The Role of the Urban Community College in Educational Reform

D. D. Bragg, J. D. Layton

Reforms like Tech Prep are difficult to institutionalize because they depend on collaboration between individuals and institutions not used to working together. Bragg and Layton's study of Tech Prep reforms in urban community colleges reveals that the partnerships between secondary and postsecondary schools are tenuous at best. In fact, apart from articulation agreements, little Tech Prep reform has occurred. And, although Tech Prep was conceived as a program for "all students," it is currently used only for students of average academic ability who plan to attend community college anyway. As a result, Tech Prep replicates existing school tracks: students in danger of dropping out don't get the chance to benefit from Tech Prep, and the brightest students continue to go on to a university. The study also surveyed Tech Prep coordinators for the most serious barriers to implementation of Tech Prep.

MDS-1039 / January 1996

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