Arthur M. Cohen and Florence B. Brawer, in The Collegiate Function of Community Colleges: Fostering Higher Learning Through Curriculum and Student Transfer, describe and analyze the factors shaping the community college "as a link between the lower schools and establishments of higher learning" (xi). As such, the community college is clearly a significant cog in the educational system in the United States, and the representatives and leaders of the community college must be sensitive to the educational realities of those "lower schools" and to the educational needs of those "establishments of higher learning."
Generally, with certain reservations, the authors are optimistic about the community college's fulfillment of this collegiate function:
We are encouraged by the way the collegiate connection has been maintained, but we think it should be strengthened. The liberal arts and practices that promote transfer can be at the heart of a college even while it remains open to all (xiv).
The liberal arts curriculum is one of the operations of the
community college bearing on the collegiate function. The other has to do with the "activities that support student flow into and through the community college and on into the universities" (xi).
The difficulties confronted by the community college today are far more complex than in the past, simply because the community college is today asked to perform many more tasks for both the educational system and society at large than it