A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries: many community colleges have an “open enrollment” for students who have graduated from high school (also known as senior secondary school). The term usually refers to a higher educational institution that provides workforce education and college transfer academic programs. Some institutions maintain athletic teams and dormitories similar to their university counterparts.
In Australia, the term "community college" refers to small private businesses running short (e.g. 6 weeks) courses generally of a self-improvement or hobbyist nature. Equivalent to the American notion of community colleges are Tertiary and Further Education colleges or TAFEs; these are institutions regulated mostly at state and territory level. There are also an increasing number of private providers, which are colloquially called "colleges".
TAFEs and other providers carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around the mid-19th century, when evening classes were held to help adults enhance their numeracy and literacy skills. Most Australian universities can also be traced back to such forerunners, although obtaining a university charter has always changed their nature. In TAFEs and colleges today, courses are designed for personal development of an individual and/or for employment outcomes. Educational programs cover a variety of topics such as arts, languages, business and lifestyle. They usually are scheduled to run two, three or four days of the week, depending on the level of the course undertaken. A Certificate I may only run for 4 hours twice a week for a term of 9 weeks. A full-time Diploma course might have classes 4 days per week for a year (36 weeks). Some courses may be offered in the evenings or weekends to accommodate people working full-time. Funding for colleges may come from government grants and course fees. Many are not-for-profit organisations. Such TAFES are located in metropolitan, regional and rural locations of Australia.
Education offered by TAFEs and colleges has changed over the years. By the 1980s many colleges had recognised a community need for computer training. Since then thousands of people have increased skills through IT courses. The majority of colleges by the late 20th century had also become Registered Training Organisations. They offer individuals a nurturing, non-traditional education venue to gain skills that better prepare them for the workplace and potential job openings. TAFEs and colleges have not traditionally offered bachelor's degrees, instead providing pathway arrangements with universities to continue towards degrees. The American innovation of the associate degree is being developed at some institutions. Certificate courses I to IV, diplomas and advanced diplomas are typically offered, the latter deemed equivalent to an undergraduate qualification, albeit typically in more vocational areas. Recently, some TAFE institutes (and private providers) have also become higher education providers in their own right and are now starting to offer bachelor's degree programs.
In Canada, colleges are adult educational institutions that provide higher education and tertiary education, and grant certificates and diplomas. As well, in Ontario, the 24 colleges of applied arts and technology have been mandated to offer their own stand-alone degrees as well as to offer joint degrees with universities through "articulation agreements" that often result in students emerging with both a diploma and a degree. Thus, for example, the University of Guelph "twins" with Humber College and York University does the same with Seneca College. More recently, however, colleges have been offering a variety of their own degrees, often in business and technical fields. The academic and economic value of the college degree is still being tested in the marketplace. Each province has its own educational system, as prescribed by the Canadian federalism model of governance. In the mid-1960s and early 1970s, most Canadian colleges began to provide practical education and training for the emerging baby boom generation, and for immigrants from around the world who were entering Canada in increasing numbers at that time. A formative trend was the merging of the then separate vocational training and adult education (night school) institutions.
Canadian colleges are either publicly funded or private post-secondary institutions (run for profit). There are 150 institutions that are generally equivalent to the US community college in certain contexts. They are usually referred to simply as "colleges" since in common usage a degree-granting institution is almost exclusively a university.
In addition to graduate degrees, universities generally grant Associate's degrees and Bachelor's degrees, but in some regions and/or courses of study, colleges and universities collaborate so college students can earn transfer credits toward undergraduate university degrees.
University degrees are usually attained through four years of study. The term associate degree is used in western Canada to refer to a two-year college arts or science degree, similar to how the term is used in the United States. In other parts of Canada the term advanced degree is used to indicate a 3- or 4-year college program.
In the province of Quebec, three years is the norm for a university degree because a year of credit is earned in the CEGEP (college) system. Even when speaking in English, people often refer to all colleges as  Cégeps, however the term is an acronym more correctly applied specifically to the French-language public system: Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP); in English: College of General and Vocational Education. The word College can also refer to a private High School in Quebec.
In India, 98 community colleges are recognized by the University Grants Commission. The courses offered by these colleges are diplomas, advance diplomas and certificate courses. The duration of these courses usually ranges from six months to two years.
Community colleges in Malaysia are a network of educational institutions whereby vocational and technical skills training could be provided at all levels for school leavers before they entered the workforce. The community colleges also provide an infrastructure for rural communities to gain skills training through short courses as well as providing access to a post-secondary education.
At the moment, most community colleges award qualifications up to Level 3 in the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (Certificate 3) in both the Skills sector (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia or the Malaysian Skills Certificate) as well as the Vocational and Training sector but the number of community colleges that are starting to award Level 4 qualifications (Diploma) are increasing. This is two levels below a bachelor's degree (Level 6 in the MQF) and students within the system who intend to further their studies to that level will usually seek entry into Advanced Diploma programs in public universities, polytechnics or accredited private providers.
In the Philippines, a community school functions as elementary or secondary school at daytime and towards the end of the day convert into a community college. This type of institution offers night classes under the supervision of the same principal, and the same faculty members who are given part-time college teaching load.
The concept of community college dates back to the time of the former Minister of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS) that had under its wings the Bureaus of Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education and Vocational-Technical Education. MECS Secretary, Dr. Cecilio Putong, who in 1971 wrote that a community school is a school established in the community, by the community, and for the community itself. Dr. Pedro T. Orata of Pangasinan shared the same idea, hence the establishment of a community college, now called the City College of Urdaneta.
In the United Kingdom, except for Scotland, a community college is a school which not only provides education for the school-age population (11–18) of the locality, but also additional services and education to adults and other members of the community. This education includes but is not limited to sports, adult literacy and lifestyle education. Usually when students finish their secondary school studies at age 16, they move on to a sixth form college where they study for their A-levels (although some secondary schools have integrated sixth forms). After the two-year A-level period, they may proceed to a college of further education or a university. The former is also known as a technical college.
In the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, two-year colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public institutions providing lower-level tertiary education, also known as continuing education. They grant certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor's degree.
Before the 1970s, community colleges in the United States were more commonly referred to as junior colleges. That term is still used at some institutions. However, the term "junior college" is generally applied to private two-year institutions, whereas the term "community college" is used to describe publicly funded two-year institutions. Community colleges primarily attract and accept students from the local community, and are often supported by local tax revenue. They may also work with local businesses to ensure students are being prepared for the local workforce.
Some research organizations and publications focus upon the activities of community college, junior college, and technical college institutions. Many of these institutions and organizations present the most current research and practical outcomes at annual community college conferences.
Several peer-reviewed journals extensively publish research on community colleges:
The Austin Community College District (ACC) is a community college system serving the Austin, Texas metropolitan area and surrounding Central Texas communities. The college maintains numerous campuses, centers, and distance learning options to serve about 100,000 students in academic, continuing education and adult education programs.
ACC offers associate degree and career/technical certificate programs in about one hundred areas of study. Most courses taken within the district are meant to apply for associate degrees, which help students qualify for jobs or which can be transferred to four-year institutions. ACC is the sixth largest community college system in the United States, and the fourth largest college in Texas.Broward College
Broward College is a public college in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is part of the Florida College System. It was established in 1959 as part of a move to broaden Florida's two-year colleges. In 2008 it adopted its current name, reflecting that it is one of the schools designated a "state college", meaning it can offer four-year bachelor's degrees. In 2012, Broward College was named one of the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation by the Washington D.C.-based Aspen Institute.California Community Colleges System
The California Community Colleges is "a postsecondary education system" in the U.S. state of California. The system includes the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and 73 community college districts. The districts have established 114 community colleges. The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the United States, serving more than 2.1 million students. The California Community Colleges is often referred to as the "California Community Colleges System" (CCCS).Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the California Community Colleges System is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the University of California system and the California State University system. Like the two other systems, the CCCS is headed by an executive officer and a governing board. The 17-member Board of Governors (BOG) sets direction for the system and is in turn appointed by the California Governor. The board appoints the Chancellor, who is the chief executive officer of the system. Locally elected Boards of Trustees work on the district level with Presidents who run the individual college campuses.The CCCS is a founding and charter member of CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, the nonprofit organization which provides extremely high-performance Internet-based networking to California's K-12 research and education community.Dallas County Community College District
The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) is a network of seven community colleges in Dallas County, Texas (USA). It is headquartered at 1601 S. Lamar St. in Dallas. The Colleges of the DCCCD serve more than 70,000 students annually in academic, continuing education and adult education programs.
The Colleges of Dallas County Community College District offer associate degree and career/technical certificate programs in more than 100 areas of study, including one- and two-year certificates and degrees. DCCCD is one of the largest community college systems in Texas.El Camino College
El Camino College (Elco or ECC) is a two-year public community college located in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County known as Alondra Park. It consists of 37 buildings spanning an area of roughly 26 acres (11 ha). It is one of two community colleges serving Southern California's South Bay area.
The El Camino Community College District was officially established as of July 1, 1947. Today the college serves nearly 23,000 students of a diverse background within the El Camino Community College District, including the communities of Alondra Park, Carson, Del Aire, El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Lawndale, Lennox, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, View Park–Windsor Hills. El Camino College offers nearly 2,500 different classes in some 85 different programs, including vocational, undergraduate, and honors courses, many available in online and televised formats for distance education.Glendale Community College (California)
Glendale Community College (GCC) is a community college in Glendale, California.Houston Community College
Houston Community College (HCC), also known as Houston Community College System (HCCS) is a community college system that operates community colleges in Houston, Missouri City, Greater Katy, and Stafford in Texas. It is notable for actively recruiting internationally and for the large number of international students enrolled, over 5,700 in 2015. Its open enrollment policies, which do not require proficiency in English, are backed by a full-time 18-month English proficiency program and remedial courses.As defined by the Texas Legislature, the official service area of HCCS includes the following school districts:
the Houston Independent School District,
the Stafford Municipal School District,
the Spring Branch Independent School District (included in service area by state law, but is not part of the tax base),
the Alief Independent School District,
the North Forest Independent School District (now consolidated into Houston ISD),
the portion of the Fort Bend Independent School District located within the territory of Missouri City.Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson Community College (HCC) is a community college in Hutchinson, Kansas, United States.Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College (usually shortened to Ivy Tech) is Indiana's community college system, encompassing more than 40 locations. It is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.List of colleges and universities in Virginia
This is a list of colleges and universities in the U.S. state of Virginia. The oldest college or university in Virginia is The College of William and Mary, founded in 1693. In 2010, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine became the newest. The largest institution is Liberty University, with over 110,000 students. The smallest is the graduate-only Institute for the Psychological Sciences.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia defines four categories of degree-granting institutions of postsecondary education: public institutions, established private institutions in good standing with a nationally recognized accrediting organization, private and out-of-state institutions requiring certification and institutions exempt from state oversight for religious reasons. Also exempt from certification are vocational institutions supervised by other state agencies, and institutions supervised by the federal government. All public institutions and most traditional private institutions are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Other state-certified private non-religious institutions are accredited by a national organization, though a few do not have any accreditation. Some small religious institutions do not have accreditation.Maricopa County Community College District
The Maricopa County Community College District, also known as Maricopa Community Colleges, is a community college district in Arizona with its headquarters in Tempe. It is one of the largest, serving more than 220,000 students each year in Maricopa County, Arizona. The district serves Maricopa County, the county that includes and surrounds Phoenix and is the most populous of the state's counties. The district's administrative headquarters are located in Tempe, Arizona (east suburban Phoenix).
The programs offered at MCCCD include those leading to a two-year associate degree, and occupational certificates, as well as online classes, and dual enrollment programs.
MCCCD primarily serves students from the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area and surrounding parts of Maricopa County. The cost of tuition for Maricopa County residents $86 per credit hour, as of the 2015-16 academic year.Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College (MCC) is a public community college in Mesa, Arizona. It is the largest of the 10 community colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, which is the largest community college district in the United States in terms of enrollment.Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College (Miami Dade or MDC) is a public college in Miami, Florida with eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County. Founded in 1959, Miami Dade is the largest college in the Florida College System with over 165,000 students and the second-largest college or university in the United States. Miami Dade College's main campus, the Wolfson Campus, is in Downtown Miami.National Junior College Athletic Association
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), founded in 1938, is the governing association of community college, state college and junior college athletics throughout the United States. Currently the NJCAA holds 24 separate regions across 24 states and is divided into 3 divisions.Onondaga Community College
Onondaga Community College (OCC) is a public community college that serves Onondaga County, New York, at two campuses. Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, OCC is one of 30 locally sponsored community colleges in New York State.Santa Monica College
Santa Monica College (SMC) is a public, two-year, community college in Santa Monica, California, United States. Founded as a junior college in 1929, SMC enrolls over 30,000 students in more than 90 fields of study. Although initially serving primarily pre-college, high school students, the College quickly expanded its enrollment to educate college-age students and non-traditional students with the primary intention to transfer to a four-year university. It is one of the few schools which has high transfer rates to 4-year universities such as UCs or CSUs. Today, two-thirds of students at Santa Monica College are enrolled part-time. With over 2,000 employees, SMC is a major employer in the Greater Los Angeles Area and has a significant impact in the region's economy.
Occupying the entire Santa Monica Community College District, SMC is the only public institution of higher education in Santa Monica. The main campus, located on Pico Boulevard, is the college's largest location. The College operates five satellite campuses across Santa Monica.
SMC is the leader in California's 113 community college system in transfers to the University of California system. Since 1929, SMC has provided job training, educational opportunities and cultural enrichment through its radio station KCRW (89.9 FM), the Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center and lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus College for older adults.State University of New York
The State University of New York (SUNY ) is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 424,051 students, plus 2,195,082 adult education students, spanning 64 campuses across the state. Led by Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, the SUNY system has 91,182 employees, including 32,496 faculty members, and some 7,660 degree and certificate programs overall and a $10.7 billion budget.SUNY includes many institutions and four university Centers: Albany (1844), Binghamton (1946), Buffalo (1846), and Stony Brook (1957). SUNY's administrative offices are in Albany, the state's capital, with satellite offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. SUNY's largest campus is the University at Buffalo, which also has the greatest endowment and research funding.The State University of New York was established in 1948 by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, through legislative implementation of recommendations made by the Temporary Commission on the Need for a State University (1946–1948). The Commission was chaired by Owen D. Young, who was at the time Chairman of General Electric. The system was greatly expanded during the administration of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who took a personal interest in design and construction of new SUNY facilities across the state.
Apart from units of the City University of New York (CUNY), SUNY comprises all other institutions of higher education statewide that are state-supported.Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee Community College (commonly referred to as TCC) is an American state college, and is a member of the Florida College System. Tallahassee Community College is accredited by the Florida Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its primary campus is located on a 270-acre (1.1 km2) campus in Tallahassee, Florida, United States.
In 2013, Tallahassee Community College was listed first in the nation in graduating students with A.A. degrees. TCC is the top transfer school in the nation to both Florida State University and Florida A&M University. As of fall 2017, TCC reported 24,639 students.University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaiʻi system (formally the University of Hawaiʻi and popularly known as UH) is a public, co-educational college and university system that confers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and various other research facilities distributed across six islands throughout the state of Hawaii in the United States. All schools of the University of Hawaii system are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The U.H. system's main administrative offices are located on the property of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu CDP.
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