Theory, Practice, and Change
Chapter Seven: Demographic Trends
This chapter introduces select demographic information on community colleges that focuses on: (a) institutional characteristics; (b) students’ characteristics; (c) faculty characteristics; and (d) administrators’ characteristics. Demographic trends are contextual- ized as an opportunity to further meet the changing needs of an increasingly diverse student population. When reading this chapter, consider the following questions: How do the demographic trends within your institution correspond • to the national demographic landscape of community colleges? What are the implications of these trends for the future of the community college? What social, political, and economic factors contribute to these • trends? What are the implications of these factors for community colleges? How can demographic data be used to inform leadership practices?• The landscape of the community college is evolving at an unprecedented rate (e.g., enrollment trends, mission, accountability measures, and funding sources). Depending upon the leader, this can serve as an opportunity to further meet the changing needs of an increasingly diverse student population or serve as a deter- rent to the well-being of the community college. For example, one leader may see the increasing racial/ethnic diversity of students, faculty, and staff, and use it as an opportunity to create programs and policies that meet the needs of these groups. Another leader may see these changes as a threat to campus stability. Understanding and examining the breadth and depth of these trends, and how leaders are experiencing these trends can serve as a diagnostic tool in assessing the institution’s responsiveness to the needs of its constituency. For...
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