occupational and collegiate functions.Oregon similarly reimbursed colleges for devel- opmental and continuing education courses at approximately the same level as for liberal arts and occupational programs. However, continuing education courses in Iowa were not eligible for state aid. Maryland funded continuing education courses that met certain criteria, especially if they focused on occupational, developmental, and consumer education; recreational courses were not eligible for reimbursement. Noncredit and adult education programs in California, limited to classes provided free of charge to students, were funded primarily by the State School Fund, general appor- tionment, with additional support from various other programs. Once again, it is important to note that between-state comparisons cannot accurately be made because the definitions of the courses and programs included in the different categories vary widely.

There is no best plan for financing community education in every state, and disputes over financing often disguise disagree- ments over the community college mission. The precarious base of funding was revealed between 1978 and 1981 when tax-limitation legislation was passed in several states. Soon after the 1978 passage of Proposition 13 in California, the average community services budget was cut by at least 50 percent. These cuts resulted in a 76 percent increase in courses for which fees were charged and a 24 percent decrease in courses funded through college budgets. Kintzer detailed the cuts, showing that 20 percent of the 4,600 non- credit courses were eliminated and 10 percent were placed on a fee basis. Recreational noncredit classes were reduced by 60 percent, and senior citizen programs were halved statewide as twenty-one colleges deleted their community service budgets. Overall, since Proposition 13 “eliminated the five-cent permissive property tax

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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that had protected community services activities, including pro- grams, personnel, and some capital construction, for nearly fifteen years, the fiscal basis for this function was destroyed” (1980b, p. 7).

However, the programs not only survived but also expanded, as many began charging fees. In 69 percent of the colleges sur- veyed subsequently by Harlacher and Ireland, community services directors said that “the status of their community services and continuing education programs had increased during the past five years. Another 21 percent said that the status had been main- tained” (1988, p. 3). The prime programmatic emphasis was on workforce training and retraining, with leisure-time education and economic development the secondary areas of emphasis. Despite the strength of these programs, the growing mandate for self- support by community services and continuing education programs posed a major threat. The regulations most commonly cited were state rules regarding self-support for noncredit offerings, commu- nity instructional service, and leisure-time courses. Other notable threats to expansion were lack of instructional support and integra- tion and competition from the private sector and community-based organizations.

Much of community education transfers the costs of certain programs from one public agency to another. The training programs conducted by community colleges on behalf of police and fire departments that are too small to operate their own academies offer an example. Where the departments pay the college to do the training, little changes except that the college coordinates the training. But in some instances, law enforcement programs are converted to degree or certificate programs, thus qualifying them for state support. The cost of these programs is thereby transferred from the local to the state government budget. Similarly, some industries contract with community colleges to train their workers, paying for the services. But in numerous instances, targeted training programs are given for credit, thus shifting the cost from the industrial concern to the state.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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Contracts to train military personnel are particularly intricate. They specify the site, the curriculum, and the tuition that may be charged. They are overseen not only by the college accrediting agency but also by the military officials, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other federal agencies. Difficulties arise when, for example, the college faculty is covered by a union contract but themilitary does not recognize unionmembership for its employees. Such involvements also add greatly to the college’s administrative costs because of the complexities of arranging the contracts and maintaining elaborate files for the auditors.

In sum, the variety of activities within the scope of community education provides an opportunity not only for serving new clients but also formanipulating the funding to the institution’s advantage. If a course can be designated as a degree-credit course and thus become eligible for state aid, it may be moved to that category. If a program can be offered on a contractual basis, with a different government agency or a private industrial concern paying for it, it may be so arranged and thus not drain the college’s operating funds. Although administrative costs may be high, community education offers opportunities for creativity in program planning and staff deployment to college managers who find their efforts in the traditional programs hamstrung by external licensing bureaus and negotiated contracts with the faculty.

Program Validity

Advocates answer questions of validity by saying that they can serve the entire populace through community education. To them, it is a natural extension of the open-door policy and the egalitarian impulses that gave rise to community colleges in the first place. The idea of community uplift has also been presented as a purpose. To those subscribing to that idea, the development of a sense of community is the goal. The college serves as the focal point for community pride. The events that it sponsors enhance a sense

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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of community in the district; the act of planning, teaching, and participating in recreational programs and personal-help workshops fosters community spirit. By this line of reasoning, any activity that brings people together—a health fair, a senior citizens’ day, a hobby course offered in a convalescent home, or a college-sponsored trip to a foreign country—will suffice.

Less noble, but nonetheless prevalent, is the intent to aggrandize the institutions, or at least to maintain their current size. Decline is painful. College leaders who peruse the demography charts, consider the competing institutions in their area, and study the potential market for their own programs may wonder about sources of students. Enrollment of older students enabled the colleges to avoid severe declines when the population of eighteen-year-olds dropped in the 1980s. Much of community education acts as a marketing device, not only for the activities offered but also for the traditional college programs. The awarding of credit for experience offers a prime example. As many as 80 percent of the people who receive such credit go on to take additional courses at the college. The term changing markets is frequently used by those who exhort the institutions to move into new service areas lest they suffer the fate of once prosperous industries that failed to adapt to changing conditions.

Community education seems also a way of blunting charges of failure in other areas. In the 1950s and 1960s, there were widespread contentions that community colleges would enable the disadvantaged to move up the socioeconomic ladder and would teach skills of citizenship and literacy to people whom the lower schools had failed. College spokespersons also promised to provide an avenue to the baccalaureate for students of lesser ability and lower income. All of these goals proved more elusive than their proponents expected. It is easier to propose new roles for the colleges than to explain away their inability to fulfill old ones.

The issue of institutional credibility must also be addressed. Is the community college a true college? Most community education

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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advocates and most of those who make fervent calls for a new mission make light of that question, but it has been posed by both members of the public and professional educators. Faculty members trying to maintain collegiate standards in their courses often take a dimviewofmost community education activities.Correspondingly, most community education proponents find little place for the regular faculty members in their programs, preferring instead to staff themwith part-timers working ad hoc with little or no commitment to the institution itself. Community education has thus fostered internal dissension. Administrators may perceive the traditional faculty members as anchors dragging at an institution that would propel itself into a new era; the faculty tend to cast a jaundiced eye on the recreational activities and the contract programs that use instructors as interchangeable parts, to be dismissed when the particular programs for which they were employed have ended.

To those whose memories of college center on courses in the liberal arts taught on a campus, community education threatens to debase the institution. Their perception of college is as a place of mobility for individuals who, through exposure to higher learn- ing, take their place as productive members of society. To them, community uplift is an alien dimension; its aspects seem to be frills or peripheral functions at best, anti-intellectual at worst. They question the standards in the noncredit, open-circuit, and continuing education programs, and they wonder about quality control in an institution hosting only a minimal corps of full-time professional scholars. They reject contentions that an institution serving up a pastiche of uncoordinated functions bears any relation to an institution of higher learning. Community education advo- cates may try to dismiss these critics as anachronisms nostalgic for the ivy-covered college serving an elite group, but the ranks of the critics include sizable percentages of the public, who want their community college to serve as an avenue of mobility for their children, not as a purveyor of leisure and personal interest classes for everyone else.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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Future Development

The future for community education rests on its funding base and the way it is organized within the colleges. The people served through community education do not fit typical student categories. They seldom enroll in programs leading to degrees; they may not even be enrolled in formally structured courses but instead may be participating in events especially tailored to their interests. Therefore, any attempt to fund community education on the basis of average daily attendance, FTSE, or some other category that suggests students’ attending courses leading to degrees or certificates on a campus is at variance with the intent of the program and the pattern of student participation.

It seems that the areas of community education most promising for further development are those that have taken the community colleges away from their higher education affiliation. But this redefinition in the direction of occupational and literacy training differs markedly from the idea of the community college as an agency of direct community uplift. It is the community college as latter-day secondary school, not as social welfare bureau. It is the community college as educational structure rather than as purveyor of recreational activities and quasi-educative services.

The prognosis for other forms of continuing education is less clear. It is certain to vary in different institutions, depending mainly on the directors’ vigor in attracting funds and publicizing offerings. The large market frequently noted by proponents of lifelong learning is composed, in the main, of people using the colleges’ athletic facilities, attending job fairs, learning how to make furniture or repair their cars, and dealing with cyclical changes in their lives. Those who need the discipline afforded by structured, institutionally sanctioned activities may be enticed away from their self-help books and informal study groups. But it is doubtful that they will greet eagerly the intervention of an agency that would coordinate all their learning efforts.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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The issue of social versus individual benefits looms large in connection with community education. Most economic theorists would contend that funds collected from the taxpayers at large should be used to benefit society; hence, if a program is more bene- ficial to the individual than to the broader community, the person receiving that benefit should bear the cost. This is the basis for the legislative antagonism toward supporting courses in self-help and hobbies. However, much of community education cannot be neatly categorized into services that benefit individuals rather than the broader society. When people complete a GED or noncredit occupational training program at public expense and use it to find a job in the community, society gains taxpaying workers, and the individuals gain access to a profession in which they can earn manymore dollars than they couldwithout the training.Who bene- fitsmore: society or the individuals?At the further extreme are those forms of community education that assist society most clearly. One example is provided by community forums that explore patterns of energy use, quality of life, the effects of zoning, and the environment in the local community. Citizens are provided with information important to their making decisions within the social unit.

Those who would expand community education might do well to articulate and adhere to certain principles underlying its struc- ture. The programs most defensibly supported by public funds are, first, those that tend toward the socially useful, as opposed to the individually beneficial, end of the continuum—for example, sustainability forums instead of self-help programs. Second, they are the verifiably educative programs, as opposed to those that are predominantly recreational. Third, they are programs that provide services that are not readily available elsewhere for the people they serve. Thus, the better-integrated businesses would manage their own employee training programs while the colleges concen- trated on assisting workers in less well-organized industries, such as restaurant workers in their area, who might benefit from peri- odic refresher courses in health care and sanitation. Heretofore,

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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members of economically disadvantaged groups have been the least likely to participate in education, but the true community service institution would bend all effort to serve them. Unfortunately for the concept of social utility, programs in which the colleges main- tain training relationships with Fortune 500 companies are much more common than those that support farmworkers or the homeless.

The advocates might also reduce their claims that community education has the potential for solving community problems. As Talbott observed, the college is confounding its ability to take on the whole community as its province with its ability to take on and solve all of the community’s problems: “To take on the role of an omniscient social welfare agency strains the credibility as well as the resources of the college. It is not set up to revamp the courts, to change the traffic pattern, to purify the water, to clean the air of smog” (1976, p. 89).

Gottschalk (1978) also noted the dissimilarities between serv- ing individuals and society by differentiating between problems and issues. Problems are individual; issues are broad enough to affect the community. Individuals who are unemployed have problems that the community college can mitigate by training them sufficiently so that each may obtain paid employment. But massive unemploy- ment is a community issue over which the college has little control. Attempting to solve community issues requires political action, which the colleges cannot afford to undertake because the risk of offending important support groups is too great. The colleges some- times get involved in low-risk community issues, offering forums on safe topics such as energy conservation. But a forumon the history of a local labor dispute would be risky. The local arts council maymeet often in a college building that is never made available as a dormi- tory for the homeless. Most college leaders opt for the safe course.

Issues

Community education has not reached parity with degree and certificate programs in either funding or internal and external

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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perceptions of the college’smainmission. For the foreseeable future, the community college as nexus for all the area’s educational forms is an even less likely eventuality. How can an institution funded predominantly by the state respond appropriately to local needs?

Cultural and recreational activities conducted as part of com- munity service programs have declined in the face of limited budgets and concomitant conversion of these functions to a self- sustaining basis. Should colleges try to maintain their recreational functions? Can cultural presentations be offered as part of the reg- ular humanities programs and thus be absorbed into their funding packages?

How can quality be controlled in community education pro- grams that do not come under the scrutiny of any outside agency or under internal curriculum review?

Any public agency ultimately can be supported only as long as the public perceives its value. The educative aspects of community education—its short courses, programs for institutionalized pop- ulations, and classes for those attempting to earn a GED or gain functional literacy—are the colleges’ strengths. Each noneduca- tive function may have a debilitating long-term effect because it diffuses the college mission. Each time the colleges act as social welfare agencies or modern Chautauquas, each time they claim to enhance the global community, they run the risk of reducing the support they must have if they are to pursue their main purpose.

Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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Cohen, Arthur M., et al. The American Community College, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/capella/detail.action?docID=1366278. Created from capella on 2020-05-31 17:38:22.

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