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Community Colleges and Contract Training: Content, Origins and Impact

by Kevin J. Dougherty & Marianne F. Bakia - 2000

Over the last three decades, most community colleges have broadened their economic development role to include contracting with employers to train current or prospective employees in job and academic skills. This article describes the main contours of the community college's involvement in contract training, explains how this involvement arose, and analyzes its impact on the community college. This analysis is based both on national data on the general prevalence and form of contract training and on case studies of the forms it takes in twenty community colleges in five stages servicing five quite different industries. Contract training is sometimes quite elaborate, as in the case of entry-level training of skilled workers in auto manufacturing, auto repair, and construction. Here the training often involves multiyear apprenticeships, combining both classroom and on-the-job training, with labor unions exercising a major role. But contract training often is much briefer and dominated by the wishes of companies. The origins of contract training lie in a combination both of business pressure and of initiative by community colleges and government bodies pursuing interests and values of their own. Contract training has broadly affected community colleges in such areas as enrollments, revenues, external relations, governance, internal relations, curriculum and pedagogy, and institutional mission. It has brought more students, revenues, and political clout, but also greater business involvement in community college governance and possibly a major redefinition of institutional mission away from education (especially transfer education) toward training.

Over the last three decades, most community colleges have broadened their economic development role to include contracting with employers to train current or prospective employees in job and academic skills. This article describes the main contours of the community college's involvement in contract training, explains how this involvement arose, and analyzes its impact on the community college. This analysis is based both on national data on the general prevalence and form of contract training and on case studies of the forms it takes in twenty community colleges in five states servicing five quite different industries. Contract training is sometimes quite elaborate, as in the case of the entry-level training of skilled workers in auto manufacturing, auto repair, and construction. Here the training often involves multiyear apprenticeships, combining both classroom and on-the-job training, with labor unions exercising a major role. But contract training often is much briefer and dominated by the wishes of companies. The origins of contract training lie in a combination both of business pressure and of initiative by community colleges and government bodies pursuing interests and values of their own. Contract training has broadly affected community colleges in such areas as enrollments, revenues, external relations, governance, internal relations, curriculum and pedagogy, and institutional mission. It has brought more students, revenues, and political clout, but also greater business involvement in community college governance and possibly a major redefinition of institutional mission away from education (especially transfer education) toward training.


The economic role of community colleges has changed sharply over the last 20 years. For many years, this role was focused on meeting the needs of students preparing for jobs or trying to move up in their current jobs. But in the last three decades, most community colleges have broadened their economic development role to add contract training: that is, training under contract to employers for the purposes of improving the job and academic skills of current or prospective employees. Today, over 90% of community colleges provide contract training (Doucette, 1993; Lynch, Palmer, & Grubb, 1991; Johnson, 1995). This expansion of the economic development role of the community college carries major implications both for its own future and for higher education more generally.

In this article, we describe the main contours of the community college's involvement in contract training, explain how this involvement arose, and analyze its impact on the community college. In our description, we draw the boundaries of contract training, showing its overall extent and how it varies across skill levels, industries, and types of community colleges. Meanwhile, our analysis of the rise of contract training for business demonstrates that it was the product not just of business demand but also of the independent actions of community colleges and of state and federal government bodies pursuing interests and values of their own. Finally, our analysis of the impact of contract training looks at how it has affected the community college's enrollments, revenues, external relations, governance, internal relations, curriculum decision making, and institutional mission.


The analysis reported here is based both on national data on the general prevalence and form of contract training and on an analysis of the forms it takes in five different industries. The five industries were chosen because they vary along a number of different dimensions: industrial sector (durable and nondurable goods production vs. services), degree of technological intensity, and average firm size and size of market share. The five industries are the following:

● Auto manufacturing: durable goods production, large average firm size, relatively high technological intensity;

● Construction: durable goods production, small average firm size, moderate technological intensity;

● Apparel making: nondurable goods production, small average firm size, low technological intensity;

● Banking: services, medium average firm size, low technological intensity;

● Auto repair: services, small average firm size, medium technological intensity.

For each industry, we studied at least four community colleges that had well-known programs servicing that industry. To the degree possible, we tried to have one community college in each of the following states, which have large populations and community college systems: New York, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and California. However, in the case of auto manufacturing and apparel, it was not possible to have four involved community colleges in all states, because these industries are regionally concentrated.

Information on the relationships between firms and community colleges in our five industries was drawn from interviews, site visits, and documentary analysis. Interviews were conducted with academic and policy experts on the economic-development role of the community college and on the training needs of our target industries, officials employed by firms, industry associations, and labor unions in our five focal industries, and officials and faculty at community colleges running well-known programs for certain industries. All told, we interviewed administrators and faculty at over 20 colleges arid visited 7 of them.


Community colleges have long been involved in providing job training, going back .to the 1920s (Brint and Karabel, 1989, chaps. 2-4; Cohen and Brawer, 1996, chap. 8; Dougherty, 1994, chap. 10-14). But beginning in the South in the 1960s and then spreading nationwide in the last 20 years, a new form of vocational training"contract training" or "customized training"has come to the fore (Bragg & Jacobs, 1991, p. 10). Unlike traditional occupational education, contract training involves an outside party (such as a firm or government agency), rather than the individual student, as the primary client, and from this simple fact flow all sorts of consequences.


Contract training has been quite variously defined (American Association of Community Colleges, 1993, p. 3; Bragg and Jacobs, 1991, pp. 18-21; Grubb et al., 1997, p. 5; Katsinas & Lacey, 1990, p. 12). But synthesizing these various definitions, we find contract training to have seven key features, of which the most important is that it is based on a contract between a community college and an outside organization. See Table 1 for these defining features.

Contract education is often equated with customized education, but we need to be careful in how we conceptualize this. Although the content of contract courses is often adapted to the concerns of a particular contractor with learning tasks, problems, terms, etc., being oriented to the concerns of the contractorit is also often the case that the course content is not adapted. Instead, the course is simply pulled out of the regular college curriculum or pulled off a shelf of already developed contract courses (Lynch et al., 1991, pp. 24, 27). But even if a program is not customized in content, it may be customized in other ways: course schedule and structure (the course may not be semester-long and be offered in a nonstandard schedule such as only on weekends or only every other week); location (the training is delivered at the contractor's premises); or student composition (the students are exclusively ones referred by the contractor; Grubb et al., 1997, pp. 4-5; Jacobs, 1992, p. 9).


Contract training is sometimes equated with training in firm-specific skills, but often this is not the case. Companies often contract for courses that offer skills that are industry-wide in usage or even entirely generic. This is particularly the case for basic academic skills. Such courses make up a significant portion of contract trainingabout 12% of all contract courses, according to one estimate (Lynch et al., 1991, p. 17)because employers find that workers' ability to acquire more advanced job skills depends on how good their basic skills are in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But this basic skills training is not firm-specific and usually there is little customization of course content (though there may be significant customization in scheduling, location, and student clientele; Bakum, 1991, p. 223; Lynch et al., 1991, p. 24; Palmer, 1990, pp. 9-10). Even in the more technical skills, much of the training may not be very firm-specific. Much training for advanced forms of work involving "lean manufacturing" or "just in time" production and continuous quality control involves the acquisition of skills in problem analysis, decision making, communication, and team work that are not firm-specific (Bakum, 1991, p. 222; Williams, 1997).

Because of the above, we should be cautious in how we use the term "firm specific" for contract training. It is firm-specific in that a particular firm, industry association, or government agency contracts for the training and pays at least part of the cost. However, the training may not be restricted in its content or usefulness to that firm or industry alone. Students in contract courses may be learning quite general academic or even technical skills that could well be used outside the contracting firm or even its particular industry (Bakum, 1991, p. 224; Brown, 1997).

Given the above, it is more useful to view contract training as a matter of degree than an all-or-nothing category. This allows us to better perceive differences across industries and firms in the nature of their contract training.


How extensive is contract training? Three nationwide surveys of community colleges in 1989, 1992, and 1994 found that over 90% of community colleges offer contract training to firms, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies (Doucette, 1993, p. 4; Johnson, 1995, pp. 88, 90; Lynch et al., 1991, pp. 13, 19).

Despite the current breadth of contract training, its depth is very uneven. In most community colleges, contract training efforts are not that extensive. The 1989 and 1994 surveys found that the median number of students enrolled in contract training in two-year colleges offering such Draining was 919 and 1125 students, respectively, and the range ran from 3 or 10 students at the least involved college to 27,000 to 55,000 students in the most involved (Johnson, 1995, p. 100; Lynch et al., 1991, p. 17). These contract-training students constituted around 17 or 18% of total (credit and non-credit) headcount enrollments in the median two-year college offering contract training in fall 1993.1

These figures are collected in Table 2.


Typically, contract training is conceptualized as pertaining only to inservice retraining offered to people already working for an employer, with the training directed to upgrading their skills either to accommodate new technology or work processes or to allow workers to move into new jobs. However, in this report, we extend the notion of contract training to entry-level training if it exhibits the features typically associated with contract training. In fact, firms, government agencies, and occasionally unions routinely contract for training to prepare for entry into jobs and exert considerable influence over the content of the curriculum, the qualifications of instructors, the selection of students, and the time and place of instruction. Let us therefore distinguish between entry-level contract training, designed to prepare people for new jobs, and inservice contract training, designed to improve how they do their present job.


For examples of contract training we will be drawing on intensive case studies we conducted of five industries: apparel making, auto manufacturing, auto repair, banking, and construction. These examples will give us the flavor of various kinds of contract training.

We will examine how contract training varies according to whether it is for prospective or current employees, for skilled or semiskilled workers, and for one industry rather than another. We will find that the training is most elaborate for skilled workersparticularly in auto manufacturing, auto repair, and constructionwhere the training often takes the form of multi-year apprenticeships involving both classroom and on-the-job training, with labor unions exercising a role that sometimes rivals or even eclipses that of management. Other kinds of contract training tend to be much briefer and dominated by the wishes of companies.

Entry-Level Training

This training comes in many different forms. Table 3 lists these various forms of corporate, union, and government sponsored contract training for entry-level jobs.

Across the five industries we studied, company and union-sponsored contract training at community colleges of entry-level workers is particularly focused on the training of skilled workers such as machinists, carpenters, and auto repair technicians. There is much less contract training of entry-level semiskilled workers.


Semiskilled workers. Among our five industries, we found only scattered cases, primarily in auto manufacturing and banking, of con tract-training programs to prepare workers for new semiskilled, entry-level jobs. In the auto industry, on those rather rare occasions that a company opens a new plant and staffs it with new workers rather than workers reassigned from other plants, those new workers will have to be trained in the necessary machinery and production techniques. Though firms can do this training themselves, they may contract with a community college or other supplier to provide technical training (Demorris, 1997, p. 4).

In the case of banking, firms have contracted with community colleges to offer training in customer service and; computer usage. For example, a bank expanding its operation in Texas hired a community college to train new workers to assist customers who wish to do their banking over the Internet (Wells, 1998, p. 4).

And in construction, firms approach community colleges to train new workers, for example, in welding (Horton, 1997, p. 7).

Skilled workers. We found extensive contract training programs to prepare skilled workers in the auto manufacturing, auto repair, and construction industries. These programs prepare skilled tradesmen such as electricians and carpenters, as well as other skilled workers such as auto mechanics and vehicle designers. These programs for skilled workers are much more elaborate than those for semiskilled workers. The programs run longer, deliberately combine large amounts of classroom and on-the-job training, and in many cases are subject to federal and state regulation.

In auto manufacturing, the skilled crafts workers are prepared through apprenticeshipsregistered with the U.S. Bureau of Apprenticeship Trainingthat take at least four years, with over 7,000 hours of on-the-job training and 550-780 hours of related instruction in a community college. The related classroom instruction typically occurs after work, four hours a week spread over 2-4 days (Allard, 1998, p. 4; Blum, 1998, p. 5; Clemmons, 1998, p. 2; Henry Ford Community College, 1998; Macomb Community College, 1998; McDougal, 1998, p. 13; Mott Community College, 1998; Peterson, 1997, p. 1; Saxton, 1998, pp. 3-4).

The auto industry also sponsors contract training for various nonapprenticed skilled jobs, including vehicle designers and nonapprenticed "employees in training" (EITs). The EIT programs do not involve as extensive schooling and the graduates do not receive journeyman status from either the United Auto Workers (UAW) or the Department of Labor (Peterson, 1997, pp. 2-3; Demorris, 1997, p. 1). The vehicle design programs prepare community college students to be "junior designers" at General Motors. Interestingly, Ford and Chrysler apparently recruit their vehicle designers from baccalaureate programs only (Sommerstorfer, 1997).

Control of the apprenticeship and employee in training programs is triarchic. Employers and the UAW dominate, but the community colleges are strong junior partners. The apprenticeship programs are run by joint management-union apprenticeship councils with equal membership from both sides, and the labor members play a key role in all decisions about curriculum definition, choice of providers, selection of trainees, and evaluation of programs. However, though junior partners, community colleges still have appreciable influence. Typically, they decide who will teach the related training courses. And while employers and/or unions largely dictate the content of the training, they do listen to what community colleges have to say (Allard, 1998, pp. 4, 6; Blum, 1998, pp. 1-2, 7-10; Demorris, 1997, p. 4; McDougal, 1998, p. 1; Peterson, 1997, p. 2).

The training of auto repair technicians in the programs sponsored by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota largely resembles the apprenticeship training of skilled craftsworkers in auto manufacturing and construction in having both on-the-job and classroom training (Brookdale Community College, 1997, pp. 3-5, 10-11, 16; Chrysler Corporation, 1996; Ford Motor Company, 1997, p. 2; General Motors Corporation, 1997, pp. 1-20; Hudson Valley Community College, 1997, pp. 31-32).

Control over the programs lies with employers and, secondly, community colleges. They do not share control with unions because unions are largely absent in the auto repair industry. Employers alone determine who will enter the apprenticeship training. But with regard to the content of instruction, their voice, while strong, is by no means peremptory. In fact, community colleges taking part in the auto repair programs sponsored by GM and Ford have a considerable voice in determining precisely how specific GM or Ford training modules will be embedded in specific courses (Atwood, 1998, p. 2; Cousteau, 1997, p. 3).

In construction, training again combines classroom training and on-the-job training. Beyond that, entry-level contract training varies greatly according to the trade and to the sponsor. Programs tend to be much longer for electricians than for painters, for example (Somers, 1999). Meanwhile, community college programs that are industry sponsored tend to be shorter than those provided by union/management joint apprenticeship training committees (JATCs; Duncan, 1999; Raya, 1997a, pp. 5-6). An unusual feature of apprenticeship training in construction is how little control the community colleges exert over it (Duncan, 1999; Grindel, 1997; Henderson, 1997; Perry, 1997, p. 6; Whooley, 1998). The community colleges do little more than provide space, a minimal degree of coordination, and a pass through for state and federal funding. They have little control over the curriculum or the choice of instructors. The curriculum is developed either by the national joint apprenticeship training committee in a given craft or, in the case of nonunion training, by the National Center for Construction Education and Research, formerly the training arm of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). For example, the education director for an ABC chapter in Florida described the apprenticeship program his chapter sponsored at a local community college:

The community college does not go out and actively solicit instructors; we do that. They don't really do a heck of a lot in support other than [act as] the program coordinators. . . . They check attendance. They do a lot of the paperwork for the college . . . grading sheets and report cards, things like that. . . . When we talk about what does the college do, the college doesn't really do a lot. They provide a facility and they provide coordinators and that's about it.

Inservice Retraining

The main targets of inservice contract retraining are listed in Table 4. The retraining of currently employed workers is the province of corporate and/or union sponsorship. The government may help underwrite such training butunlike apprenticeship programsit plays very little role in specifying the content, schedule, and so forth of inservice retraining.


Semiskilled workers. Auto manufacturing and, less so, banking and apparel making have made efforts to upgrade the skills of semiskilled production workers. In the case of auto manufacturing, community colleges have trained production workers not only on the use of new machinery but also in new production techniques. The skill upgrading for new machinery takes place particularly when plants are retooling for a new product launch or a major modification of a product, such as the introduction of a plastic rather than metal gas tank (Clemmons, 1998, pp. 13-14; Dueweke, 1998). The upgrading for new production techniques involves introducing workers to the principles of lean manufacturing, involving the use of work teams and group problem solving (Clemmons, 1998, pp. 1314; Peterson, 1997, p. 3).

In banking, a California bank has hired San Francisco City College to retrain keypunch operators, whose jobs were being phased out, in new skills in word processing and spreadsheet use so they could bid for new jobs in the bank (Teng, 1999, p, 5).

In the apparel-making industry, Garment 2000a community college/ employer/union program based at the City College of San Franciscohas developed production courses specifically for garment firms to train workers in new work processes such as modular manufacturing and team based sewing, where workers work not in a traditional assembly line but in work units (Sasser-Watkins, 1998).

Skilled workers. As with semiskilled production workers, the retraining of skilled workers clearly involves acquiring the ability to use new equipment or technology. But particularly in the case of auto manufacturing, skill upgrading also involves developing the capacity to work in new ways (lean manufacturing and worker teamwork). And for skilled craftsworkers, a particular wrinkle on lean manufacturing involves "cross-trade" training in which journeymen in one craft are taught the skills to do another craft, so that production is not delayed by the absence of a journey member from a particular craft (Clark, 1998, p. 3).

Besides retraining skilled craftsworkers, community colleges have also been assisting the auto companies in retraining their engineers and technicians in new graphic design systems when the companies change over from one graphic design system to another. Also the auto manufacturers are pushing their suppliers to be able to work with graphics design systems, which in turn has led the suppliers to seek training from community colleges (Dueweke, 1998, pp. 1-2; Harrison, 1997, p. 3; Saganski, 1997, p. 2; Vandermark, 1997, p. 3).

Managers and supervisors. Firms in the construction, banking, and apparel industries have also contracted with community colleges to train their managers and supervisors. In construction, community colleges have been asked to offer courses in construction cost estimating and blueprint reading (Armstrong, 1998).

Banks in California, Texas, and Florida have contracted with community colleges to provide training for supervisors and managers. The supervisors, who often have been promoted from teller positions, need training in such things as lending (reading financial statements, assessing risk, etc.), accounting, and taxation (Laguna, 1998, p. 3; Teng, 1999, p. 5). Meanwhile, managers have needed training in computer skills, as the microelectronic revolution has swept banking (Wells, 1998, p. 2).

And in apparel, San Francisco City College, through its Garment 2000 program, runs courses to train managers in supervisory skills, interpersonal relationships, quality control management, costing structures, and cross training for varied equipment (Sasser-Watkins, 1998, p. 6).


Having examined the form and extent of contract training today, we turn to examining its origins. We focus on training contracted by business, because it is now the dominant form of contract training. A national survey of community colleges in 1989 found that 72% of contract training was provided for private companies or firms, 20% for government agencies (local, state, and federal), and 8% for nonprofit organizations (Lynch et al., 1991, p. 31).

How did contract training of corporate employees (current and prospective) become so common a feature of community colleges? It is tempting to see this as primarily a matter of powerful business demands, to which community colleges have simply acceded. But this "business command" or "Marxist instrumentalist" theory has already been shown to fail to adequately explain the rise of the community college and its subsequent shift toward emphasizing occupational education (Brint & Karabel, 1989; Dougherty, 1994). Hence, we need to look elsewhere for a more adequate explanation.

Drawing on structuralist theory in political sociology and on resource dependency theory in organizational sociology (Aldrich & Pfeffer, 1976; Alford & Friedland, 1975; Block, 1987; Skocpol, 1985), we argue that the most convincing explanation of the rise of contract training is one that while acknowledging the powerful role of business pressurealso stresses the key role of community colleges and government bodies pursuing interests and values of their own. Community colleges and government bodies need to extract resources from their environment and this leads them to be active, modifying their environment as much as being modified by it. But we do not want to exaggerate the degree of autonomy community colleges and government bodies enjoy. They are still constrainedthough not commandedby business pressure, capitalist culture, and the power of business to invest or disinvest in an area's economy.2


Contract training for business arose in good part because business demanded this training from community colleges. Certainly, businesses have approached community colleges to ask for training (Choulochas, 1998; Dougherty, 1994, pp. 199-200; Heffner, J997; Rosenfeld, 1995, pp. 27-28). Moreover, businesses and business organizations played an important role in the formation of state policies to encourage contract training, especially state aid (see below). For example, in Massachusetts, business strongly supported the formation of the Bay State Skills Corporation, which funds contract training at community colleges and other institutions (Brint & Karabel, 1989, pp. 195-197; Ferguson & Ladd, 1988, pp. 57-60). In Illinois, the State Chamber of Commerce has eagerly encouraged state support of contract education, playing a major role, for example, in the genesis in 1977 of a pioneering program called High Impact Training Service (HITS; Dougherty, 1994, p. 223). And in North Carolina, business played an important role in the formation of a "citizens' committee," North Carolinians for Community Colleges, that secured voter approval of a bond issue in 1992 to fund additional classroom space and technology to better support business needs (Brooks, Joss, & Newsome, 1997, p. 393).3

Before we turn to the nonbusiness sources of the rise of contract training, we should consider why it is that business did demand contract training from community colleges. To answer this question, we really need to answer three nested questions. First, why did firms seek more training to begin with? Then, why did they choose to contract out for training, rather than do it in-house? Finally, once the decision was made to contract out, why did firms choose community colleges rather than other outside providers of contract training? Because the answers to these questions are often quite similar across different types of training and different industries, we will answer in general, noting exceptions as we go along.

Increasing Need for Training

Two reasons stood out as why firms have sought more training in the last two decades. One is increasing skill demands requiring an upgrading of the training of both current and prospective workers. Anotherwhich has hit the auto repair and construction industries particularly hardis a wave of retirements, which has left a massive shortage of trained workers.

Increasing skill demands. Many industries are facing increased skills demands on the part of current and prospective workers and consequently are demanding more training. In a 1995 nationwide survey of over 1,000 business establishments with more than 50 employees by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65% of the establishments reported that the percentage of their employees receiving training has increased over the last three years (Frazis, Gittleman, Horrigan, & Joyce, 1997, pp. 77-78).

Driving this demand for increased training is the massive introduction of new machinery and new production procedures across a wide variety of industries. Particularly in manufacturing, many firms are moving toward "high performance" production involving fewer layers of hierarchy and a redefinition of production jobs so that they utilize a broader range of skills and involve more working in teams (Applebaum & Batt, 1994; Jacobs, 1987, 1992; Katsinas, 1994, p. 12; Knox & Lorenzo, 1987; McAlinden et al., 1995, pp. 43-44, 59-62; Osterman, 1994). Consequently, they are increasingly interested in not just technical skills but also such "soft skills" as teamwork and group problem solving. The 1995 BLS survey of business establishments with more than 50 employees found that, after "occupational safety," the leading types of training are "computer procedures, programming, and software" (24% of the employees reported that they had received such training in the past year) and "communication, employee development, and quality training" (23% of employees; Frazis et al., 1997, p. 68).4

Our sources in auto manufacturing underscored how rapidly skill demands were rising (McAlinden et al., 1995, pp. 59-62; McDougal, 1998, p. 2; Pope, 1998, pp. 3-5; Peterson, 1997, p. 2). A training executive at one of the Big 3 U.S. automakers vividly stated:

When you look at years gone by relative to training, if a tradesperson had training for example, on PLC5, that was okay and that would last that person for a long time. But the shelf life of technology has shrunk so significantly. Years gone by, the shelf life, how long technology would be current, that would be about 10, 15 years. Today, I'm talking about February 1998, the shelf life of technology is right along 12 months, maybe 15 in certain applications. By the year 2000 it will be less than 12 months. (Pope, 1998, p. 3)

But this problem of increasing skill demands is not restricted to manufacturing. It is also occurring in such industries as auto repair and construction. Cars are now stuffed with microcomputers to do such things as reduce pollution by setting the right fuel/air mixture, improve traction by controlling the behavior of each wheel, and operate ABS brakes. And the greater complexity of cars has made it necessary to upgrade the skills of the mechanics who repair them (Choulochas, 1998). In construction, skill demands also have risen under the impact of greater use of subcontracting, automated equipment, offsite fabrication of components, global construction projects, and government regulation of health, safety, and environment (Weidman, 1992, pp. 3-4).

Even while recognizing rising skill demands, it is important that we not exaggerate their extent. For example, the pursuit of high performance production is largely restricted to manufacturing, which accounts for only 16% of jobs in 1997 (U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, p. 421). And of course it is only a small proportion of manufacturing firms that are pursuing this road. Meanwhile, in much of the service sector, which dwarfs the manufacturing sector, the low-skill, low-wage employment path is still very much alive (Bailey & Bernhardt, 1997).

Many businesses do not pursue additional worker training either because they simply are not pursuing a high performance work strategy (Bailey & Bernhardt, 1997; Noyelle, 1990) or because they are so hard-pressed by day-to-day demands that they have little time to think of employee training needs (Glenn, 1997; Harrison, 1997). Even if the interest were there, many small businesses find it difficult to give employees time off for training or to otherwise afford to pay for it (Catonsville Community College, 1993, p. 14; Doucette, 1993, p. 15; Grindel, 1997, pp. 1-2). For example, in a national survey of community colleges in 1992, 25% identified the "inability of employers to afford training costs" as a major obstacle to the provision of contract training (Doucette, 1993, pp. 15, 17).

Scarcity of trained workers. In auto manufacturing, construction, and auto repair, employers state that they have been losing many veteran workers but yet not getting enough trained workers coming in (Ehlers, 1997, p. 4; McDougal, 1998, p. 11; Mosser, 1997, p. 6; Ray, 1997b, p. 1; Tough, 1997, p. 4). The loss of veteran workers is in good part due to the aging of the baby boomers but it is also due to the increasing skill demands on current workers. In the auto repair industry, many older workers are choosing to retire (or are being retired) rather than undergo further training (Tough, 1997, p. 4). Moreover, in construction, many veteran workers were laid off during the 1980s and never came back when the industry revived in recent years (Ehlers, 1997, p. 10; Tornholm, 1998, p. 3).

The causes of the drying up of traditional sources of supply is harder to pin down. One may be weakening interest on the part of students in traditional manual trades, as more and more people go to college. Though their evidence is anecdotal, industry officials and community college educators repeatedly told us that a major problem they encountered in attracting students to auto repair and construction was the poor public view of work in those industries (Ehlers, 1997, p. 11; Lawson, 1998, p. 2; Merwin, 1998, p. 3; Ray, 1997b, pp. 2-3; Stilley, 1997, p. 1; Yancey, 1998, p. 9). For example, the training director of a large national construction firm stated:

. . . not a whole lot of young people [are] coming out of high schools [into construction]. Their image of the construction industry is the business end of a hand shovel, and it's not a very good image. They did a study not terribly long ago and looked at 250 different occupations. Believe it or not the typical construction craft worker came out 249th on that list, just above migrant farm worker. So that tells us that the image that we have is just awful.

In addition, traditional training sources may be drying up. For example, car dealers are finding that they are getting fewer trained workers coming in from such longstanding sources as gas stations and other repair shops (Tough, 1997, p. 4).

Increasing Desire to Contract Out for Training

Much of this employee training, particularly the inservice training, has been done in-house and could continue to be done so. But increasingly, employers have sought to contract out for this training (Antholis, 1998, p. 7; Doucette, 1993, p. 21; Grubb et al., 1997, p. 22). The 1995 BLS survey of employer training demand found that, while 31% of establishments with more than 500 employees had increased their full-time training staff over the past three years, 20% had cut their staff. Yet at the same time, only 6% of those large establishments were reporting that fewer of their employees were receiving formal training (Frazis et al., 1997, p. 78).

Many firms have decided it would be much cheaper to contract out for employee training, especially if the suppliers are tax subsidized and can charge below market rates as in the case of community colleges (Choulo-chas, 1998, p. 11; Heffner, 1997, p. 5; Jones, 1997, p. 4). One of the founders of General Motors' Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP) explained why his firm decided not to train auto mechanics through in-house service centers,

We didn't have enough money to build a bunch of new training centers because, typically, that's what industry would do. That's what we did in the '50s: . . . . we built at that time I think 25 General Motors training centers. Well, the question is, we didn't have the kind of dollars. . . . [at] four million a piece to run out and build those [in the late 1970s and early 1980s].

A second and more minor motive is that contracting out employee training, particularly if to colleges, can allow employees to receive academic credit. And for some industries, particularly auto repair, this has been a very attractive feature. We will discuss this point in the next section.

The Appeals of Community Colleges as Training Vendors

Employers have many possible outside vendors of training. In addition to community colleges, they have public and private postsecondary vocational schools, four-year colleges, equipment and supply makers, consultants and training services, unions, and trade and professional associations (Frazis et al., 1997, p. 71). For most kinds of inservice contract training, it is not community colleges, but their competitors, that have historically dominated the training market. So what factors led employers to increase the community college share of this training market?

Lower cost. A major reason why employers pick community colleges over other training vendors is that they are often cheaper than their competitors (Boyes, 1997, p. 2; Clemmons, 1998, pp. 7, 9; Heffner, 1997, p. 11; Irish, 1998, p. 2; Jones, 1997, p. 4; Perry, 1997, p. 6; Pope, 1998, p. 2; Wells, 1998, p. 5; Zeiss et al., 1997, pp. 45-46). For example, a survey of employers who had done business with community colleges found that, when asked why they selected the community college to do workforce training, 68% checked "cost effective value for money invested" (Zeiss, 1997, pp. 45-46, 113).5 An official of one of the leading construction associations stated the cost advantages of going to a community college:

Many of our chapters across the country .. . actually use the facilities and, sometimes, the instructors at the community college, to deliver craft training in the evenings or on weekends. . . . [T]he community college very often assists some way in funding the salary of the instructor, and the chapter often enhances that a little bit to give them a little bit more money. And the chapter of course pays for whatever materials it consumes. And it pays a minimal, typically a very minimal, amount of money as rent for the lab or the shop area that they use in the evenings, to help cover the electric bill and the heat, and those kinds of things. . . . We have traditionally recommended to our members that, at the very least, they explore a relationship with the community college. . . . . As a taxpayer, you are paying for that system just like everyone else, and that system has some resources, that as a taxpayer, are available to you that would help offset some of the other costs of instruction.

One reason why community colleges have been cheaper is because they receive state and local subsidies (Armstrong, 1998, p. 42; Dalton, 1998, pp. 22-23; Morton, 1997, p. 14; Pickar, 1998, p. 16). Nearly since their inception, community colleges have received general funding from state enrollments-based appropriations and, often, local tax revenues.6 By covering overhead, these funds allowed community colleges to charge less for contract training than they might otherwise. But beginning in the 1950s and rapidly accelerating in the 1970s, states nationwide established grant programs to specifically subsidize contract training (Bragg & Jacobs, 1991, p. 19; Melville & Chmura, 1991; Nespoli, 1991; Wilson, 1981). (For more on this state support, see below.) This state and local aidwhether general or specifically for contract traininghad allowed community colleges to charge lower prices for contract training than they might otherwise, which gives them an edge over private competitors (Dalton, 1998, p. 22; Horton, 1997, p. 14). A contract training official at a Texas community college noted:

There is a national training school that has a facility near us and they're doing quite a bit of training. But their training is more expensive than what we would normally charge, because we are a community college and we receive both state funding and we have a local tax base, so we keep our prices down.

A community college official also notes that community colleges may be able to keep their prices low because they can hire trainers from the outside at a lower cost than their competitors. The reason is that those trainers like being associated with a college, because it gives them greater credibility or exposure to potential customers. Consequently, they are willing to take less money (Dalton, 1998, p. 23).

Greater responsiveness than four-year colleges. When employers pick community colleges in preference to four-year colleges, one reason is that community colleges have been generally more willing to accommodate employers' desires on what, when, and where to teach. Community colleges have been more willing to entertain the idea of significantly tailoring the curriculum to specific employer interests, to offer courses lasting less than a semester, to teach at nontraditional hours (such as evenings and weekends), and to offer courses at the employers' premises or through distance learning (Blum, 1998, p. 11; Choulochas, 1998, p. 10; Clemmons, 1998, pp. 6-7; Dalton, 1998, p. 23). For example, an executive of a U.S. car maker stated:

There's nothing that says that our apprentices have to attend a community college, but we have found over the years that they are very receptive. They usually offer the kinds of things that we're looking for because they're also trying to meet their other customers' needs in the area. They have students out there who need some technical training and they've done a fairly good job of pulsing their community and have put those kinds of courses in place that support business and industry in that particular area. Usually because they're small, they have a lot less bureaucracy they've got to fight their way through.

A 1995 national survey of 2,473 firms that had contracted with 104 community colleges found that this sentiment seems to be widely held. Over half (55%) of the respondents checked that "community college customized training program for our needs" was a factor in their decision to choose the community college as a training provider (Zeiss et al., 1997, pp. 46, 113).

This greater flexibility of the community college stems from the very way it has long been defined. Its "charter" from societyto use John Meyer's (1970) powerful termis much more diffuse than that of four-year colleges. Most community colleges are defined as "comprehensive" institutions that are authorizedand even mandatedby their state governments to engage in economic development activities and provide occupational education as well as offer traditional collegiate courses (Dalton, 1998, p. 24; Grindel, 1997, p. 5; Morton, 1997, p. 11; Owen, 1984; Pickar, 1998, p. 18). Moreover, community colleges are chartered to "serve their communities." This provides a great opening to provide virtually any service for which there is any demandeven if only potentialby some significant segment of the community. This openness of function has led community colleges to be much more willing to entertain alternative instructional modalitiesincluding off campus and evening courses, distance education, and so forththan other kinds of colleges.

Four-year colleges, meanwhile, are defined by themselves and society in a more restrictive way that makes it harder for them to pursue contract education, particularly if it involves deviating from traditional teaching methods. AJS a contract training officer for a Texas community college put it,

I think by and large universities don't like to be associated with the concept of training. They prefer more . . . the concept of "education," whereas at the community college level, the term "training" does not bother us particularly. . . . We're open to the whole concept in the first place. But the second thing is it's part of our charge. The legislature, the Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board, all of these. . . . agencies to whom we have to report and whom we have to satisfy, have stated that that's a part of our mission.

More academic than vocational schools. Vocational schools (whether public or private) and nonschool training providers are typically as or even more accommodating than community colleges. However, the latter have enjoyed one decided advantage in addition to lower cost: the fact that their credentials are more prestigious than those of vocational schools or noneducational training providers and are more likely to be creditable toward a baccalaureate degree, something that has attracted a fair number of employers (Cantor, 1992, pp. 13-14; Chemlochas, 1998, pp. 2, 12; Light, 1998, p. 2). One of the originators of ASEP told us:

We wanted it [ASEP] to get to a college degree, that's why we did not favor proprietary schools because you spend big money to get a piece of paper that may or may not have a great deal of value in the real world. We wanted these young people to have an opportunity to get an educational experience as well as a technical training experience, the result of which would be two things. One, that we'd have a very well educated and competent technician. But at the same time we'd have someone who had the foundation for growth both within the dealers' organization and at the same time within the community.

More reliability than vocational schools. Community colleges also benefit from the perception that they are reliable operations; they are here to stay. On the other hand, proprietary schoolsin part unfairlyare seen as less stable or reliable (McDougal, 1998, p. 7; Pickar, 1998, p. 12). As a training executive for one of the major car makers put it,

the regulation of some of those vocational colleges is. . . . I'm not sure it's as good as it could be. So I'd want to be very concerned that this vocational college that all of a sudden springs up and says, "I'm going to provide you this or that," that indeed they are. I guess I'm talking about reputation and track record. Do they really have the resources both from a teaching standpoint and from an equipment and facilities standpoint to give you good training, or are they just saying they're going to and it ends up being something less than that.

Community colleges' marketing of themselves. However great the above attractions of the community college, it is also the case that community college officials have long felt that business interest in them is not all that strong. According to community college officials, one of the most important obstacles they face in developing contract training is lack of knowledge on the part of employers about the training capabilities of community colleges (Bragg et al., 1991; Dalton, 1998, p. 24; Doucette, 1993, p. 15; Zeiss et al., 1997, pp. 61, 79). In a national survey of community college workforce trainers, 23% agreed that "difficulty gaining visibility as a training provider" was a major obstacle for community colleges in providing contract training (Doucette, 1993, p. 15). Though there is a certain "poor me" quality to 'this complaint, it also carries a considerable grain of truth. Employers have had a huge range of possible training vendors so it has been hard for the community college to stand out. Also, many of those employers do not know much about the community college. A national survey of firms that had contracted with community colleges found that, even among these firms, only 29% reported that they were very familiar with the various workforce development programs and services offered by their local community college; 12% reported that they were not very familiar (Zeiss et al., 1997, p. 45). One reason for this lack of knowledge is thatexcept in states such as California and Florida where the majority of public college students start at community collegemany employers will never have attended a community college.

For this reason, community colleges have made a determined effort both individually and through their state and national associationsto present themselves to business and to government policy makers as key, if not superior, providers of contract training (American Association of Community Colleges, 1993; Doucette, 1993; Eskow, 1983; Garrison, 1985; National Council for Occupational Education, 1990; Parnell and Yarrington, 1982; Ramirez, 1989; Zeiss et al., 1997, p. 72). For example, the president of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) declared in 1989:

AACC believes that immediate attention must be given to improve the United States' role in economic global competition. . . . We suggest that community colleges . . . determine what they plan to do in cooperation with local industry to make manufacturing long-range competitive. Too often we have waited for an advisory committee or a local industry to establish goals. Now may be the time for community colleges to make the recommendations. . . . As a start, we suggest these initiatives:. . . . [that local community college leaders] actively sell the community college high tech role to state and private decision makers.

The AACC and the other community college associations have backed up their recommendations with the results of surveys of community colleges on whether they are involved in contract training and what benefits and problems this involvement has brought. These surveys demonstrate to policy makers that community colleges are actively involved in contract training and they identify obstacles that policy makers should think of removing (American Association of Community Colleges, 1979; Day, 1985; Doucette, 1993; Katsinas, Bliss, & Short, 1995; Lynch et al., 1991; Network, 1990; Olson, 1979; Zeiss et al., 1997).


The state and federal governments have also encouraged community colleges to pursue contract training, both through exhortation and financial incentives. This governmental encouragement of contract training certainly has arisen in part due to business pressure and the evangelizing efforts of the community college associations. But as we shall see, the state and federal governments have also been led to support contract training on the basis of their own values and interests.

State Policy

State officials in many states have made it clear to community colleges that they want them to play a central workforce preparation and economic development role, with contract training being a prime means to do this (Dalton, 1998, p. 24; Grindel, 1997, p. 5; Katsinas & Lacey, 1990, pp. 9-11; Michigan Jobs Commission, 1998; Pickar, 1998, p. 18; Roberts, 1993, p. 7; Rosenfeld, 1995, pp. 8-9; Scott, 1986, pp. 28-29). Exhortation alone would influence community college action. But state governments have backed it up with state aid for contract training.

This aid began in the South in the late 1950s and early 1960s as a means to attract industry. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, many states outside the South established such programs, but with the intent of retaining existing firms and fostering the birth of new ones as much as attracting new firms to the state (Berglund & Coburn, 1995; Dougherty & Etzkowitz, 1996; Eisinger, 1988; Osborne, 1990). Table 5 lists when various states enacted state aid for contract training.


A contract training official at a New York community college provided an indication of the importance of state aid. When New York State repealed state aid for contract education in 1992, his college's contract training business dropped sharply:

I think our business probably dropped down to about a third of what it had been. . . . Basically when we went from seventy-five percent subsidy to zero subsidy, they [customers] looked at our prices and said, ". . . can't we find somebody cheaper?". . . . Now we're back in the business but it's just that we're not a preferred provider. They basically Will ask us for a proposal but, you know, it took quite a while to build that back.

Federal Policy

The federal role in encouraging contract training is less obvious than that of state governments. It has not directly subsidized the training of current corporate employees. However, through programs to train unemployed workers and to help welfare recipients move toward jobs, the federal government played a major role in accustoming community colleges to providing contract training.

As early as the mid-1960s, some community colleges contracted to provide job training, placement, and counseling in connection with the Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) of 1962 and the various programs of the war on poverty (Reyes, 1977; Ruiz et al., 1987, p. 3). These efforts accelerated during the 1970s with the advent of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) of 1973. By the mid-1970s, 89% of 519 community colleges responding to a national survey (a response rate of 57%) reported that they participated in CETA in some fashion (Olson, 1977). This early involvement with federal training programs laid the groundwork for later contracting with business firms to provide training. In order to successfully compete for grants under CETA or later the JTPA; (Job Training Partnership Act of 1982), colleges had to learn to accommodate nontraditional students and be willing to vary the content, scheduling, and location of courses to suit the outside contractor (Ruiz et al., 1987, pp. 3-4). These very dispositions would prove most useful to community colleges in securing training contracts from business. In addition, in some states, such as California, Colorado, and Minnesota, CETA funds were used to fund contract training for businesses moving into a locality or expanding their labor force (Wilson, 1981, pp. 17, 26, 55, 59).

These ties to business became even stronger with the advent in 1982 of the JTPA. The new federal law mandated that private industry play a central role in guiding job training, through local Private Industry Councils (PICs) that would give out and monitor JTPA contracts. Community colleges came to have a lot of contact with business, both through pursuing and executing training contracts and through membership on the PICs. To be sure, community colleges have long worked with employers who served on the advisory committees for the colleges' vocational education programs. But the involvement with business through JTPA was much more "businesslike." The business members of a PIC were not advisors, but more masters, of the community colleges applying for a training contract.

In addition to its support for job training, the federal government also aided the development of contract training through its support for manufacturing extension, principally through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Though the funding has gone mostly to other organizations, some community collegesmost notably in Californiahave secured NIST funding (Rosenfeld, 1995, pp. 8, 15, 17).

Explaining Government Policy Making

Government encouragement of greater community college involvement in contract training certainly has been driven in part by business demands for cheap training and the demands of community colleges for a piece of the training business. But these have not been the only sources of this governmental policy.

Governmental policy making is by no means simply a matter of the final sum of the opposing pressures of civil society. We also have to keep in mind how government action arises out of government officials' own values, interests, and perceptions. Government officialsespecially governors and presidentsare very aware that economic growth (typically) produces rising incomes and lower unemployment and thus a more contented electorate, which in turn means that elected officials have a better chance of reelection (Dougherty, 1994, pp. 226, 36-39).7 And they believe that contract education in the community college is a very useful way of promoting that economic growth (Brint & Karabel, 1989, pp. 195-196; Osborne, 1990, p. 206; Owen, 1984; Wilson, 1981, pp. 15, 19, 28, 32-33, 35, 44, 47, 54).

At the same time we have to recognize that government officials are not entirely autonomous actors. Though they may pursue economic growth for their own reasons, they do so within a constrained field of play. To secure that economic growth, government officials feel they have to provide business with inducements, such as state subsidized contract training, to enter or remain within a state (Dougherty, 1994, chaps. 1014).


The fact that employers have demanded contract training over the last 20 years and that the state and federal governments have exhorted and subsidized such training does not mean that community colleges had to provide it. A host of other providers could have stepped into the breach. Yet most community colleges have ended up providing at least some contract training. This suggests that it was not just outside pressure that led community colleges to pursue contract training. It was also a matter of inside interest (Dougherty, 1994, pp. 209-216; Rosenfeld, 1995, pp. 9-10). In fact, community colleges have had at least six reasons for offering contract training to business.

Service to the Community

One of the most powerful, but easily ignored, reasons why community colleges have pursued contract training is a belief that it meets the general interest, that it is a service to the community (Antholis, 1998, p. 12; Blanzy, 1983; Horton, 1997, p. 10). In fact, a national survey in 1983 on the subject of contract training found that 71 (26%) out of the 277 community colleges responding agreed that a benefit of providing such training was "the opportunity to fulfill the community college mission by meeting the training needs of the business community" (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16). A contract training director for a Texas community college expressed this value put on serving the community:

All I can tell you is we're on a mission and we have to do these things. I mean, we have to serve our community. They pay taxes into the college and they help pay our salaries. They help pay for these buildings and I feel that we have. . . . to be available to train and to teach our community when we can.

This desire to meet the apparent needs of the economy has been particularly strong in areas of the country suffering economically. In the South, it was natural for community colleges to dedicate themselves to what seemed to be the general interest of attracting more industry. And in the North, when the recession of the early 1980s hit the "Rust Belt" in the Northern Midwest very hard, community colleges felt they owed it to their community to contribute to the revitalization of the economy by improving the skills of the workforce (Blanzy, 1983).

But this community college orientation to meeting the needs of the "community" is not unproblematic. It is a value that is shaped by the fact of business's ideological hegemony within this society. Community colleges tend to define community in a way that makes employers the central constituents of the "community." There is little or no consideration of the possibility that on occasion the interests of the community and of employers might actually be opposed.

More Revenues

Particularly for community colleges hard hit by the deep recession of the early 1980s, restoring the economic vitality of their communities was more than just a service to the community. As resource-dependent organizations, a revitalized economy would produce more revenues for community colleges and protect the employment opportunities of their graduates (Deegan and Drisko, 1985, p. 16; Jacobs, 1992, p. 13). Moreover, contract training would bring in new funds directly in the form of corporate fees and donations and state aid at a time of declining government appropriations.

In the early 1980s and then again in the early 1990s, largely as a consequence of recessionary economies, community colleges suffered dropping revenues, particularly government appropriations. The current fund revenues per FTE of community colleges declined 13% (in constant 1996 dollars) between 1979 and 1983. They then rose fairly steadily until 1989 but then dropped 6% between 1989 and 1992. The decline was particularly sharp in government appropriations per FTE, which dropped 16% (in constant 1996 dollars) between 1979 and 1983 and 10% between 1989 and 1992 (U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, 1997, pp. 104, 313).

These revenue drops catalyzed a search by community colleges for more revenues (Blanzy, 1983; Brightman, 1982; Dalton, 1998, pp. 13-14; Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16). For example, in Deegan and Drisko's 1983 national survey on contract training, 88 (32%) out of 277 community colleges responding stated that their involvement in contract training would bring increased revenue (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16). And one our respondents, a contract education administrator at a Texas community college, stated how this motive holds to this day:

It's no secret, I'm sure you will hear this from everyone around the country, that. . . state money is becoming tighter and tighter. . . . [A]t least until this last legislative session, the proportion of money coming from the state was falling all the time. . . . so colleges are having to look for other ways of bringing in money and there's a big emphasis on continuing ed. . . . I don't think anybody would want us to be referred to as cash cows, but they are certainly looking to us to help bring in income to the colleges.

The California community colleges provide a particularly striking example of this search for new revenues. The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which put a low cap on local property taxes, had a terrible impact on their funding, leading them to actively look for new sources of funding. In fact, a survey of 70 California community colleges found that, among the 36 respondents, 13 were operating or planning to operate for-profit ventures including not only contract education but also leasing out college facilities and even using their food services to open catering businesses (Brightman, 1982, pp. 12-15).

More Students

But it was not just government appropriations that have stagnated over the past two decades. After reaching a peak of 5.5 million in 1992, credit enrollments at public two-year colleges dropped nearly 4% to 5.3 million in fall 1995 (U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, 1998, p. 197). These enrollment declines have also stimulated community colleges to pursue contract training and other new economic programs (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16; Grubb et al., 1997, p. 21). For example, among 277 community colleges responding to a national survey in 1983 on the subject of contract training, 56 (20%) of the colleges stated that they believed that their involvement in contract training would bring increased enrollments in "regular" courses (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16).

More Political Support

Beyond bringing more enrollments and tuition revenues, community colleges have also hoped contract training will yield greater political support for the institution, which in turn might prove useful when fighting for higher state appropriations or local tax rates (Brand, 1997, p. 6; Cousteau, 1997, p. 1; Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16; Jacobs, 1992, p. 14; Kent, 1991, p. 32). Of the 277 community colleges responding to the Deegan and Drisko survey in 1983, 88 (32%) said that contract training would improve relationships with the business community and 56 (20%) said it would bring increased visibility resulting in greater community support (Deegan &: Drisko, 1985, p. 16).

Community colleges have long been concerned with cultivating political support in order to continue a stable flow of local tax revenues and state appropriations (Dougherty, 1994, chap. 11). At the same time, this longstanding motive has taken on added weight in the last 20 years, as revenues and enrollments stagnated and there is increasing questioning of the performance of educational institutions. It has been natural for community colleges to seek support from political and economic notables in order to protect their resource flows and legitimacy. At the same time, state officials have made it clear they wanted the community college to play a central role in workforce preparation and economic development and have provided state aid to back up this call (Dalton, 1998; Grindel, 1997, p. 5; Katsinas & Lacey, 1990, pp. 9-11; Michigan Jobs Commission, 1998; Owen, 1984, p. 55; Roberts, 1993, p. 7; Scott, 1986, pp. 28-29). Community colleges have largely heeded this state command. An official of a Michigan community college noted:

It's political suicide not to be involved in it [state Jobs Commission grants program], even though we know it costs us money. It's a very visible program from the state and the [Michigan] Jobs Commission obviously tells the company [to] go to the community college of your choice and they'll be happy to do this for you. We really can't turn our backs on our local businesses.

Better Program Quality and Student Placement

Finally, community colleges have been motivated to pursue contract training by the hope that it will keep their vocational programs up-to-date and improve their ability to place students in well paying jobs. At a time of rapid economic change, community colleges have become concerned that their faculty would not be training students for the current skill demands of the labor market. Therefore, they have turned to contract training in part as a way to keep faculty and the curriculum current by exposing full-time faculty to developments in industry and by bringing businesspeople in as adjunct faculty (Brumbach & McGee, 1995, p. 26; Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16; Grindel, 1997, p. 5; Jacobs, 1987, 1992, p. 14; Lynch et al., 1991, p. 4; Rand, 1989, p. 36; Wood, 1997, p. 5). In the Deegan and Drisko 1983 survey, 18% of the community colleges said one benefit of contract training was the opportunity to provide "real world" contact for community college faculty involved in preparing students for careers in business and industry (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16). A dean of contract education at a California community college told us:

One of the things we like about getting involved in the contract ed is that it forces those areas really to keep up with where the field is at. . . . When you're going out and designing specifically for the employers one of the things that begins to happen there is that your deans and department heads and faculty who are involved in designing those programs come to a much clearer and better understanding of exactly what it is that the employers are looking for and that begins to fall into patterns which itself then feeds back into the development of the regular curriculum of the college.

Moreover, by putting faculty in closer contact with business, contract training would provide opportunities for placing students in jobs (Deegan & Drisko, 1985, p. 16; Grindel, 1997, p. 11; Rand, 1989, p. 36; Saganski, 1997, p. 6; Yancey, 1998, p. 7). For example, the dean of economic development and contract training at a California community college told us: "Hopefully. . . . we can use those contacts for . . . . job placements or areas where we get students out as interns or do job shadowing, that type of thing, because they [businesses] do have those kind of contacts that could be very helpful to us" (Grindel, 1997, p. 11).

Exhortations of Community College Associations

The willingness of community colleges to provide contract training was also a product of strong marketing efforts on the part of their national and state associations. These associations have addressed their exhortations about the benefits of having community colleges do contract training as much to community college faculty and staff as to businesspeople and government officials (American Association of Community Colleges, 1993; Doucette, 1993; Eskow, 1983; Garrison, 1985; National Council for Occupational Education, 1990; Parnell & Yarrington, 1982; Ramirez, 1989; Task Force on the Role of Community Colleges in Economic Development, 1988, p. 105).

Beyond exhortation, the AACC and other national and state associations have provided community colleges with practical advice. The associations have issued how-to reports that recommend specific strategies, describe what various community colleges are doing, and identify exemplary practices that might be emulated (Esbeck, 1993; Falcone, 1994; Katsinas & Lacey, 1989; Katsinas et al., 1995; Ryan, 1993). The AACC also has provided community colleges with technical assistance and small grants to establish pilot projects (Gollattscheck, 1988, p. 17; McGuire, 1984, p. 73). Moreover, the AACC sponsors conferences, such as the annual Workforce Development Institute, to bring together contract training practitioners. Finally, the AACC and NETWORK (a consortium of community colleges involved in contract training) have put together a computerized database of program descriptions that is accessible through the Internet. Community colleges interested in developing a program can determine whether another college has done it and perhaps avoid much of the cost of developing the curriculum by purchasing it from the other college (Zeiss et al., 1997, pp. 19-25).

As must be evident, the rise of contract training cannot simply be explained by business demand (or command). To be sure, this demand played an important role. But so did the independent actions, beliefs, values, and interests of community college leaders and government officials. This view of the genesis of contract training is best captured by an explanation of policy making that sees government officials (including community college officials) as relatively autonomous actors who have a real, although constrained, autonomy to pursue their own interests and values.


Contract training has wide-ranging and subtle impacts on community colleges. It boosts enrollments and revenues. It enlarges business's support for, and internal involvement in, the community college. It changes the tenor of internal campus relations. It changes the content of the occupational and liberal arts curriculum. And finally it seems to be shifting the mission of contract oriented community college toward a more utilitarian definition of education. Let us explore each of these in turn.


Any number of those we interviewed mentioned that contract training had brought their community college more students. At the same, time, they had to admit that this conclusion was not based on firm data (Armstrong, 1997, p. 6; Bakum, 1991, p. 224; Bragg & Jacobs, 1991, p. 13; Brand, 1997, p. 8; Clark, 1998, p. 12; Grubb et al., 1997, pp. 18, 44-45).

As discussed earlier, the median number of students enrolled in contract training at community colleges offering such training is around 1,125, constituting an estimated 17 or 18% of total (credit and noncredit) enrollments. It is safe to say that many of these students are a net addition to community college enrollments, because most of them are not students who elected contract training after entering the community college. In fact, many of them are employed workers who come to the community college at the behest of their employers.

But this figure may underestimate the true impact of contract training. Students who come to take contract courses on narrowly technical subjects not infrequently decide to get an associate's degree as well, so they take additional general education courses. Moreover, contract students may return to the community college later on their own, having found college education to their taste (Armstrong, 1998, pp. 23-24; Clark, 1998, p. 12). A contract education manager at a New York community college notes:

I would guess about half of them [contract training students] would not naturally have any contact at all with the college otherwise. Probably about half of them have had or might have; a lot of our retraining people in fact are alumni of [the college]. . . . . We know from just anecdotal experience and a certain amount of nose counting that when we do a contract training, probably pretty reliably about one-eighth of the trainees end up taking further training at the college within a year.


Contract education certainly brings in new money in the form of cash payments (whether from employers or government aid) toward program expenses. But these payments do not seem very impressive. For example, median contract training revenues among two-year colleges offering such training in 1993-94 totalled only $160,000, amounting to about 1% of the median operating budgets of those colleges (Johnson, 1995, pp. 93, 101).

But this figure is deceptive. Some colleges make much more money. In a 1993 national survey of contract training, one college was found to be making $8 million in revenues from contract training and 20% of the colleges were making over half a million (Johnson, 1995, p. 101).

Moreover, the dollar amounts fail to capture the fact that contract training also brings in a lot of nonmonetary revenue in the form of new facilities, equipment, training aids, and training for faculty (Ashley, 1997, p. 3; Cousteau, 1997, p. 7; Ehlers, 1997, p, 5; Pickar, 1998, p. 20; Pincus, 1989, p. 85). These in-kind revenues can often be used to support other programs. For example, community colleges offering auto repair apprenticeship training for an auto manufacturer are provided with parts, components, and training aids and their faculty are trained by the company. In turn, these parts, components, training aids, and trained faculty can be used in their generic (not firm-specific) courses, thus cutting substantially the cost of offering those courses (Ashley, 1997, p. 7; Cousteau, 1997, p. 13).

In addition, contract training can create goodwill on the part of employers, which then results in greater donations (Armstrong, 1997, p. 6; Dalton, 1998, p. 11; Horton, 1997, p. 11; Saganski, 1997, pp. 2-3; Williams, 1997, p. 7). An official of a Texas community college told us:

We have done well from some of the partnerships. We have gotten some wonderful scholarships for our students just from doing a little training, building relationships. . . . [Corporation A] is a company that we did a lot of training for and all of a sudden they started granting scholarship money. . . . . [The head of training] for ABC [Associated Builders and Contractors] wrote 97 company owners and told them the needs that [our] College has to teach some advanced levels of training for them. And we're having companies call and say, "How might we help you?" (Horton, 1997, p. 11)

But even if a contract program still runs at a loss, even when we count revenues and donations of all kinds, community colleges may still feel that they are profiting, because the program brings political benefits. (See below for more on this.)

However, it should be kept in mind that contract training programs do not always run a profit. Employer demand may disappear or state aid may be cut, in which case the contract training program may. run at a deficit (Armstrong, 1998, p. 42). A contract training officer of a New York community college described the financial ups and downs of contract training:

[What] is really bad news is for these [contract training] organizations to get all their eggs in one particular market basket. Some of the community colleges got their continuing ed [programs] very heavily involved, in the training of prisoners, and when [Governor] Pataki cut all that out, they just collapsed and those operations were deleted. We and everyone went through this about six years ago, because the state of New York legislature deleted what was called contract course training, which was the subsidy for doing industry training. . . . . Well we almost went under. . . . [T]hey thought seriously about cutting us out completely. . . . And that kind of situation has happened repeatedly.


Even if a contract training program apparently loses money, community colleges often feel that it may still benefit them by bringing public visibility and the support of political elites. Greater visibility means that the community college is protected against attacks that it is failing to do its job and is therefore not worthy of additional state or local aid. In addition, by "partnering" with influential employers, community colleges can call on them on occasion to lobby government officials for more money, greater programmatic authority, or regulatory leeway (Armstrong, 1997, p. 6; Clark, 1998, p. 13; Dalton, 1998, p. 11; Demorris, 1997, p. 5; Derry, 1997, p. 12; Grubb et al., 1997, p. 18; Pickar, 1998, pp. 23-24; Pincus, 1989, p. 86; Pope, 1998, p. 11; Sommerstorfer, 1997; Tesinsky, 1997, p. 4; Wood, 1998, p. 7). A government relations executive for one of the Big 3 auto companies stated:

I've helped them in Washington. A couple of colleges had asked that they were looking for a different program or some different funding issue and in one case I was in Washington anyway. . . . In the case of Missouri I wrote a letter to their representative. Often the representatives, the constituents they hear from are those who are not happy with the way things may be going . . . and say, "That school is costing us a lot of money, that program costs us a lot of money. Why are we doing it?" When they hear from one of the benefactors of the program, "Here's what's happening but here's what we're returning to the community," it makes a difference to them.

By having a strong contract training relationship with a major corporation, a community college may not only have a powerful political ally but also a powerful economic ally. A top official of a Michigan community college explained how his community college wielded economic power based on its deep training ties to a major corporation. First, the corporation's main suppliers were inclined to use that community college as a provider of quality training because of the community college's "ability to say the [car maker] has already sanctioned us. . . . . For GM, for QS9000 we're one of the suppliers, GM has sanctioned us so people know that so they come here." Furthermore, the community college can use its corporate ally to actively create a demand for its services on the part of suppliers. As a Michigan community college leader put it,

We're trying to get the OEM's [car makers] to mandate a certain skill level for all designers and mandate it in the contracts for the tier one suppliers. So then we have places for all our students in the tier one suppliers. . . . [T]he fastest way you can get training in small and medium size firms is you get it through the OEM. . . . . We're funding out. . . . a professional organization. . . . to develop skill standards and a skill standards test which is based on our curriculum. . . . . And this test we hope will then be taken on by the OEM and placed in their supplier contracts so they'll say that 40% of the people in this shop must have passed this test which puts us in the position of being the supplier of the training. It's an attempt to really use the OEM's market power to force the tier suppliers to utilize us.

Negative External Relations

But contract education can also be a source of negative external relations as well. For one, if community colleges become very active training vendors, they may attract criticism from private Vendors, who feel there is unfair competition. This criticism has already been provoked in the case of such things as college bookstores, which have been criticized as publicly subsidized competitors for local book, clothing, and record stores. But it is possible that it may come up as well with contract training operations (Armstrong, 1998, pp. 28-29). A contract training official for a New York State community college noted:

We've heard a little of that. . . . I think if we really got into it [contract training] in a huge way, we'd hear more of it. Right now that's pretty quiet, partly because we are very sub rosa. We don't have a big front end marketing end. We don't put ads in the paper; we're not very visible. . . . . We get contracts away from the private sector. pretty regularly [but] often they don't even know the contracts were available. So we're not creating that kind of fuss. But I could see . . . . the [local] Chamber, many of whose members are consultants and offer training, getting very up in arms if we made a huge move to monopolize training services and started pumping out a lot of slick marketing stuff.

Colleges try to defuse the possibility of external complaints by such devices as keeping their contract training programs relatively small and by subcontracting work to private vendors (Armstrong, 1998, p. 29).


The other side of greater business support externally has also been greater business involvement in the internal affairs of community colleges. Certainly, employers contracting for certain programs exercise a dominant role in decisions on the content of those programs they directly contract for (Clemmons, 1998, p. 8; Deny, 1997, pp. 4, 9; McDougal, 1998, pp. 5-7; Tough, 1997, p. 2).8 For example, the director of automotive repair training at a southern community college noted that the manufacturers and the dealers strongly shaped the direction of the program:

A lot of that [keeping courses up to date with industry] happens automatically because there is such a close corporate connection: bulletins come in; changes in the curriculum from Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler are supplied on a regular basis. But still the local dealers may say, "we are finding the guys don't know enough about transmissions to turn them loose when they graduate. Or you're not teaching trim; there's no course where you stick that. In their first term, they need to know how to find a water leak." So we revise the curriculum to make sure trim goes in there. If we need more emphasis on electronics and less on something else. Over the years I've had changes that are reflected in credits. We now have 4 credits in brakes instead of 3. There are 4 in electrical instead of 3 that there was two years ago. And that's based on input from them that "we need more of this and less of that."

But business involvement in governance goes beyond just the programs for which they are contracting. Increasingly federal and state governments are demanding that community colleges have extensive business involvement in the direction of their general vocational education and labor force development programs. And with growing business participation comes growing business influence. A government relations executive for one of the Big 3 U.S. car makers described his role:

I'm on several college committees [and] several workforce development boards. . . . Many of the programs that are funded out of Washington or even out of the state, they require business partnerships. And the position I have taken with each of these institutions [is] I'm not going to be in here as a passive participant just so you can say, "Yeah, we have [his firm] on board doing this." If I don't agree with what you're doing and you fail to support or give support or rationale for what you're doing, I'm going to pull my participation out. But more importantly I'm going to notify the state or the feds that I'm pulling out because of [it]. That's a little bit of a hammer but I need something as opposed to just sitting in a chair. Too many of my peers are doing that. [Have you notified the state and the feds in any case?] Yes I have. [What did the state or the feds do for example?] It was the state and they withdrew funding.


Because contract training brings in additional students, revenues, and political support and it is backed by political and economic influentials, it tends to increase the power and prestige of contract and continuing education educators. They certainly command more respect from administrators (Cousteau, 1997, p. 9; Derry, 1997, pp. 3-4). The director of auto repair training at a Florida community college noted:

I have had the president, VP, and provost at graduation ceremonies over the years be absolutely amazed over . . . how many are graduating and what a big deal the corporations make out of their success. . . . . Looking at the statistics they see 18 guys out of 23 getting an AA. They don't see that very often around this institution. And they're all going to start the next day around $30,000 a year. . . . When the new provost came to this campus, my first question was, "You know the history of this program. When we ask for bending the rules to make things work (for example, an English class for 14), we need your assurance that you will spend the money." Without any hesitation, he said, "Absolutely. It's a wonderful program. I will do anything to help it stay alive." We don't have any problems with small academic classes any more.

The growth of contract training has provoked some grumbling on the part of faculty in the "regular" credit side of the community college. The typical sources of this grumbling are a perception that contract training is getting resources at the expense of regular college programs, taking students away from the regular programs, making inadequate use of the regular faculty, or exercising too much influence over the curriculum (Armstrong, 1998, pp. 18-20; Cousteau, 1997, p. 9; Dalton, 1998, pp. 17, 18; Derry, 1997, p. 11; Pickar, 1998, pp. 16-17; Yancey, 1998, p. 12).

Interestingly, contract programs seem to encounter the greatest friction not with the liberal arts faculty but with traditional vocational educators (Teitel, 1988).9 For example, the director of an auto repair training program at a New York community college noted that there has been significant resistance by instructors in the old generic automotive repair program to the development of a company-affiliated program that would require them to be extensively retrained by the company (Ashley, 1997, p. 5).

Unhappiness on the part of regular faculty does lead them on occasion to cause problems for the contract training program. Regular faculty on occasion refuse to give academic credit to a contract program. Or top administrators drawn from the liberal arts sometimes refuse to allow contract programs to operate by different rules than the regular program (Armstrong, 1998, pp. 16, 39-40; Derry, 1997).

But on the whole, the unhappiness of the regular faculty is not very high and does not pose a great hindrance to contract training. One reason is that contract training programs typically try to allay opposition by the regular faculty by such means as getting department approval for teaching contract courses related to their areas, hiring regular faculty as much as they can, and awarding bonuses to programs that provide a lot of faculty for the contract program (Armstrong, 1998, p. 20; Dalton, 1998, p. 18; Teng, 1999).


Contract training has brought significant changes in how courses are taught and organized. One way is by serving, in Jacobs' (1987) term, as a "border scout," bringing back to a community college intelligence on what technologies are being used by firms and what skills are needed to manipulate those technologies. This can result in more up-to-date course content (Armstrong, 1998, pp. 31, 40; Ashley, 1997, pp. 1-2, 5-6; Clark, 1998, pp. 11-12; Dalton, 1998, p. 17; Grindel, 1997, p. 5; Jacobs, 1987, 1991, p. 13; Pickar, 1998, p. 20). For example, a contract training officer of a Florida community college stated:

It's not uncommon that a new program that is a state of the art set of competencies in the community, that industry demands, is often spun off out of our division. For example, we were the first entity at the college to do training in Windows 95. . . . [and] Windows 98. We were the first area to have Internet capability in our classrooms and now that is available college-wide. So a lot of times, because of the way we're structured and the fact that we can be very responsive to the direct and immediate needs of our community and our corporate community, that will then serve as the catalyst for program development and curriculum development and new technology at the college.

Contract training can also change course content in liberal arts courses. If general education courses are part of a contract training program, those courses are sometimes substantially changed. They are sometimes shortened to fit the accelerated schedule of a contract training program and their content is changed to emphasize concrete issues in the industry (Dalton, 1998, pp. 16-17; Derry, 1997, p. 10; Knox & Lorenzo, 1987; Sommer-storfer, 1997, p. 3; Yancey, 1998, pp. 11-12). For example, at a southern community college, the auto repair program is allowed to meet the social science and humanities requirements for the associate's degree with, respectively, Human Relations in Industry and Conversational Spanish. Moreover, both courses are taught using issues and terms specific to the auto repair industry (Derry, 1997, pp. 4-6).

Contract training may change not only the content of courses but also their pedagogy. Corporate customers for contract training much more often use new instructional techniques and technologies than do most college teachers (Antholis, 1998). College instructors brought into teach corporate courses often pick up these new techniques and then import them back into their regular courses (Doucette, 1993, p. 18).


Traditionally, the primary purposes of American education have been as much about cultivating citizenship as serving economic efficiency (Labaree, 1997). But as community colleges ardently pursue a strong connection with business and the economy, their interest in the traditional tasks of schools may attenuate. Two possible mechanisms stand out: attitude/cultural change and loss of administrative attention.

Attitude Change

There is scattered evidence that involvement in contract training does reshape the attitudes of community college faculty and administrators, who then carry these attitudes into traditional areas of the curriculum. A number of our interviewees indicated an impatience with the notion of education for other than job preparation (Cousteau, 1997, p. 9). The director of auto repair training at a California community college stated:

General education and the liberal arts, it's always been a real thorn in my back they don't have anything to link with in the real world. It's almost sad. I have written a couple of articles in our academic newsletter about the fact that, bottom line, we're all vocational educators, but just some of us are seen that way more readily than others. But we're all preparing our students for the eventual workplace. . . . There's a certain segment of people who are so far out in left field that they are actually threatened by that concept. . . . They went to school their whole life and they get out of school and they go teach school. They don't have much connection with what everybody else has to do to survive and what it takes, what skills are really needed in the workplace.

For this auto repair director, the solution is a deeper involvement by business in shaping the curriculum of the college:

We're going through revisiting our general education requirements in our institution. . . . I have gotten the Math Department to . . . work with me on developing a really good Technical Math class with involvement from industry and the business community. I have said, hey, vocational programs have had to have advisory committees; we've always had them. We need to have advisory committees for our liberal arts program that have community leaders, business leaders, industry leaders.

A similar belief in education as primarily job preparation can be seen in the remarks of contract training directors in a 1993-94 national survey of two-year colleges. These directors stressed the importance of running contract training in a businesslike fashion (Johnson, 1995, pp. 139-140, 153-157). Furthermore, when these directors praised certain community colleges as running exemplary contract training programs, a frequent theme was that these colleges ran their operations in a very businesslike way, which was strongly contrasted with the way typical for education. For example, the community college receiving the most mention was praised by one observer for running "their contract training and business services like a business. . . . They are marketers first and educators a distant second" (quoted in Johnson, 1995, p. 139). The contract training director at another frequently praised college described his program's ethos: "We run our customized training as a business, not as an educational entity. We are very close to our customers. In order to make it work, you have to listen to the customer, then do what you need to do to be successful. You cannot afford to run contract training like a traditional college" (quoted in Johnson, 1995, p. 154).

It can be argued that, however much community colleges claim they are becoming more businesslike, that is not the reality. Still, a number of business executives we interviewed did perceive a change in the collegiate ethos, though they felt it was far too slow for their taste. For example, a government relations executive for one of the Big 3 auto makers stated:

As slow as the colleges sometimes seem in change, . . . they have made some phenomenal steps over the last seven years. Is that because they have become more understanding of business? Probably not. I think [it's] because their funding sources are requiring that they participate in some sort of partnership .with business, and in order for them to do that, they've had to listen. In some cases they are left turning a deaf ear, but they're listening. Other cases they're listening and not doing much with it. But in most cases in the^ colleges that we are dealing with, they listen and they do respondsome more aggressively than othersbut nonetheless they do respond. Is that because I'm continually holding the hammer over their head of withdrawing the grant out of that institution or dropping that institution from our list? Probably. Does it work? Absolutely.

But even if the attitudes of community college faculty and administrators do not change, a growing emphasis on contract training may still cause a redefinition of community college mission in other ways.

Change in Administrative Attention

Administrators' time and attention are finite. The more time they devote to expanding contract education, the less attention and energy they have to devote to such traditional missions as education for citizenship, providing access to the four-year colleges, and serving underprepared students (Cohen & Brawer, 1996, chaps. 9-12; Grubb et al., 1997, p. 36; Pincus, 1989, p. 88). The transfer program may particularly feel the effects of a loss of administrative attention. It takes great administrative energy and attention to construct and maintain effective college transfer programs. For example, articulation agreements with four-year colleges to allow easy transfer of credits are hard to forge and need to be continually maintained, as new courses are offered by community colleges and four-year colleges and as the signatories to the initial agreement pass on and new principal actors have to be socialized. Administrators need to provide the muscle for this process of continual maintenance of the transfer relationship, but this attention and energy may be in shorter supply as administrators focus their efforts on such other things as getting a contract training program off the ground.


Over 90% of community colleges now offer contract training, which makes its content, origins, and impact a matter of great interest. We examined these issues using a variety of national analyses and case studies of five industries: apparel making, auto manufacturing, auto repair, banking, and construction.

Contract training varies considerably according to the nature of the contracting firm and of the target trainees, whether prospective or current employees, or semiskilled or skilled workers. It is most elaborate for entry-level skilled workersparticularly in auto manufacturing, auto repair, and constructionwhere the training often takes the form of multiyear apprenticeships, involving both classroom and on-the-job training, with labor unions exercising a role that sometimes rivals or even eclipses that of management. But other kinds of contract training tend to be much briefer and dominated by the wishes of companies.

Having sketched some of the main outlines of contract training, we turned to examining its origins. Drawing on structuralist theory in political sociology and on resource dependency theory in organizational sociology, we argued that the best explanation of the rise of contract training is one thatwhile it acknowledges the powerful role of business pressurealso stresses the initiative of community colleges and government bodies pursuing interests and values of their own. Hence, we explored in detail not only the factors that have led business to demand contract training from community colleges but also those that have made community colleges interested in responding toor even stimulatingthis business interest.

Finally, we closed this article by examining the impact of contract training on the community college's enrollments, revenues, external relations, governance, internal relations, curriculum and pedagogy, and institutional mission. The latter point is somewhat speculative but of great importance. We note the shards of evidence that contract trainingwhile it clearly does bring community colleges more revenues, students, and political clout may also weaken their commitment to traditional values of education and the transfer function. These contradictory effects of contract training argue that we should proceed cautiously with it. It is not a panacea. It bears the imprint of a divided world.

We wish to thank the Sloan Foundation for its support of this research. We would also like to thank the following for their ideas and support: Thomas Bailey, Lisa Rothman, Jennafer D 'Alvia, Kathleen Keane, Margaret Terry Orr, Dolores Perin, John Wirt, Debra Bragg, Norton Grubb, James Jacobs, Steven Katsinas, Stuart Rosenfeld, and David Weiman.


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KEVIN J. DOUGHERTY is Professor of Sociology, Manhattan College, and Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

MARIANNE F. BAKIA is a Research Associate at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and a graduate student in economics of education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 102 Number 1, 2000, p. 197-243
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10445, Date Accessed: 10/16/2021 7:03:55 AM

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About the Author
  • Kevin Dougherty

  • Marianne Bakia
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    Marianne F. Bakia is a Research Associate at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and a graduate student in economics of education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
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