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 About Community Colleges 

Community colleges are centers of educational opportunity. They are an American invention that put publicly funded higher education at close-to-home facilities, beginning nearly 100 years ago with Joliet Junior College. Since then, community colleges have been inclusive institutions that welcome all who desire to learn, regardless of wealth, heritage, or previous academic experience. The process of making higher education available to the maximum number of people continues to evolve at 1,167 public and independent community colleges—1,600 when branch campuses are included. This section is your resource for community college statistics, historical information, and facts.

 Community College Mission

The community college's mission is the fountain from which all of its activities flow. In simplest terms, the mission of the community college is to provide education for individuals, many of whom are adults, in its service region. Most community college missions have basic commitments to:

  • serve all segments of society through an open-access admissions policy that offers equal and fair treatment to all students,
  • a comprehensive educational program,
  • serve its community as a community-based institution of higher education,
  • teaching,
  • lifelong learning.

Excerpted from The Community College Story by George B. Vaughan.

 College Fast Facts

Types of Colleges:
Public: 986
Independent: 115
Tribal: 31
Total: 1,132

Total Enrollment:
Fall 2011: 13 million
Credit: 8 million
Noncredit: 5 million
Part Time Students: 59%
Full Time Students: 41%

See more Fast Facts from our Fact Sheet

 

 Is Your College A Member?

Learn about the levels and benefits of AACC membership. Use our guide to find out if your college is an AACC member.



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