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From Access to Equity: Community Colleges and the Social Justice Imperative

  • Lorenzo DuBois BaberEmail author
  • Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher
  • Tamara N. Stevenson
  • Jeff Porter
Chapter
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 34)

Abstract

In the United States, community colleges continue to serve as a critical pathway for populations underserved by selective postsecondary systems. However, the role of community colleges as democratic institutions advancing equitable outcomes is being confronted by contemporary policies which stress private returns and market-based outcomes. In this chapter, authors challenge this trend, (re)casting the role of community colleges as equity-centered institutions for advancing enrollment, persistence, and completion for a diverse set of learners. We explore the foundational evolution of community colleges, including the historical tensions between business interests and democratic principles; summarize key policies that shape community engagement and individual participation; and explore the threat of neoliberal forces for advancing social and economic equity at community colleges. Implications for contemporary theory and recommendations for future research are also presented.

Keywords

Community colleges Access Broadening participation Diversity Equity Inclusion Pathways Postsecondary education Students of color Campus climate Completion Equitable outcomes 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo DuBois Baber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher
    • 2
  • Tamara N. Stevenson
    • 3
  • Jeff Porter
    • 4
  1. 1.School of EducationIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Westminster CollegeNew WilmingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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