We are the community college–Democracy’s college.

One time, back in May, I argued that “Access to education and the opportunity for upward mobility is the American Dream. ” And the community college provides that access. In fact, that’s why community colleges exist!

Make no mistake: the community college is an American invention; it’s Democracy’s college.

Prior to the community college, higher education was reserved for the upper classes. One might even say college helped draw the lines of class. As noted by the Truman Commission, college was “an instrument for producing an intellectual elite.”

But the birth of the community college changed that by becoming “the means by which every citizen, youth, and adult, is enabled and encouraged” to better himself through higher education.

The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal:” The community

college opened the door of opportunity for every American–and we’ve been holding the door open, providing universal post-secondary education ever since.  

The Statue of Liberty bears an inscription: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It may as well be the motto of the community college. Our door is open to everyone.  And we are many things to many people. We have multiple missions: career/workforce training, university transfer, developmental education, lifelong learning.

Did you know that there’s a community college within a short commute of 90% of the US population?

We are about accessibility.

We are about opportunity.

We are about community.

We are about the American Dream.

We are the community college–Democracy’s college.

{And we ( or really just I) have a disclaimer.}

 

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Filed under Community College, Higher Ed

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