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Palgrave Macmillan

Community Colleges and the Access Effect

Why Open Admissions Suppresses Achievement

ISBN 9781137336002
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Community Colleges and the Access Effect takes on one of the community college world's most sacred principles - that every student with a high school diploma or GED equivalent should have the opportunity to enter college. In carefully researched detail, two community college educators present a convincing case for why the open door to college admission must be eased closed and what must be done academically, politically, and financially to bring about this critically needed reform. Describing how the practice of open college admission developed and how the nature of the college student has changed over the century that it has been in effect, Scherer and Anson argue that raising the minimum requirements for college entry and enforcing existing Federal Student Aid regulations will make better use of public funds, strengthen academic programs, increase secondary student engagement, improve student completion rates, and protect unprepared students.

Juliet Scherer is Professor of English at St. Louis Community College in Missouri, USA, and current President of the Midwest Regional Association for Developmental Education.

Mirra Anson is Director of the Upward Bound Project at the University of Iowa, USA. She previously served as Director of Developmental Education for Missouri State University-West Plains and as a developmental writing instructor at MSU-West Plains and St. Louis Community College.

1. Open Access in Higher Education
2. The Trouble in Tucson
3. The Price of Completion at Any Cost
4. The Perils of Paying for Performance
5. The Revenue Reality
6. Honoring the Letter and Spirit of Federal Student Aid
7. The Disabilities Dilemma
8. The Access Effect
9. Creating a New Admission Standard
10. Providing Meaningful Postsecondary Options
11. The Equity/Excellence Enrosque
12. The Impact of Global Competition
13. Restoring America's Culture of Learning


"Every reader will find this book provocative, many disturbing, and some heretical - all good reasons that every educator should read it. Scherer and Anson have opened to public discussion the most-talked-about, closed-door debate that is now occurring on community college campuses: who can legitimately benefit from higher education, how can colleges best use their resources to maximize educational achievement, and how can we better serve those for whom a college degree or certificate is not the best option? It is past time that these questions received open review, and Community Colleges and the Access Effect can serve as the perfect catalyst for this critical discussion." - Kent Farnsworth, President Emeritus, Crowder College, USA, and author of Grassroots School Reform
'A provocative and productive read in which the authors challenge the traditions and current conventions of open-access colleges, and sow the seeds of discourse and reform. Community Colleges and the Access Effect is well-researched and an invaluable resource for practitioners, leaders, and policymakers in developing a 'big picture' course for developmental education and community college improvement.' - D. Patrick Saxon, Associate Professor and Director, Developmental Education Administration Doctoral Program, Sam Houston State University, USA, and coauthor of Attaining Excellence in Developmental Education: Research-Based Recommendations for Administrators
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