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Community College: Second Best

Posted By: LeAnn Risch on July 2, 2002
While the main thesis of this book is to show that community colleges (as other schools) have filled a role in society that keeps the status quo, the author does not look fully at the phenomenon of the community college system in California.

The role that many of the junior or community colleges play in California is to help further prepare students for their transition to a four year school.

The high school students that I teach are pulling themselves out of an academic abyss (mainly due to the other private and public schooling they have received) and are not ready to embark on the challenges and responsibilities that a four year college student has to his/her studies; they are still learning how to be a student. Many of them need an extra year or two to continue what they begin at Mid-Peninsula High School. The junior and community colleges fill this role and many of our students, when finished with the junior college, continue onto higher education within a four year college.

Clearly, the role of the community college is expanding; they are no long just technical or blue-collar schools, serving a certain economic class of students, whose goal is to perpetuate that class system.

I myself, am a product of the community college system in California and was a student, from a white-upper middle class family, who was not ready for a four year school. I now have finished my B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz; my secondary teaching credential from College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California; and am currently working on my Masters in Special Education and my license in Educational Therapy.

We all need to look at the role our schools play in the development of students, people, and society as a whole; our schools play a much larger role than keeping a class system in place and showing people their place in that system.

LeAnn Risch
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 Community College: Second Best by LeAnn Risch on July 2, 2002
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