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The End of the Community College English Profession

> Keith Kroll

As a result of neoliberalism, the grand experiment of the community college, as that of Democracys college, is coming to an end.

n After 40Years, Has the Grand Experiment Failed? Trum Simmons answers the question he poses in the essays title by describing a community college teaching career that many Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) readers will find familiar: the diversity of community college students; student success and failure; conflicted relationships with colleagues and administrators; the decline of faculty governance; the unrelenting drift of the community colleges mission toward a business model; and the internal struggle over what it is exactly one accomplished during ones teaching career. At the end of the essay, he writes, Depending on how you look at it, the community-college movement has been a great success, or is an overly idealistic idea whose time has come and gone. Since we are good at constantly reinventing ourselves, we probably will prevail, but in what form I dont know. The grand experiment continues (Simmons). In this essay I would like to suggest the form the community college will take over the next twenty yearschange comes slowly to the community collegeand in this way offer another answer to the question Trum Simmons asks. The grand experiment of the community college, as that of Democracys college, is coming to an end.And with that ending comes the end of the community colleges academic functionthat is, to provide an educationand concomitantly the community college English profession. My argument is by no means all new. Dennis McGrath and Martin B. Spear, community college teachers, made a similar argument in The Academic Crisis of the Community College, published in 1991. I am arguing that their three main recommendations for saving the academic function of the community college strengthening the faculty culture, overcoming student disarticulation with academic disciplines, and strengthening academic rigorhave not only not happened, but the academic crisis they described has worsened in the past twenty years as a result of the neoliberal economic and political policy that now informs higher


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Copyright 2012 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.

education. Neoliberalism imagines community college curricula as business-driven and focused on job (re)training; defines those who attend community colleges as economic entities: customers, workers, and a workforce; and marks the end of a full-time faculty profession.
Neoliberal Economic and Political Policy and Its Influence on Education

Before I continue my argument, it is necessary to (briefly) define neoliberalism with respect to higher education.1 The cultural critic Henry A. Giroux has written extensively on the destructive impact of neoliberal economic and political policy on higher education, and it is worth quoting at length his definition of neoliberalism:
As both an economic policy and political strategy, neoliberalism refuses to sustain the social wage, destroys those institutions that maintain social provisions, privatizes all institutions associated with the public good, and narrows the role of the state to both a gatekeeper for capital and a policing force for maintaining social order and racial control. [. . .] [A]s an economic policy, neoliberalism allows a handful of private interests to control all aspects of society, and defines society exclusively through the privileging of market relations, deregulations, privatization, and consumerism. As a political philosophy, neoliberalism construes a rationale for a handful of private interests to control as much of social life as possible to maximize their financial investments. [. . .] Central to neoliberal philosophy is the claim that the development of all aspects of society should be left to the wisdom of the market. (Giroux and Giroux 72)

As to its specific influence on education, he writes,

Made over in the image of corporate culture, schools are now valued not as a public good but as a private interest; hence, the appeal of such schools is less their capacity to educate students according to the demands of critical citizenship than their capacity to enable students to master the requirements of a market-driven economy. This is not education but training. (Giroux 102)

For Giroux, neoliberalism is a profound and fundamental assault on the very principles of democracy, on schools as a site for fostering democracy, and on critical thought. While some might argue that Girouxs critique of neoliberalism represents a radical or leftist interpretation, he is by no means alone. Education scholars across the ideological spectrum have criticized neoliberalisms influence on education. In Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, Martha C. Nussbaum, the well-known scholar of the humanities, criticizes the business model that promotes economic growth, profits, and job training as the purpose of higher education to the exclusion of the liberal arts. She writes at the end of Not for Profit:
Distracted by the pursuit of wealth, we increasingly ask our schools to turn out useful profit-makers rather than thoughtful citizens. Under pressure to cut costs, we prune away just those parts of the educational endeavor that are crucial to preserving a healthy society.

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What will we have, if these trends continue? Nations of technically trained people who do not know how to criticize authority, useful profit-makers with obtuse imaginations. (141-42)

Education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education in the George H. W. Bush administration, one of the original proponents of charter schools, and author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, argues that the economic model that promotes free-market ideology is misguided and inappropriate for education. She writes, The new corporate reformers betray their weak comprehension of education by drawing false analogies between education and business (11). In Community College Faculty: At Work in The New Economy, John S. Levin, Susan Kater, and Richard L.Wagoner write,The neo-liberal project applied to higher education has resulted in a stretching of institutional purposes to fashion colleges and universities as businesses serving private and individual interests (5).These authors, all well-respected education scholars, reach similar conclusions: the greatest threat to higher education, including the community college, is the neoliberal economic and political ideology and policies that inform corporate America and government at all levels and that envision higher education, except perhaps its most elite institutions, as a business whose central mission is job training.2
Neoliberalism and the Mission of the Community College

It has been much easier for neoliberal educational policy to take hold in community colleges than in four-year colleges and universities. On the one hand, career trainingvocational having acquired negative connotations3has never been considered, at least until recently, the central purpose of four-year colleges and universities.4 On the other hand, vocational/technical training has been historically a central part of the public, comprehensive community colleges mission.As John H. Frye argues in The Vision of the Public Junior College, 1900-1940, the early national leaders of the community college movement, for example,Walter C. Eells, sought to attach the junior college to secondary education and to promote terminal education rather than its transfer function as the community colleges central mission. This occurred despite the stated intentions of community college studentshistorically they have expressed a strong interest in transferring to four-year institutions.5 In short, community colleges have first and foremost concerned themselves with promoting and offering job (re)training. As John S. Levin describes, in the 1990s, the mission of the community college had less emphasis on education and more on training, less emphasis upon community social needs and more on the economic needs of business and industry, less upon individual development and more upon workforce preparation and retraining (Revised). It is no surprise, then, that President Obama would proclaim that community colleges will serve as 21st-century job training centers, working with local businesses to help workers learn the skills to fill the jobs of the future (Rebuilding), or describe them as community career


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centersplaces that teach people skills that businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing (Remarks). In this narrative community colleges no longer function as educational institutions, but rather, as job training centers or our nations trade schools (Fitzpatrick). Consequently it has been rather easy for politicians, corporate America, and community college leaders to diminish or ignore the community colleges academic function while steadily turning them into job (re)training centers whose primary mission is to train workers to assume their subservient place in corporate America. That is, the Obama administrations narrative of the community college as a job training center has not only gone all but unchallenged; instead it has been vigorously supported by politicians, the media, community college organizations, and community college administrators (Kroll and Alford).6 The devastating effects of neoliberal economic and political policy on community colleges are evident in a number of ways: (1) the increasing influence of the business community on curricula7; (2) the perception of those enrolled in community colleges as economic entities: customers workers, a workforce, rather than as students and citizens; (3) the severe budget crisis, both in a lack of funding and in severe funding cuts, facing community college campuses and systems throughout the country since the beginning of the economic recession in 2007;8 (4) the privatization of the community college as exemplified in the growth of community college fee-based academies where students enroll in get them in, get them out career training,9 and that move community colleges away from public institutions and closer to the private, for-profits that now feature prominently in higher education; (5) the increasing use of part-time faculty; and (6) the de-skilling of faculty, including English faculty. Since making money, declaring a profit, is central to the corporations mission and to neoliberal economic policy, neither workers nor workers rights matter. And since profits are paramount, values and ideals such as loyalty, integrity, commitment, and community no longer matter. For example, in neoliberal economic and political policy, it makes perfect (economic) sense for community colleges to hire part-time facultythey receive low pay, dont receive healthcare and pension benefits, have no academic freedom, and have no voice in college governance.10 Community colleges have always relied heavily on part-time facultyand English departments more so than other departments because they offer a large number of writing courses.The percentage of part-time community college faculty continues to increase; as of 2003 it was nearly 70 percent (Provasnik and Planty 8), and it will continue to rise during the funding crisis facing community colleges. Faced with rising enrollments but less funding as a result of the collapse of the economy in 2007, community colleges are hiring more and more part-time faculty.11 Once the first domino fallsthat is, part-time faculty reaches near 100 percent, and theres no reason under neoliberal policy that it wont (in other words, it makes perfect business sense)the rest of the dominos will fall: tenure, academic freedom, unionization, and faculty governance.

The End of the Community College English Profession


This scenario may sound too draconian and more like science fiction to some readers. For others it may sound all too familiar. Much of what I describe above is, in fact, already happening at community colleges throughout the country.12
The Community College of the Future

Based on what has happened to higher education in our country in the past thirty years, my prediction is that within the next twenty years, at community colleges around the country, 90 percent of the faculty will be part-time, and many will be teaching solely online. In keeping with neoliberal education policy, my college promotes online courses for efficiency and the bottom line, not for critical literacy, despite evidence that attrition rates are much higher in online courses.13 Do college administrators frown upon this lack of faculty presence? At my college it is tolerated, if not welcomed.When I asked my dean about online attrition rates, about more and more full-time faculty teaching online, including some who teach completely online, and about the recent phenomenon in my department of faculty members teaching seven or eight English courses per semestersomething unheard of ten years agoshe expressed concern but said she was told to leave it alone. In the community college of the future each department will have one full-time faculty manager, whose responsibilities will include distributing prepackaged, business-driven curricula and course syllabi; selecting the common textbook from which all faculty members will teach; scheduling and assigning classes, an overwhelming percentage (80 percent or more) of which will be taught online; and managing the online grading program that all faculty will use to assess student performance. There will no longer be in-person department meetings, faculty representation on college committees, shared governance, or professional development, because the part-time faculty member will be able to live in Minnesota and teach online in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, as a community college teacher I met two summers ago actually did. At this point the de-skilling of the faculty will be complete: they will no longer be teachers, but technicians with no say in what they teach and how they teach.
The End of the Community College English Profession

Within the next twenty years the community college English profession will look like this: 95 percent (or more) of the English facultyI put English in quotes because even now not all writing faculty teach in English departmentswill be part-time, and as I argue above, most will be teaching online delivering a prepackaged curricula. At this point, English will truly be a service department and English courses service courses. Teaching writing will exist for the sole purpose of giving students the practical skills, the mechanical processes (for example, where to put a comma), necessary to perform in the service of corporate America. After all, the message we hear over and over again from the business community is that their current employees write poorly and that we must train our studentstheir


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future workersto learn to write well. In this context, however, learning to write involves preparing students for work and never concerns empowering them with respect to their own agency. Whats never discussed is the idea that our students should learn to write for any other purposefor example, to tell each other the story of ourselves, of what it is like to be who we are, to think the things we think. To live the lives we live (Orlean xviii). That is, the only value a writing course will have is an economic one. It will no longer have any personal or social value. Literature courses have never been a central part of community college English departments. As I wrote in 1994, after researching the history of the two-year college English department,
[b]y the early 1960s, it was already apparent that the teaching of writing would be the main task of two-year college English faculty. In describing the twoyear college English profession at that time, Elisabeth McPherson (1990) writes, Meantime, wed gotten a clear notion what it meant to teach English at a twoyear college. We knew, most of us, that we were probably going to teach some kind of composition, and very little but composition, for the rest of our professional lives. (Kroll 197)

In neoliberal economic and education policy, literature coursesin fact, the liberal artsoffer no economic value, so it will be easy for community college management to simply remove literature courses from the curriculum. The English department as service department does not require literature courses, because they offer no (economic) value with respect to training. This seems like an extreme claim until situated in the current (2007 and onward) higher education environment where the liberal arts are under attack at both community colleges and four-year institutions.14 Finally, with no profession, there is no need for professional organizations (like NCTE and TYCA) and conferences, or peer-reviewed professional journals, like TETYC.
What Can Be Done?

I am not overly optimistic that much can be done to prevent the community college from becoming a job-training center with little academic function or to prevent the end of the English profession. But I am not without hope. Considering the current political climate and attack on education at all levels from neoliberal economic and political policies in our culture, there is little reason to believe it will not only continue but steadily worsen. Faculty unions and faculty governance are either absent on community college campuses or so weakened as to have virtually no influence on college policy. Professional organizations, for example, NCTE and MLA, have no influence on college policies with respect to curricula and faculty. For example, compare current community college composition classrooms (filled with twenty-five or thirty students) with those described in the NCTEs Statement of Principles and Standards for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing (CCCC). To put it mildly, they dont match. These professional organizations hold no accreditation power over community collegesas opposed
The End of the Community College English Profession


to community college programs such as nursing or dental hygiene, which must meet regional or national accreditationso community college administrators (and boards) have no reason to pay attention to their pronouncements and recommendations on curricula and teaching. Moreover, at the state and national level, community colleges, while popular with politicians (mostly for their supposed economic benefits) have very little political influence, as evidenced by the failure of President Obamas much-publicized American Graduation Initiative (AGI). When push came to shove, neither the president nor the Democratic House was willing to put up much of a fight to support the AGI, and it was dropped from the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act. The American Association of Community Colleges could only stand on the sideline, watch helplessly, and then spin the AGIs demise. Simply put, The American Association of Community Colleges is not a major player, especially in relationship to other interest groups involved [in Washington politics] (Sara Goldrick-Rab qtd. in Greenblatt). I have always believed that good teaching is subversive and that I could close my classroom door in response to neoliberal threats to education. I reject outright the notion of my students as customers or workers. In my classes I resist a skills-only approach to writing by teaching critical literacy through reading, writing, and discussion. For example, I support my student who writes about being the only female working in the tire department of a big box store; I support my student who writes about and discusses what it meant to work for a car company for thirty-four years only to be led to the parking lot and dismissedthen have to fight in federal court to get his pension. I foster contemplative learning by offering my students the opportunity to be present and mindful through classroom meditative practice. I encourage my students to think of vocatio, or calling (not vocationally) with respect to their future careers. The message students hear from politicians, from the media, and from college administrators and college branding is that the only purpose of schoolwhich should be raced through as quickly as possibleis to be trained for a job. It is imperative, then, that we teach critical literacy and that we educate our students and learn from their stories, and not simply train them in the practical skills demanded by the business community. But it is no longer possible to simply close the door if we are to have any chance to continue as a profession. We must push back. Resist. Become public intellectuals: Edward Said argued that the public intellectual must function within institutions, in part, as an exile, as someone whose place it is publicly to raise embarrassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogma, to be someone who cannot easily be co-opted by governments or corporations. From this perspective, the educator as public intellectual becomes responsible for linking the diverse experiences that produce knowledge, identities, and social values in the university to the quality of moral and political life in the wider society; and he or she does so by entering into public conversations unafraid of controversy or of taking a critical stand (Giroux 140).
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In other words, we must act beyond the walls of our classroomsin our colleges, in our local communities, in our states, and at the national leveland resist the neoliberal dismantling of education that directly threatens the academic function of the community college. We have to model for our students the very same values and beliefs that we teach in the classroom.We need to stand up and fight for faculty rights and resist any political and administrative actions that threaten our ability to teach.We need to fight for more full-time faculty, while at the same time fighting the exploitation of part-time faculty. We need to work to strengthen our unions and to fight for more faculty inclusion in college governance. We need to act in our communities by protesting unfair labor practices and social inequality. None of this will be easy. Its highly doubtful its why most of us entered the profession. Its far removed from the job description of a community college English teacher. But not to act, not to resist, means the end of any chance that the community college can achieve its ideal as democracys college. In that case, the grand experiment will have failed. <

1. For a good introduction to neoliberalism see David Harveys A Brief History of Neoliberalism. 2. Corporate America is actually a misnomer, as many corporations now operate globally. In Digital Diploma Mills:The Automation of Higher Education, the late David F. Noble offers one of the clearest distinctions between training and education. Training involves the honing of a persons mind so that his or her mind can be used for the purposes of someone other than that person (2). Education is the exact opposite of training in that it entails not the disassociation but the utter integration of knowledge and the self, in a word, self-knowledge (2). 3. Evan Watkins offers an interesting critique of the transformation of vocational technical education into career training in Class Degrees. 4. Over the past four or five years there has been a growing demand from politicians for four-year schools to become more job-training oriented. In a speech to business leaders, Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training at the U.S. Department of Labor, argued that unless four-year institutions become like community colleges with respect to job training, they may become dinosaurs (Universities). 5. Research on student intentions has found that a large percentage of community college students seek to transfer to a four-year institution in order to earn a bachelors degree. A 2011 College Board report, Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions, states that [s]urveys indicate that at least 50 percent and perhaps as many as 80 percent of all incoming community college students seek to transfer and earn a bachelors degree (Handel 6). 6. Unfortunately, few voices within the community college have publicly

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questioned the Obama administrations education policies and the social implications of the community college essentially assuming the role of a trade school with little, if any, regard for the liberal arts and critical literacy. Two such questioning voices are Sean A. Fanelli, the former president of Nassau Community College in New York, and David Berry, executive director of the Community College Humanities Association. For Fanelli, The situation for the humanities at two-year colleges may only worsen [. . .] as politicians and business leaders turn to community colleges to help revive the economy without regard for the important role the liberal arts play in educating students (Selingo). Berry has expressed concern that the traditional function of teaching core subjects and the humanities can be overshadowed by the emphasis on workforce development (Guess, Humanities). 7. See, for example, Grace Chen, Community College Curriculum: Drastically Changed by Todays Economy. My favorite example is the news that Goldman Sachs, one of the major culprits in the Great Recession beginning in 2007, was becoming involved with community college business programs and curricula. http://www.communitycollegetimes.com/Pages/WorkforceDevelopment/500-million-dollar-small-business-initiative-includes-communitycolleges.aspx. 8. The number of articles describing the severe funding issues facing community college districts and campuses across the country is too numerous to even begin to include in a note. For one such article, see David Moltz, Unprecedented Demand, Dwindling Funding. 9. See Moltz, Get Them In, Get Them Out. 10. As some community colleges have discoveredor borrowed from K-12 educationit makes even better financial sense to not actually hire faculty at all, but rather to outsource their hiring to an employment staffing company: faculty no longer work for the college but for the employment staffing company. 11. From 2007 to 2011 community colleges experienced large increases in enrollment. Short of funding, but faced with growing enrollment, they could either close or cancel class sections, increase class size, or hire additional part-time faculty to meet the increased demand for courses. Its unlikely these additional positions will ever be converted into full-time positions. If anything, the parttime faculty member will not be rehired or will have his or her course load reduced as enrollment drops. See, for example, Moltzs Last-Minute Additions. 12. For a sobering view of how community college presidentswho made up 36 percent of the samplefeel about tenure, faculty governance, and academic freedom see Presidential Perspectives: The 2011 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Presidents (Green). In describing the findings, Doug Lederman wrote: Any way you slice the numbers, a significant number of presidents clearly would like to change policies that are highly valued by faculty members. And professors would be well-advised, say several experts on the state of American faculty life, to pay attention to the presidents inclinations (Green). See David McKay Wilsons The Casualties of the Twenty-First-Century Community Col126
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lege for a discussion of what is happening at community colleges around the country with respect to full-time faculty, tenure, facultys role in governance, and academic freedom. 13. Online and Hybrid Course Enrollment and Performance in Washington State Community and Technical Colleges, a report by the Community College Research Center, found that students were more likely to fail or withdraw from online courses than face-to-face courses (Xu and Jaggars). In A Look at Online Orientations, Andy Guess writes, distance learners tend to drop out more readily than students who have regular, face-to-face contact with their instructors. Faculty at my college who teach online have publicly acknowledged the high attrition rates in their online courses. 14. Washingtons emphasis on job training and its seeming disregard for the liberal arts did not start with the Obama administration. In citing her reasons for resigning from the Margaret Spellingsled Department of Education, Diane Auer Jones noted that the department was involved in a misguided attempt to really narrow the focus of higher education and to almost vocationalize all of higher education (Basken). Further proof? A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education, a report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, makes no mention of the liberal arts. The role of a liberal arts education in four-year institutions, including at the traditional liberal arts college, is also under attack, with more and more four-year institutions feeling pressured to offer job training. See, for example,Victor E. Ferrall Jr., Can Liberal Arts Colleges Be Saved?
Works Cited

Basken, Paul. Liberal Arts Undervalued by Education Department, Official Says after Quitting. Chronicle of Higher Education 27 June 2008: n. pag. Chronicle .com. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. Chen, Grace. Community College Curriculum: Drastically Changed by Todays Economy. Community College Review 20 Aug. 2009: n. pag. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Statement of Principles and Standards for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1989. NCTE. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. Ferrall,Victor E., Jr. Can Liberal Arts Colleges Be Saved. Inside Higher Ed, 11 February 2008. N. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 14 September 2012. Fitzpatrick, Laura. Can Community Colleges Save the U.S. Economy? Time .com. Time magazine, 20 July 2009. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. Frye, John H. The Vision of the Public Junior College, 1900-1940. New York: Greenwood P, 1992. Print.

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Giroux, Henry A. The Terror of Neoliberalism. Boulder: Paradigm, 2004. Print. Giroux, Henry A., and Susan Searls Giroux. Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the PostCivil Rights Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Print. Green, Kenneth. Presidential Perspectives: The 2011 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Presidents. N.p.: Inside Higher Education, 2011. Greenblatt, Alan. For Community Colleges, a Hard Lesson in Politics. NPR 29 Mar. 2010: n. pag. NPR. Web. 31 Mar. 2010. Guess, Andy. A Humanities Push for Community Colleges. Inside Higher Education 14 Jan. 2008: n. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. .A Look at Online Orientations. Inside Higher Education, 8 April 2008. Web. 14 September 2012. Handel, Stephen J. Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions. N.p.: College Board, 2011. CollegeBoard. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. Print. Kroll, Keith. (Re)Viewing Faculty Preservice Training and Development. Two-Year College English: Essays for a New Century. Ed. Mark Reynolds. Urbana: NCTE, 1994. 196211. Print. Kroll, Keith, and Barry Alford. Let Them Eat Workforce Training. DissidentVoice 29 July 2009: n. pag. Dissident Voice. Web. Lederman, Doug, and Scott Jaschik. Perspectives on the Downturn: A Survey of Presidents. Inside Higher Education, 4 Mar. 2011. N. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. Levin, John S. The Revised Institution: The Community College Mission at the End of the 20th Century. Community College Review 28.2 (2000): 125. Community College Review. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. Levin, John S., Susan Kater, and Richard L. Wagoner. Community College Faculty: At Work in the New Economy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print. McGrath, Dennis, and Martin B. Spear. The Academic Crisis of the Community College. Albany: State U of New York P, 1991. Print. Moltz, David. Get Them In, Get Them Out. Inside Higher Education 21 June 2010: n. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. . Last-Minute Additions. Inside Higher Education 8 Sept. 2009: n. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. . Unprecedented Demand, Dwindling Funding. Inside Higher Education 24 Sept. 2009: n. pag. InsideHigherEd. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. Noble, David F. Digital Diploma Mills:The Automation of Higher Education. New York: Monthly Review P, 2002. Print.


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Nussbaum, Martha C. Not for Profit:Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2010. Print. Obama, Barack. Rebuilding Something Better. Editorial. Washington Post 12 July 2009: n. pag. Washington Post. Web. 2 Oct. 2011. . Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address. White House/Office of the Press Secretary. 24 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 May 2012. Orlean, Susan. Introduction. The Best American Essays. Ed. Susan Orlean. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. xvxviii. Print. Provasnik, Stephen, and Michael Planty. Community College: Special Supplement to the Condition of Education 2008. Washington: National Center for Education Statistics, 2008. Print. Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Print. Selingo, Jeffrey J. 2-Year Colleges Worry That Job Training May Displace the Humanities. Chronicle of Higher Education 7 April 2009: n. pag. Chronicle.com. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. Simmons, Trum. After 40 Years, Has the Grand Experiment Failed? Chronicle of Higher Education 27 Mar. 2009: n. pag. Chronicle.com. Web. 28 July 2009. Universities Called Out on Preparing Students for Jobs. Community College Times 10 Nov. 2009: n. pag. Community College Times. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. Watkins, Evan. Class Degrees. New York: Fordham UP, 2008. Print. Wilson, David McKay. The Casualties of the Twenty-First-Century Community College. Academe 96.3 (2010): 1218. Print. Xu, Di, and Shanna Smith Jaggars. Online and Hybrid Course Enrollment and Performance in Washington State Community and Technical Colleges. New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. March 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2012.

Keith Kroll teaches in the English Department at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

The End of the Community College English Profession