Summer represents a time of hot days and warn mights, torrid rains and looming thunderclouds; it can also be an arid and parched time with searing heat and drought. Fortunately for us this summer produced not a drought but a period of productive growth. Several authors have contributed to the Catalyst this issue and have made the summer more pleasant for their efforts. Without intent on my part, this issue revolves around several considerations of community. It was my pleasure in assembling this issue to discover an unusual convergence among the articles upon community in several guises.
From Clark Dimond, who basks on the Atlantic seacoast in New Bern, North Carolina, comes a discussion of the relationship between churches and community colleges. Clark suggests we can expand the community we serve by attending more to the communities represented by the churches around us. His article is thought provoking. Terry Whisnant and his colleagues from the flat lands of Virginia report the results of a study of older adult learners and discuss their special role in a learning community. The scope of the discussion of community is extended as Yvonne Katz and Gay Chedester of San Antonio, Texas, present a text based on Yvonne's keynote address to the 1992 NCCSCE conference. They begin by describing the efforts of one school district to define itself as a community and then expand their discussions to consider the role of education in the broader community--the society at large. While the topic is public schooling generally, it seems to me the emphasis is really upon educating a community.
Our second Opinion Piece appears in this issue. NCCSCE Executive Committee meetings for the past several years have been enlivened (they needed that) by the ruminations of Conrad DeJardin and the acerbic wit of nancy Kothenbeutel. Both have now completed their terms as president of NCCSCE and returned quietly to Iowa, but both have continued their service to this organization by contributing their definite and, as usual, differing perspectives on an aspect of CE/CS. To me they represent significant parts of the community of continuing educators and I am pleased to present their work here. (Besides, it gives me another chance to practice spelling "Kothenbeutel.") Diane Hirshberg represents the west coast for us this issue. From Los Angeles, she sends and ERIC Review that discusses the widest expansion of our communities--the communities we reach through distance learning and telecourses.
I am very pleased we are able to present an Exchange section in this issue. In this Exchange section Susan Van Weelden describes community development activities in an Illinois institution; Beverly Boothe tells how a Florida institution deals with "at-risk" youth in a special way that makes "community" a very real and personal experience; and Leslie Bartok, our newly elected Secretary of NCCSCE, describes staff development practices in a Michigan institution that address the need for the institution to consider its own internal community.
There it is. Another summer, another issue, another publication considering the theme of community. It seems appropriate. We hope you enjoy it.
Darrel A. Clowes