Isa N. Engleberg
Prince George's Community College
The 1,473 community colleges in the United States (i.e., 2-year colleges offering associate degrees) represent 39% of all institutions of higher education and enroll 53% of the country's undergraduate student population ( 1997 Higher Education Directory, 1997; American Association of Community Colleges, 1995). The academic curricula at these 2-year colleges range from traditional liberal arts study for students intending to pursue baccalaureate degrees to technical and career programs designed to prepare students for immediate employment in the workplace. Moreover, as local institutions, community colleges are often the first choice of residents seeking to upgrade job skills or pursue lifelong learning goals.
Community colleges are highly diverse institutions -- from small, rural colleges enrolling as few as 200 students to the giant Miami-Dade Community College where over 50,000 students take courses annually. Despite such diversity in mission, locale, and size, administrators responsible for instruction in communication and media studies face unique challenges. Recommending common strategies for the community college administrator, therefore, should take into account the differences among community colleges as well as the ways in which community colleges differ from 4-year colleges and universities. To that