CATALYST V22N2 - Community Services and Continuing Education in the Community College

Volume XXII, Number 2
Spring 1992

Community Services and Continuing Education in the Community College

Diane Hirshberg
User Services Coordinator

The readers of this journal are well aware of the importance of community services and continuing education to the community college mission. Often, the community college is the only place in an area that offers affordable educational opportunities such as job skills development or language study. In addition, many colleges offer programs designed to help community members resolve local problems or better understand the issues affecting their quality of life. Some of these programs are described in the following citations and abstracts, which represent a current sampling of ERIC documents on community services and continuing education.

The full text of ERIC documents can be read on microfiche at over 800 libraries worldwide. In addition, most may be ordered on microfiche or in paper copy from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service at (800) 443-ERIC. All citations preceded by an asterisk (*) refer to journal articles that are not available from EDRS. Most articles may be acquired through regular library channels, or purchased for $10.75 from copy from UMI Articles Clearinghouse at (800) 521-0600 x533. For a list of libraries in your area that house ERIC microfiche documents, an EDRS order form, or for more information about our products and services, please contact the

ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges at (213) 825-3931.

Craig, Ford M. "Older Adults: Community College Students of the 1990s." Ed.D. Practicum, Nova University, 1990. 15 pp. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 315 106)

With a declining pool of youth to draw from, community colleges need to be concerned about what can be done to serve the needs of a burgeoning older adult population. Recent research on the educational needs of older adults reveals that they are interested in (a) information on such personal business and financial topics as social security programs, pensions, consumer problems, and legal assistance; (b) full- or part-time employment in the fast food industry, computer technology, child day care services, telephone solicitations, and other areas; (c) remaining physically fit, mobile, and independent; (d) opportunities for social interaction; and (e) maintaining positive self-esteem and having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. The literature indicates that many community colleges are currently involved in meeting these needs directly and indirectly. Courses and workshops in retirement planning, housing choices, and financial security are common; job training programs especially designed for older adults are available at several community colleges; and efforts have been made at several schools to expand the traditional physical education curriculum and to attract older adults to dance exercise, swim therapy, and other courses that are suited to their needs. Enrollment in any college program, as well as in these specially designed programs, can help older adults make social contacts, maintain their self-esteem, and awaken new interests.

*Hochhauser, Gail A. "Developing the Campus-Community Link in International Education." New Directions for Community Colleges, 1990, 18(2), 99-107.

This article looks at on- and off-campus programs that seek to involve foreign students and U.S. students returning from abroad in international education. It reviews on-campus activities, such as international days and study abroad fairs, and off-campus efforts including campus and community workshops and recruitment of host families. The article also examines funding considerations. Kaikai, Septimus M., and Kaikai, Regina E. Chairpersons as Promoters of Community Service. Catonsville, MD: Catonsville Community College, 1990. 9 pp. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 321 801)

Discussions about the social responsibility of businesses have led to questions about the social responsibility of academic institutions. As governmental support of community activities appears to be lessening, activities by educational institutions in support of local communities become more essential. New developments in the linkage between school and community have required departmental and divisional chairpersons to take the proactive step of promoting community service. At Catonsville Community College (CCC), one of the most visible community programs is the Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) program, in which accounting students and the accounting faculty give assistance to elderly, low-income, and handicapped citizens in preparing their tax returns. The VITA program allows CCC students and faculty to reach out into the community to help residents in an area of great need; and while the college is helping those who need assistance, the mission and faculty of the college become better known to the community. Another community outreach program at CCC is the Volunteers in Legal Assistance (VILA) program. Similar to the VITA program, the VILA program involves law faculty in diagnosing legal problems for community residents and referring such individuals to competent legal professionals who can provide the assistance needed. A third program, VIFA (Volunteers in Financial Assistance), provides referral service to community members who need financial advice. The role of the departmental or division chairperson in promoting myriad services to the community is to create an environment that supports creativity and community involvement. Chairs should recognize faculty who participate by nominating them for service awards and by sponsoring them for attendance at conferences and workshops. As colleges meet more of their community responsibilities, the community expands its own interest in their programs and in using their services.

Kaczynski, Daniel J., and Others. "A Qualitative Study of a Community College Program for High School Dropouts." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA, April 16- 20, 1990. 20 pp. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 317 241)

A summer employment and training project for high school dropouts was conducted at Florida's Pensacola Junior College (PJC) through the college's Adult High School. The program participants were economically disadvantaged teenagers who were eligible for Job Training Partnership Act funding. All but four of the 20 participants were high school dropouts, and eight either had children or were pregnant. The program was designed to improve the participants' reading and writing skills, encourage the participants to return to high school, and introduce the study of journalism to nontraditional students through the production of four newsletters and one videotape documentary. The students' typical day consisted of two hours of academic course work and five hours of paid work time. Four student crew leaders worked an additional 12 hours per week. The 16 dropouts enrolled in a high school level refresher English course, while the four crew leaders enrolled in a college-credit course, "Feature Article Writing." Work crews consisting of four high school students and one crew leader completed various job assignments. An evaluation of the project underscored the importance of institutional leadership in the day-to-day operations of the project to resolve such issues as the use of college vehicles to transport students to work sites; the use of PJC's public television station to produce the videotape documentary; and the development of good relations between crew leaders and members and between participants and the project supervisors. Pre- and post-test scores revealed significant gains in students' reading skills and smaller gains in language and math skills. All but one of the students completed the employment component of the project, and 75% passed their summer English course.

*Kempner, Ken, and Connett, Dian. "Social Responsibility in Community Colleges: Rethinking the Commitment to Alternative Education." Innovative Higher Education, 1990, 14(2), 83-92.

This paper discusses the nation's responsibility to provide a quality education to all individuals. It examines the role the community college can play in meeting the educational and social needs of high school dropouts, and presents an innovative community college program that has been particularly effective in meeting the needs of dropouts.

Mellander, Gustavo A., and Hubbar, Gary. Drug Abuse: A Community College Response. Saratoga, CA: West Valley- Mission Community College District, 1990. 11 pp. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 319 419)

In 1985, the Chancellor of West Valley College met with California Attorney General John Van De Kamp to explore methods by which the community college district could respond to the growing problem of drug abuse. The first step was the establishment of a 15-hour, fee-supported class on drug and alcohol abuse education for adult offenders at the local county probation department. This was followed by the development of a drug diversion/education program for youths and their families. The goal of the youth program was to create a cost-effective intervention model appropriate for all socioeconomic levels of Santa Clara County, employing staff qualified to provide legal, drug-related, and psychosocial knowledge, and able to deal with the greater problem of family dysfunction. A survey of the most visible and respected county agencies serving youth involved in alcohol and drug abuse was conducted to determine necessary components of the program. The college ultimately implemented a 12-hour program focusing on drug pharmacology, group counseling, the criminal justice system, family communication, refusal skills, values clarification, and self-esteem. It also includes one unit of instruction for parents. Adolescents were directly referred from the Santa Clara County Probation Department, junior and senior high schools, churches, and police departments; and no adolescent could attend the program without at least one parent. Instruction emphasized class participation in an informal, nonthreatening way to maximize involvement, and several films were used. Though no statistical data were available to indicate the success of the program, both parents and adolescents expressed gratitude and hope for the future after completing the program. Appendixes include a list of suggested steps for the development of similar programs and an administrative summary of the program.

White, Maureen E. "Re-Entry, Recruitment, and Retention: A Community Relations Model for Sacramento City College." Paper presented at the 75th Annual Convention of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1990. 54 pp. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 324 087)

Enrollment statistics and projections confirm the importance of focusing community college student recruitment and retention efforts on reentry students. Reentry students are a distinct and growing population whose educational requirements often differ from those of younger, traditional students. The literature on adult learners indicates that (a) among the variety of reasons that adults return to school are that they have advanced as far as possible in their career field, they are demoralized by working long hours for low pay, or that their credentials are out of date; (b) curricula and instruction for adults should build on their prior learning and experiences; and (c) adults learners tend to be goal oriented, interested in putting their knowledge to practical use, and affected by situational, dispositional, and institutional barriers to formal education. The marketing of community college education to this group should take advantage of existing knowledge about adult learners' goals, characteristics, and needs to select an appropriate communication method and message. While marketing efforts are being undertaken to sell the community college's "products," public relations efforts should focus on selling the college itself, with the lessons of communications theory applied to both efforts. Building upon the principles of marketing, public relations, and communication theory, and drawing from research findings on the effectiveness of various recruitment methods and programs for reentry students, Sacramento City College (SCC) has developed two proposals to restructure and expand the college's reentry program. One calls for the development of a comprehensive community relations plan based on other SCC recruitment models and reentry programs to be incorporated into the college's overall marketing plan. The other calls for the development of a video to inform the community about reentry education and promote SCC. Timelines, budgets, and an 83-item bibliography are included.

The Community Services Catalyst is an invaluable source of information to community college practitioners and researchers. The ERIC database is another useful resource to faculty, researchers, students, and policy makers in community colleges and in education in general. However, we need your documents to keep ERIC current and comprehensive. Please help in this effort by submitting your written works to the Clearinghouse for review for inclusion in the ERIC system. Send two copies of each manuscript to the attention of the Acquisitions Coordinator, ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges, University of California, Los Angeles, 8118 Math-Sciences
Building, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024.