59th Annual CSCC Conference
April 6-8, 2017
Fort Worth Hilton Hotel
A New Pair of Glasses: Community College Issues
Viewed through New Lenses and Frames
2017 is an important year for community college scholars and practitioners to reflect on our past:
- 35 years ago, in 1982, the first edition of Arthur Cohen and Florence Brawer’s The American Community College was published.
- 40 years ago, in 1976-77, the first volume of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice was published under the title Community and Junior College Research Quarterly.
- 45 years ago, in 1972, the first volume of the Community College Review was published.
- 60 years ago, in 1957, our own organization – then known as the Council of Universities and Colleges – elected the late Dr. Raymond J. Young as its first president.
As we look back through the years and through the many volumes and issues of our scholarly journals, the multiple editions of important books on community colleges, and the programs of the 58 previous conferences of our own council, it is easy to see that some issues endure. Some problems – like college transfer, access and equity, underprepared students, and insufficient funding – seem intractable. Yet, like the scholars and practitioners who came before us, we continue to investigate and test potential new solutions to them all.
Fifteen years ago, at a meeting of the American Educational Research Association in 2002, the late Barbara Townsend admonished community college scholars to stop using the “deficit model” approach of looking at two-year colleges through lenses that were designed for and meant for viewing four-year institutions. Instead, she urged us to begin developing better paradigms – better frames and lenses, if you will – through which our vision and understanding of the institutions that we study are enhanced and rooted in the community college world, rather than to simply continue evaluating the community college world in comparison to other sectors of American higher education.
At no time has the need for such new perspectives greater than it is today. So, we invite you to honor what has come before, but also to put on your new glasses, and share your best ideas for helping to create a brighter future for America’s community colleges and the countless students and communities that they serve. As is always the case, the CSCC welcomes research on all community college-related topics and embraces all research methodologies. We look forward to reading your proposals and to seeing you in Fort Worth, Texas in April of 2017.
David Hardy, President-Elect and Conference Organizer
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