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Higher Education and Society

Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Higher education and society are becoming increasingly intertwined. Both act as a transmitter of culture, yet many colleges and universities also ideally seek to create a more perfectible society and more enlightened, engaged citizens. When the connections between social structures and post-secondary education are closely entangled, the university’s aims can take on a contentious struggle for identity in a vexing web of competing external interests – especially in light of scarce economic resources, corporate pressures, technological questions, and globalizing trends. Higher Education and Society weighs the urgent question of how society and higher education influence each other. How the latter responds to that unsettled issue may well determine whether colleges and universities chart a more self-reflective path or one of rising deference to societal contingencies. This book is essential for all those who study and work in today’s colleges – and for all those who seek a better education for their children, the nation, and the world. It is especially recommended for courses in higher education and society, contemporary issues in higher education, the philosophy of higher education, academic issues in higher education, leadership in higher education, and globalization and higher education. The book is also useful for the preparation of faculty development programs in colleges and universities.
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10. The Commercialization of the Community College



Community colleges matter. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 95% of community colleges are open admission; they enroll 42% of first-time freshmen and 45% of all undergraduates, including 59% of Native American students, 56% of Hispanic students, and 48% of black students. When compared with four-year institutions, they enroll larger percentages of nontraditional, low-income, and minority students. Thirty-six percent of community college students are the first generation in their families to attend college (Fast Facts From Our Fact Sheet, n.d.). Community college tuition costs remain “approximately 50% lower” than four-year institutions (“The Top 10 Benefits,” n.d.). Uniquely American, it is not an exaggeration to call community colleges the most democratic institutions in higher education.

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