Understanding Community Colleges (Hardback) book cover

Understanding Community Colleges

Edited by John S. Levin, Susan T. Kater

© 2013 – Routledge

288 pages

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Paperback: 9780415881272
pub: 2012-07-26
Hardback: 9780415881265
pub: 2012-07-26
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pub: 2012-09-10
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Understanding Community Colleges provides a comprehensive review of the community college landscape—management and governance, finance, student demographics and development, teaching and learning, policy, faculty, and workforce development—and bridges the gap between research and practice. This contributed volume brings together highly respected scholars in the field who rely upon substantial theoretical perspectives—critical theory, social theory, institutional theory, and organizational theory—for a rich and expansive analysis of community colleges. The latest text to publish in the Core Concepts in Higher Education series, this exciting new text fills a gap in the higher education literature available for students enrolled in Higher Education and Community College graduate programs.

This text provides students with:

  • A review of salient research related to the community college field.
  • Critical theoretical perspectives underlying current policies.
  • An understanding of how theory links to practice, including focused end-of-chapter discussion questions.
  • A fresh examination of emerging issues and insight into contemporary community college practices and policy.


"The thoughtful perspectives presented in this important book constitute an innovative, experiential view of the community college as a site of promise and contest. This should be required reading for anyone seeking to better understand these complex and essential institutions."

-- Brian Pusser, Associate Professor of Higher Education, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, USA.

"This book is a must-read for practitioners, scholars, and students seeking to understand the evolution of community colleges and the theoretical frameworks that provide insight into how, why, and when institutional change occurs and its impact on organizational and student success. The authors provide a timely and much-needed scholarly contribution to the community college and higher education profession."

-- Rufus Glasper, Chancellor of The Maricopa Community Colleges, USA.

"…[T]his volume holds some of the strongest book chapters we have seen on community colleges. The editors have assembled a cadre of high quality scholars who write with compelling candor about current and emerging topics being discussed by community college researchers and practitioners nationwide."

-- Luke Wood, San Diego State University, and Robert T. Palmer, State University of New York, Binghamton, Journal of College Student Development

"I think there is something for all of the above. The newcomer to community colleges will profit from reading Chapter 1; faculty and student affairs professionals should read those chapters that are relevant; and presidents should at least read Chapters 1, 6, 9, 10, 13, and the final chapter."

--George B. Vaughan, Community College Journal of Research and Practice

Table of Contents

Section I – The Core: Community Colleges and their Students Chapter 1: Community College Mission in Historical Perspective, Ken Meier Chapter 2: Student Diversity in Community Colleges: Examining Trends and Understanding the Challenges, Lindsey E. Malcom Chapter 3: Student Development and Consumerism: Student Services on Campus, Joan B. Hirt and Tara E. Frank Chapter 4: International Students in U.S. Community Colleges: Status, Opportunities, and Future, Linda Serra Hagedorn & Yi (Leaf) Zhang Chapter 5: Adult Student Development: The Agentic Approach and its Relationship to the Community College Context, Virginia Montero-Hernandez & Christine Cerven Chapter 6: Teaching Academically Underprepared Students in Community Colleges, Dolores Perin Section II – Institutional Issues for the Community College Chapter 7: Planning Programs for Community College Education: Theory, Policy, and Practice, David F. Ayers & Michael V. Ayers Chapter 8: Managing Today’s Community Colleges: A New Era? Pamela L. Eddy Chapter 9: Leadership: Community College Transitions, Marilyn Amey Chapter 10: Deconstructing Governance and Expectations for the Community College, Carrie B. Kisker & Susan T. Kater Chapter 11: State Fiscal Support for Community Colleges, Jim Palmer Section III – Economic and Workforce Development Chapter 12: Career and Technical Education: Old Debates, Persistent Challenges in Community Colleges, Debra D. Bragg Chapter 13: The Comparative Political Economy of Vocational Education: Lessons for the Study of Community Colleges in the United States, Luciana Dar Chapter 14: Community College Economic and Workforce Development Education in the Neoliberal and Academic Capitalist Contexts, Matthew M. Mars Section IV – The Future: Community College Research & Scholarship Chapter 15: Understandings of Community Colleges in Need of Resuscitation: The Case of Community College Faculty, John S. Levin

About the Editors

John S. Levin is Bank of America Professor of Education Leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Riverside.

Susan T. Kater is the Director of Institutional Planning, Research, and Effectiveness at GateWay Community College, Phoenix, Arizona.

About the Series

Core Concepts in Higher Education

Core Concepts in Higher Education is a textbook series for the education of new professionals, covering the core areas of study in the field of higher education and student affairs. This timely and dependable series provides the necessary tools to ensure practice is informed by theory and research. The books in this series invite students to think critically about the field to discover what has been left out and what needs to be learned, and also provides frameworks and constructs for addressing challenges facing higher education. The Core Concepts in Higher Education series moves thought, action, and scholarship forward by valuing, reconstructing, and building on the foundations of the field. Through a rich combination of research, theory, and practice, this series aims to move the field into a new generation of scholarship to better prepare students for authentic leadership of our colleges, universities, and academic communities.

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