For-Profit Higher Education and Community Colleges

Bailey, Thomas R.; Badway, Norena; Gumport, Patricia J.

This report addresses contemporary concerns about the competitive threat from for-profit educational institutions, contrasts national data on for-profits with national data on private non-profit and public post-secondary institutions, and examines case study data comparing a for-profit chain to three public community colleges located near branches of the chain. As a group, the for-profits are concentrated in a limited number of business and technical fields. Although they may compete with community colleges in those specific areas, the small size of the for-profit sector will limit the overall competitive effect. Moreover, some of the four-year for-profit institutions target upper division students and actively recruit community college graduates, so in this sense, these institutions are complements rather than competitors to community colleges. The authors found important differences between the two types of institutions and the community colleges may find lessons in for-profit institutions' emphasis on customer service, extensive support for employment placement, and degree completion rate.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
April 4, 2014