The Case for Civic Learning in the Humanities at Community Colleges

Posted by Association of American Colleges and Universities on March 5, 2019

The principles that led to the establishment of community colleges in the American higher education system were based on the ideologies of democracy and steeped in the early republican creed of equal opportunity. President Truman’s Commission on Higher Education report in 1947 conceived the idea of community colleges as a system for providing more access to educational opportunities in local communities across the country and as a principal method for fostering a stronger nation of prosperous and engaged citizens (Truman Commission 1947). The influence of these founding principles has often resulted in their endearing designation as democracy’s colleges. Given these foundational ties to democracy and citizenship, it makes sense that community colleges should serve as leaders in civic learning and assessment. Community colleges and the influence they hold in local, regional, and even national communities are in many ways best situated for the work of democracy.

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