AustraliaIn Australia, the term community college is not used. Analogous to community colleges are colleges or institutes of Technical and Further Education (TAFEs); public institutions mostly regulated at state and territory level. There are also an increasing number of private providers of varying social esteem; often these are colloquially called 'colleges'.
TAFEs and other providers carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults enhance their numeracy and literacy skills.* The majority of Australian universities can also be traced back to such forerunners, although obtaining a university charter has always changed their nature. In TAFEs and colleges today, courses are designed for personal development of an individual and/or for employment outcomes. Educational programs cover a variety of topics such as arts, languages, business and lifestyle; and are usually timetabled to be conducted in the evenings or weekends to accommodate people working full-time. Funding for colleges may come from government grants and course fees; and many are not-for-profit organisations. There are located in metropolitan, regional and rural locations of Australia. Learning offered by TAFEs and colleges has changed over the years. By the 1980s many colleges had recognised a community need for computer training and since then thousands of people have been up-skilled through IT courses. The majority of colleges by the late 20th century had also become Registered Training Organisations; recognising the need to offer individuals a nurturing, non-traditional education venue to gain skills that would better prepare them for the workplace and potential job openings.* TAFEs and colleges do not grant bachelor's degrees, although an increasing number have arrangements with universities to provide pathways towards degrees. The American innovation of the associate degree is emerging at some institutions. Australian Qualifications Framework|Certificate courses I to IV, diplomas and advanced diplomas are typically offered, the latter deemed equivalent to bachelor degrees, albeit typically in more vocational areas.
CanadaIn Canada, the term community college is not widely used. There are 150 institutions that could be roughly equivalent of the US community college in certain contexts. They are usually referred to simply as "College (Canada)|colleges" since in Canadian English|common usage a degree granting institution is almost exclusively a university. In the province of Quebec, even when speaking in English, all colleges are incorrectly called CEGEP|Cégeps, the french acronym for the public system: "Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel", meaning "College of General and Vocational Education". (The word College can also refer to a private High School in Quebec).
Colleges are educational institutions providing higher education and tertiary education, granting Academic certificate|certificates, and diplomas. Associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees are granted by universities, but, in some courses of study, there may be an agreement between colleges and universities to collaborate on the education requirements toward a degree. Only in Western Canada is the term Associates degree used as in the United States. In other parts of Canada a degree is usually attained as a 4 year study program, and to a much lesser degree now (except in Quebec, where it is the norm), in 3 years.
Each province has its own educational system reflecting the decentralization of the Canadian provinces and therefore of the education system. However, most of the colleges began in the mid-1960s to provide education and training for the then-emerging baby boom generation and for immigrants from around the world who were starting to enter the country.
Canadian Community College Systems
MalaysiaCommunity colleges in Malaysia are a network of educational institutions whereby vocational and technical skills training could be provided at all levels for school leavers before they entered the workforce. The community colleges also provide an infrastructure for rural communities to gain skills training through short courses as well as providing access to a post-secondary education.
At the moment, most community colleges award qualifications up to Level 3 in the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (Certificate 3) in both the Skills sector (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia or the Malaysian Skills Certificate) as well as the Vocational and Training sector but the number of community colleges that are starting to award Level 4 qualifications (Diploma) are increasing. This is two levels below a Bachelor's degree (Level 6 in the MQF) and students within the system who intend to further their studies to that level will usually seek entry into Advanced Diploma programs in public universities, polytechnics or accredited private providers.
PhilippinesIn the Philippines, a community school functions as elementary or secondary school at daytime and towards the end of the day convert into a community college. This type of institution offers night classes under the supervision of the same principal, and the same faculty members who are given part-time college teaching load.*The concept of community college dates back to the time of the former Minister of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS) that had under its wings the Bureaus of Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education and Vocational-Technical Education. MECS Secretary, Dr. Cecilio Putong, who in 1971 wrote that a community school is a school established in the community, by the community, and for the community itself. Dr. Pedro T. Orata of Pangasinan shared the same idea, hence the establishment of a Community College, now called the City College of Urdaneta.*
A community college like the one in Abuyog, Leyte (province)|Leyte can operate with only Philippine peso|PHP 124,000 annual budget in a 2-storey structure housing more than 700 students.*
EnglandIn England, a community college is a school which not only provides education for the school age population (11-18) of the locality, but also additional services and education to adults and other members of the community.* This education includes but is not limited to sports, adult literacy and lifestyle education. Usually at the age of 16 when students finish their secondary school studies, they move on to a sixth form college where they study for their GCE Advanced Level|A-levels (although some secondary schools have integrated sixth forms). After the 2 year A-level period, they may then proceed to a college of further education or a university.
United StatesIn the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public university|public institutions providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting Academic certificate|certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees. Many also offer continuing education|continuing and adult education.
After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor's degree.
Before the 1970s, community colleges in the United States were more commonly referred to as junior colleges, and that term is still used at some institutions. However, the term "junior college" has evolved to describe Privately held company|private two-year institutions, whereas the term "community college" has evolved to describe publicly funded two-year institutions. The name derives from the fact that community colleges primarily attract and accept students from the local community, and are often supported by local tax revenue.
Comprehensive community collegesMany schools have evolved into and adapted the term comprehensive to describe their institutions. These schools typically offer six facets of education: # Transfer education – The traditional two-year student who will then transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a BS/BA degree. # Career education – The traditional two-year student that will graduate with an Associate Degree and directly enter the workforce. # Developmental – Remedial education for high school graduates who are not academically ready to enroll in college-level courses. # Continuing – Non-Credit courses offered to the community for personal development and interest. # Industry training – Contracted training and education wherein a local company pays the college to provide specific training or courses for their employees. # eLearning - Distance learning occurs online using one's computer and proctored exams. Pell grants and federal aid apply to eLearning also. For example, studying Spanish in an eLearning environment is possible when a student is in another state and federal aid is applied to out-of-state tuition.
Within the transfer education category, comprehensive schools typically have Articulation (education)|articulation agreements in place that provide prearranged acceptance into specific four-year institutions.* At some community colleges, the partnering four-year institution teaches the third and fourth year courses at the community college location and thereby allows a student to obtain a four-year degree without having to physically move to the four-year school.
There is a number of institutions and organizations which provide community college research to inform practice and policy.
For background on U.S. community college libraries, see "Disposed to Consolidation and Innovation: Criteria for the Community College Specialization."*