Arthur M. Cohen's Publications: A Selected Bibliography

By Palmer, James C. | Community College Review, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Arthur M. Cohen's Publications: A Selected Bibliography


Palmer, James C., Community College Review


Arthur M. Cohen's publications over a 40-year period, many coauthored with Florence B. Brawer, reflect his continual efforts to describe the American community college accurately. This Festschrift concludes with a bibliography of Professor Cohen's prominent works, including books, journal articles, and essays in edited volumes.

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To publish a manuscript, as Arthur Cohen tells his students, is to make it public. It is through publication that scholars make their insights available to the scrutiny of others. This scrutiny, in turn, leads to the correction of error and uncovers promising avenues for further investigation. A scholar's publication record represents his or her contribution to an ongoing public dialogue about the world we live in.

Professor Cohen's publications, many coauthored with Florence B. Brawer, have made substantial contributions to our understanding of community college education. All embody an attempt to depict community colleges accurately so that discussions about their further development might be based on a clear-eyed view of their curricula, the instructional modes used in teaching, the characteristics and experiences of students, the administrative structures and revenue streams that support the colleges' operations, and other important aspects of the institution. Writing in 1980, Cohen characterized his work as "criticism," which he defined as "the art of accurate identification." He noted that the

   critic of community colleges attempts to identify them accurately.
   What are they of themselves? Institutions of learning? Agents of
   social mobility? Participants in the welfare system? Purveyors of
   dreams? Contributors to community development? He [the critic]
   compares them with other educational structures. What is their
   niche? What do they offer that is not provided by other schools?
   How do their operations differ? (1)

Pursuing this constructive criticism for more than 40 years, Cohen has produced a body of literature that offers highly informed interpretations of what community colleges are and what they are capable of becoming. Most of these publications, which draw heavily on the documents collected by the ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges and the research conducted by the Center for the Study of Community Colleges, are noted below in two listings. The first includes citations to books that Cohen has authored or edited. Clearly, the most notable of these books are the four editions of The American Community College, coauthored with Florence Brawer. The second listing includes citations to journal articles or essays in edited volumes. Both listings organize citations chronologically, starting with the most recent and working back through time.

This is a "selected" bibliography, because it does not include Professor Cohen's conference papers or the research reports he produced for the Center for the Study of Community Colleges. True to his insistence that scholarly products be available and open to the public, all these papers and reports were entered into the ERIC database and can be obtained at libraries with ERIC microfiche collections. What follows, though, represents the most prominent of a prominent scholar's writings.

Books and Monographs

Cohen, A. M., & Brawer, F. B. (2003). The American community college (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, A. M. (1998). The shaping of American higher education: Emergence and growth of the contemporary system. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, A. M., & Brawer, F. B. (1996). The American community college (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, A. M. (Ed.). (1994). Relating curriculum and transfer (New Directions for Community Colleges No. 86). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, A. M., & Brawer, F. B. (Eds.). (1994). Managing community colleges: A handbook for effective practice. …

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