The Significance of Community Colleges and Their Education


This paper presents a critical response to a position statement about the significance of Community colleges and their education. Community colleges are generally considered as a kind of educational institution which provides two-year degrees in specialized subjects. Community colleges mainly attract or offer various courses for students from local regions. Henry T. Kasper states that; “Community colleges have long granted associate degrees that typically take about 2 years of full-time study to complete”. (Kasper, 2003, p.1). These institutions often support the financial enrichment of the local community through tax revenue.

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What is the author’s main argument or position?

The author’s main argument or position is that the Community colleges often serve their local community and therefore their courses and services should give more emphasis on vocational training and other career development programs required for the local community. The author also argues that a student who indented to join HVAC or hospitality industry does not require academic knowledge in sociology, history and literature. The author concludes his arguments by commenting that community colleges are cheating both the students and their community by offering traditional and liberal arts education.

Critical response to the position

Without analyzing news reports and articles about the status of Community colleges one can not express his/her agreement towards the author’s opinion. One can find right in some cases and wrong in others in the author’s argument. Community colleges offer both traditional courses and vocational courses. Henry T. Kasper underlines that; “These programs offer students the traditional college-level courses that lead to an associate degree and prepare students for further study toward a bachelor’s degree”. (Kasper, 2003, p.1). Community colleges prepare the students to join higher-level academic courses and they modify the basic principles of general education.

Community colleges never ignore the possibilities of general academic education. It is clear that the author’s arguments about the role of community colleges in general education are not convincing. Community colleges offer an initial step for 3or 4 years of academic courses. The web article The Missing Link: The Role of Community Colleges in the Transitions between High School and College mentions that; “Community colleges have become comprehensive institutions, providing a wide range of academic, training, and service functions” (The missing link: The role of community colleges in the transitions between high school and college, 2003).

According to the author, a student going into HVAC maintenance or the hospitality industry does not need academic basics in sociology and literature. It is not fully acceptable because subjects in general education are essential for personal development and one cannot forget the fundamental aim of education.

One can support the author’s view about the purpose of Community colleges because Community colleges give more importance to vocational training and career development programs. James L. Wattenbarger argues that; “Community colleges would serve their communities better by improving the programs they are authorized to offer and leaving the bachelors to those institutions that are assigned that responsibility.” (Wright, 2010, p.3). One can feel the difference in education programs implemented by Community colleges.

A considerable percentage of tax revenue contributes to financial benefits and stable economic development. The online journal entitled Community colleges and Economic Development comments that;“Community and technical colleges are also meeting the needs of business, industry, and economic development, thereby helping to create more and better jobs for the members of their communities” (Community Colleges and economic development,1997, p.5). Community and technical colleges have promoted programs to meet the financial challenges for their communities through the formation of job vacancies and developing workforces.

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Finally, we cannot admit the author’s final statement that community colleges are cheating both the students and communities by providing traditional art education. Community colleges not only concentrate the vocational or career training courses but also provide the initial steps of traditional art subjects. Arthur M. Cohen remarks that; “Because the community colleges are part of the formal educational system that reaches from kindergarten to doctoral studies, their involvement with the arts looks much like that revealed in the other general-purpose colleges”. (Cohen, 1988, para.3). Community colleges constitute various branches of academic education and it gives primary importance to vocational and career-based courses.

Reference List

Cohen, A. M., (1988). Art education in community colleges. National Art Education Association. Web.

Community Colleges and economic development. (1997). National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centre, p.5. Web.

Kasper, H. T. (2003). The changing role of community college. Occupational Outlook Quarterly: p.1. Web.

The missing link: The role of community colleges in the transitions between high school and college. (2003). Andrea Conkline Bueschel Stanford University. Web.

Wright, S. W. (2010). Community colleges: Should community colleges offer four-year degrees? CQ Researcher, 10(15), p.3.

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