BROADENING THE BASE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
AuthorPate, James Jackson
KeywordsCommunity colleges -- Arizona.
Junior colleges -- Arizona.
Education, Higher -- Arizona -- History.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResidents of Arizona have looked to post-secondary education as a means of attaining status and security within the community. As a result of this, Arizona's institutions of post-secondary education have grown from a few schools serving a small percentage of the population into three universities and nine community college districts serving (in 1979) approximately 200,000 persons. This study attempts to assist those who will have responsibility for future planning, financing and goverance of Arizona community colleges by addressing two basic questions: (1) How have Arizona's institutions of higher education changed in relation to the changing needs of society? and (2) To what extent and in what ways has the base of higher education been broadened? During the nineteenth century several forces combined to bring about the creation of the two-year college. The public schools grew and prepared a larger segment of the population for higher education. Women and minority groups began seeking higher education. Universities came into existence and emphasized graduate research. Society asked for colleges closer to home so that students could attend while living at home. Two-year colleges began appearing in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and in 1902 the first public two-year college (Joliet) was founded. From its onset, this new institution served the educational needs of the local community. The most frequent reasons for funding two-year colleges during the early period of development were to: (1) keep children close to home; (2) provide a terminal education for those not capable of going on; (3) allow students to complete the first two years of college while living at home; and (4) meet specific local needs. Higher education in Arizona developed along lines similar to the rest of the nation though differences exist. The secularization movement in higher education became strong as the United States matured as a nation and Arizona was affected by the results of that movement. While colonial institutions of higher education were all founded by religious interests, Arizona had but one early institution of higher education founded by a church and it did not offer collegiate work until 1921. Two of the three state universities were founded as two-year normal schools and their students were predominantly females who were preparing for a teaching profession. The University of Arizona was founded as a land grant college to take advantage of federal funds available under the Morrill Act. Until 1920 no other institutions of higher education existed in Arizona. The Phoenix Union High School Board of Education in 1920 began offering evening college classes. That set the stage for establishment of Phoenix College as part of the high school district to provide; (1) two years of collegiate work for students who planned to transfer; (2) vocational training for students who did not plan to transfer? and (3) other subjects as would contribute to the civic and liberal education of those in the community. The period 1920-1960 was one of slow growth for the state's two junior colleges. The three four-year institutions were, however, growing rapidly. By 1958 the college age population in Arizona exceeded 100,000, yet in 1960 less than half that number was enrolled in Arizona institutions of higher education. Since 1960 enrollment in the community colleges of Arizona has grown from 6,396 in 1960 to 106,970 in the spring of 1979. The percentages of women and minorities enrolled show that the community colleges are striving to meet the needs of all segments of the population. The number of students enrolled in the community colleges as of 1979 indicate a promising future for these institutions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College