Trends in the American community college, 1979-1993: A content analysis of the community college "Journal"

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education

First Committee Member

Eugene F. Jr. Provenzo - Committee Chair


A content analysis of American Association of Community Colleges' Journal was conducted to determine the directions the editorials and articles indicate the community colleges have followed in the last 14 years (1979-1993) and thereby suggest trends in the community colleges' mission for the future. Initially, the editorials and articles were assigned to one of fourteen predetermined categories which reflect the major concerns of the community colleges. Ultimately, the categories were collapsed to six broader categories. The frequency to which the editorials and articles fit the categories was traced over the last 14 years and a thematic analysis of each category was also done. Both the frequency count and the thematic analysis suggest a reaffirmation of the colleges' comprehensive mission, after a period in the early eighties when a subject of many of the articles were rebuttals to the criticism levied against the community college mission and product. With the release of the American Association of Community Colleges' Futures Commission Report in 1988, the articles evidence a new strength in the colleges' view of their mission. The study of the Journal indicates that the community colleges' future will continue to be intimately bound to the communities that they serve and that the colleges' programs and activities reflect their communities' needs.


Education, Community College; Education, Higher

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