The two–year college sector in U.S. higher education encompasses a great diversity of institutions. Yet the most widely used taxonomy of colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, places all two–year colleges in a single, undifferentiated category. The intent of this volume is to advance the conversation among researchers and practitioners about possible approaches to classifying two–year colleges. After an introduction to the history, purpose, practice, and pitfalls of classifying colleges and universities, five different classification schemes are presented, followed by commentary on these schemes by knowledgeable respondents representing potential users of a classification system: community college associations, institutional leaders, and researchers. The final chapter applies the five proposed schemes to a random sample of colleges for purposes of illustration.
This is the 122nd issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Community Colleges.