Modeling Social Justice Through the Community College

  • Robert DeBard
  • Tamara Rice

The thesis of this chapter is that the mission of the comprehensive community college that has evolved in the United States represents a model of social jus tice that can be utilized by the postsecondary systems of emerging Third World countries to improve their social and economic well-being. In order to test this thesis, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been chosen as a case in point. The reason for this choice is not one of convenience or ex post facto reporting of its success. Admittedly, Mainland China still faces enormous problems as it attempts to use higher education to advance its economic engine and positively impact the social standard of living of its citizens as well as advance social justice among them.

The viability of comparing the elements of social justice found in the mission and methods of community colleges in the United States and those of China is threefold. First of all, the basis of the study of comparative education is to seek out thematic elements that can be transferred so as to inform an emerging system of the prospects for improvement in implementation by studying the models of more established educational systems (Kubow and Fossum, 2003). Second, such cross-cultural consideration can help illustrate how educational systems can bring global communities together in a common goal of developing human capital even when the political systems remain fundamentally opposed. Finally, the evolution of the comprehensive community college in the United States represents a blend of centralized social engineering and decentralized community involvement that holds promise for what is taking place in the PRC as it strives to provide the necessary components to align educational opportunity with economic growth.


High Education Social Justice Community College Educational Opportunity Modeling Social 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert DeBard
  • Tamara Rice

There are no affiliations available

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