Teachers College, Columbia University

Curriculum and Pedagogy for Academic-Occupational Integration in Community Colleges: Illustrations From an Instrumental Case Study (Parts I-IX)

By Dolores Perin

Community colleges play an important role in educating the nation's workforce, and many students go to these institutions for occupational instruction in order to enter or advance in the labor market. However, community college occupational programs have been criticized for being narrow and insufficiently concerned with literacy and critical thinking. At the same time, academic instruction has been characterized as being irrelevant and unmotivating to students preparing for careers.

Integrating occupational and academic instruction may help overcome these problems. This nine-part series presents case material from a study of curriculum and pedagogy for integrated instruction in seven community colleges across the country. Observations and interviews with faculty and administrators indicated variation in the extent of integration in the classroom and teacher- versus student-centeredness. Further, although occupational faculty frequently emphasized their students’ need for basic academic skills, they often did not teach these skills explicitly in their classrooms.

These articles appeared in Teachers College Record, vol. 2002.