CTCH 601-001 - The Community College
Tuesdays, 7:20-10:00p.m. - Robinson A - Room 249
Dr. Anne M. Kuhta
Office Hours: by appointment
This course provides an immersion into the literature and practices of the community
college movement; institutional character of community colleges, including a review of
the history, purpose, clientele, organization, finance, faculty, workforce development, and
community functions. Attention is given to current issues, the future, and key people
who play a role in the development and augmentation of the two year college.
Cohen, A.M., & Brawer, F.B. (2008). The American community college. (5th ed.).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
An on-going bibliography of recommended resources will be distributed in class.
APA or MLA Style Manuals
Hacker, D. (2007). A writer's reference. (6th ed.) Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's.
Governing Principles for the Class:
Respect for all; collegiality; punctuality for class and for web and class assignments;
class participation; valuing student diversity and differences.
Expected Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to converse and write intelligently about community
colleges and issues related to them.
Students will gain an appreciation of the complexity of community colleges, their
relationships to other levels of education, and their role in the community.
Students will review and build communication, writing, research, and citation
Use of printed and electronic resources for data gathering and discussions.
Active participation in Blackboard, class discussions, and cohorts. 20%
Current Issue in the Community College - Research Report (10-12 pages) 30%
Cohort Presentations - 20%
Research Articles and Response Papers 30%
All policies of the George Mason University Catalog and the Higher Education
Program Handbook are in effect in this class.
GMU Honor Code: http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/apolicies/index.html#Anchor12
Honor Code: To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust,
and fairness among all members of the George Mason University community and
with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student
members of the university community, have set forth this honor code: Student
members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat,
plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.
Higher Education Program Website: www.highered.gmu.edu
GMU student information and resources: http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/
If you are a student with a disability and you need academic
accommodations please see me and contact the Office of Disability
Services at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be
arranged through that office. Students must inform the instructor at the
beginning of the semester, and the specific accommodation will be
arranged through the Office of Disability Services.
An incomplete grade (IN) is used only if the student requests it in writing. An IN
counts as a failing grade until completed, and it automatically turns into an F if a
grade is not turned in by the deadline in the Schedule of Classes.
The A Paper: The A paper reflects excellence in a student’s thinking and writing.
The writing demonstrates the critical processes of questioning, reflection, and
exploration. Judgments, interpretations, and beliefs are based upon in-depth
research, analysis, and synthesis. As a result of these efforts, the writing has the
potential to influence the ideas and actions of the reader. This paper deals with
one topic, focused to fit the length and scope of the discussion. In addition, the
paper offers a clear thesis that provides an opinion about that topic; this thesis
guides the discussion throughout the remainder of the paper. Each paragraph in
the A paper uses specific evidence to support the thesis. In turn, the paragraphs
are related, and they lead smoothly from one to another. No ambiguity or illogical
thoughts affect the discussion. Also, the writer has carefully documented the ideas
and writing of others in an acceptable format. The writing in the A paper is clear
and concise, making use of proper academic diction. This paper maintains a
consistent point of view and is free from serious grammatical errors. If the
paper contains minor errors, they do not detract from the main points in the
The Unsatisfactory Paper: (B- or less) The unsatisfactory paper may reflect the
ability to write; however, the writing lacks the development, depth, or insight of
an A paper. This paper usually has a broader topic (too global) and neglects to
provide the pertinent information for the audience to understand the discussion.
General, underdeveloped remarks are used to support a weak thesis; the paper
lacks specific, expanded examples or explanations. Often the paper is too general,
vague, or even digressive. The words and ideas are not documented satisfactorily.
Contains serious grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and non-academic
Late Work: Graduate students maintain a busy schedule in and out of their
academic careers. Often, emergencies develop and the student cannot complete
the assignment. However, if a student consistently hands in his / her work late, the
grade for the assignment – and perhaps for the semester – will reflect this
Grades: Less than a B- is an unacceptable grade for graduate students. A 3.0
average is required for graduate students in the Higher Education Program.
Fall 2009 Class Schedule
As we move forward during the Fall 2009 semester, the schedule of assignments may
be adjusted to accommodate speakers and off-campus visits.
August 31- Classroom Meeting
Introductions and course overview.
Reading/research for next class:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 1, "Background: Evolving Priorities and Expectations of
the Community College, pp. 1-41.
Select an issue addressed on pp. 35-41. Locate, read, and post a citation on the
Discussion Board for one current (2006-present) article pertaining to one of these
issues. Be prepared to discuss the value of the article and how it contributes to the 9/8
September 8 - Classroom Meeting
Topic - The Background and Mission of the American Community College
[RSVP by 9/12 for Higher Education Convocation firstname.lastname@example.org IF you plan to
Reading/research for 9/15:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 13, "The Social Role: A Response to the Critics," pp.
Locate, read, and write a review of two recent (2007-present) articles on the role of
the community college--positive or negative. Post your two reviews in the
Blackboard Discussion Board. Include a citation with each review. Post by
September 15 - Assignment Due on Blackboard - No Class Meeting
Reading/research for 9/22:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 3, "Faculty: Building a Professional Identity, " pp. 81-
111, and Chapter 6, "Instruction: Methods, Media, and Effects," pp. 183-217.
Locate, read, and post a citation to Blackboard Discussion Board -
one article pertinent to 9/22 topic. Be prepared to discuss the value of the article and
how it contributes to the topic.
September 22 - Classroom Meeting
Topic - Faculty and Instructional Methods
Reading/Research for 9/29:
Select a book from the list provided. Read and post a review (approximately two
pages, double-spaced) on the Discussion Board by 11:59p.m. 9/29.
September 26 (Saturday)
Higher Education Program Convocation
All students in our D.A. Ph.D. and MAIS higher education programs are strongly encouraged
to attend. The event will take place at George's Restaurant in the Johnson Center, where
you'll receive a free catered lunch.
September 29 - Assignment Due on Blackboard - No Class Meeting
Reading/Research for 10/ 6
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 8, "Vocational Education: Occupational Entry, Change,
and Development," pp. 245-279; Chapter 10, "Community Education: Extending
College Services and Training," pp.313-344.
October 6 - Classroom Meeting
Topic: Workforce Development and Community Education Services
Speaker: Dr. William H. Gary, Sr., Vice President, Workforce Development,
Northern Virginia Community College.
Reading/Research for 10/20:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 9, "Developmental Education: Enhancing Literacy and
Basic Skills," pp. 281-312; Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 11, Collegiate Function:
Transfer and the Liberal Arts," pp. 345-380. Locate, read, and post citation to
Blackboard Discussion Board - one article pertinent to 10/20 topics. Be prepared to
discuss the value of the article and how it contributes to the topic.
October 13 - No Classes
October 20 - Classroom Meeting
Topics: Literacy and Basic Skills; the Transfer Function
Speakers: Elizabeth L. (Libby) Sears, Northern Virginia Community College,
Manassas Campus Office of Student Development.
Patricia Knight Gary, Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas
Campus, Mathematics Faculty and Achieving the Dream Initiative
Reading for 10/27:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 14, "Trends, Challenges, and Obligations," pp. 447-484.
October 27 - Off-Campus Class Meeting
Location: American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), One Dupont
Circle, Washington, DC
Topic: Trends, Challenges, and Obligations of the American Community College
Speaker: Dr. George Boggs, President, AACC
Reading/research for 11/3:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 4, "Organization, Governance, and Administration:
Managing the Contemporary College," pp. 113-156. Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 5,
"Finances: Sustaining and Allocating Funds," pp. 157-182.
November 3 - Off-Campus Meeting
Location: NVCC Administrative Offices, 7630 Little River Turnpike, Annandale,
VA 22003. Large Board Room.
Topic: Organization, Governance, and Administration: Managing the Community
Speaker: Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., President, Northern Virginia Community
Assignment for 11/10:
Reflect on the presentations by Dr. Boggs and Dr. Templin. Consider how their roles
and perspectives on issues facing the community college compare and contrast.
Compose and post on the Discussion Board a one-page response paper, explaining
what you learned, reconsidered, or found surprising as a result of their presentations.
November 10 - Blackboard Assignment - No Class Meeting
Reading/Research for 11/17:
Cohen and Brawer, Chapter 2, "Students: Diverse Backgrounds, Purposes, and
Outcomes," pp. 43-79. Chapter 7, "Student Services: Supporting Educational
Objectives," pp. 219-245.
Locate, read, and post a citation to Blackboard Discussion Board - one article
pertinent to the 11/17 topics.
November 17 - Classroom Meeting
Topic: Community College Students and Student Services.
November 24 - Cohort Meetings - No Class Meeting
Reading/Research for 12/1:
Cohen and Brawer: Chapter 12, "Scholarship and Assessment: Research in and
About the Colleges," pp. 381-415.
Locate, read, and post a citation to Blackboard Discussion Board - one article
pertinent to the 12/1 topic.
December 1 - Classroom Meeting
Topic: Community College Scholarship and Assessment
December 8 - Classroom Meeting - Last Class
Cohort Presentations (4) on Selected Community Colleges
Food and Farewells
December 15 - Current Issue in the Community College Research Report - Due
on Blackboard Discussion Board by 11:59p.m.