Education for All? 2-Year Colleges Struggle to Preserve Their Mission

The budgets of todays community colleges are threatening their “open-access for all” roots and causing them to “prioritize” the most important students.

Focus on Adult Learning . . . Innovation through Inquiry

By Jennifer González

The open-door policy at community colleges is unique in American higher education. It allows all comers—a retired grandmother, an Army veteran, a laid-off machinist—to learn a skill or get a credential. That broad access—the bedrock of the community-college system—has prepared hundreds of millions of people for transfer to four-year colleges or entry into the work force. But these days, the sector finds itself in a fight to save that signature trademark.

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