Community colleges strive to meet three main goals. The first is to teach marketable vocational skills, the second is to provide the first two years of a four-year bachelor's degree program, and the third is to provide continuing education and enrichment for community residents.
This paper covers issues that are relevant to the community college mission of helping prepare a skilled workforce, including the types of remedial education programs that are most likely to give underprepared students the skills to advance to college-level courses, the ways community colleges can support local labor markets and regional economic development, issues related to community college persistence and completion, and evidence of the market value of community college credentials. The paper also reviews the financing of community colleges.
In conclusion, the authors consider the usefulness of the American community college as a model for other countries seeking to develop institutions that serve similar functions.