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Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS) (Vol 1 No 1)
Article Title: Fulfilling American Community College Missions: Perceptions of Community Education Program Leaders
by Wei-ni Wang

Abstract:
Community education offered through the American community colleges is regarded as the broadest and the most complicated program structure because of its responsiveness to community needs. However, not much research has been done to primarily explore its implementation. The purpose of this research is to explore how community education programs are organized and implemented in American community colleges through the lens of community education program leaders. A phenomenological approach was methodologically employed for this qualitative study. The findings of this research were drawn from the lived experiences of five seasoned community education program directors interviewed, revealing that community education programs had been positively perceived as the integral mechanism in the American community college contexts to link every aspect of institutional missions together with their community-based orientation, affordability and accessibility. Leaders of such programs also encountered resource constraints (shrinking funding, difficulties of faculty recruitment, and a shortage of staff) and administrative hurdles (tensions between credit and non-credit programs, and struggles to balance demand and capacity) in the everyday practice, so that they had to act in a calculating manner to sustain and nurture the longevity of their programs. The study led to the recommendation that the presidents of American community colleges need to re-evaluate their community education programs within the organizational structure in order to guarantee a stable resource base for community education programs for better fulfilling the needs of the surrounding communities. This study shed light on how community education programs have been delivered in contemporary American community colleges..
Keywords: community college; community education; mission; program planning; leadership.
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Editor-in Chief

Prof. Guofang Li
Associate Professor
Department of Teacher Education
College of Education
Michigan State University
United States of America.