© 2017

Economic Inequality, Neoliberalism, and the American Community College


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Patrick Sullivan
    Pages 1-13
  3. Journeys

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-18
    2. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 19-23
    3. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 25-29
    4. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 31-33
    5. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 35-38
    6. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 39-58
    7. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 59-66
    8. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 67-70
    9. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 71-73
    10. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 75-88
    11. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 89-91
    12. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 93-96
    13. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 97-99
    14. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 101-109
    15. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 111-122
    16. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 123-129
    17. Patrick Sullivan
      Pages 131-142
  4. Democracy’s Unfinished Business

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 143-143

About this book


This book aims to deepen public understanding of the community college and to challenge our longstanding reliance on a deficit model for defining this important, powerful, and transformative institution. Featuring a unique combination of data and research, Sullivan seeks to help redefine, update, and reshape public perception about community colleges. This book gives serious attention to student voices, and includes narratives written by community college students about their experiences attending college at an open admissions institution. Sullivan examines the history of the modern community college and the economic model that is driving much of the current discussion in higher education today. Sullivan argues that the community college has done much to promote social justice and economic equality in America since the founding of the modern community college in 1947 by the Truman Commission.


democracy and education deficit model class stratification social conditions open admissions institutions

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Community CollegeManchesterUSA

About the authors

Patrick Sullivan is Professor of English at Manchester Community College, Connecticut, USA.

Bibliographic information


“Sullivan’s volume is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on economics, sociology, writing studies, higher education … providing a comprehensive and accessible understanding of what he sees as the role and the challenges of the community college. … this volume is the one I would choose for my administration to read as it provides a comprehensive and deeply informed perspective. The book provides the reader with one of the most complete pictures of the 2-year college and the material and ideological debates surrounding it.” (Darin L. Jensen, Community College Review, Vol. 46 (4), 2018)

“Sullivan (English, Manchester Community College, Conn.) provides an impressive counter-narrative to the notion that community colleges are failures. … Sullivan’s book is an excellent starting point for students and others interested in the community who wish to accept that challenge. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals.” (M. Oromaner, Choice, Vol. 55 (10), June, 2018)