Teachers College, Columbia University

What Is the Future for Postsecondary Occupational Education?

In May 2000, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education convened a group of community college administrators and practitioners to discuss future trends in postsecondary vocational education (PSOE) programs.

Within 15 minutes of the meeting's outset, the participants reached consensus on two important—and apparently contradictory—conclusions. First, they agreed that one of the core missions of community colleges is workforce development—the preparation of all community college learners for the world of work. A second consensus also quickly emerged that the traditional design concepts of vocational education, while still commonplace on community college campuses, have grown outmoded.

This article was published in Journal of Vocational Education Research, vol. 26, issue 2.