Call extended: February 21, 2020

Metropolitan Universities journal is casting an investigative and critical eye on the key role that community colleges play and can take in the future of higher education in America. In a period of greater skepticism about the cost and value of a college education, more than 7 million people, 41% of everyone enrolled in higher education, are community college students. The nation’s 1,051 community colleges serve an increasingly diverse population. Of all students in higher education, 56% of all Native Americans, 52% of all Hispanics, 49% of all Black and 39% of all Asian-Pacific Islanders study at a community college. Adapting to new demands and expectations, some community colleges are offering housing and baccalaureate degrees, linking students and their families to resources and supports. Community colleges can be anchors in their communities, engines of individual and community economic opportunity. Community colleges also suffer from poor completion rates, funding and student success. This issue welcomes evidence-based manuscripts that examine the broad and varied roles, opportunities, and impact that community colleges have in the larger educational and economic ecosystem. 

The journal seeks manuscripts that provide critical, evidence-based studies about community colleges, including programs, policies, and application of ideas at an institutional or system level. Ideally, authors will examine efforts that have been in place long enough to show both positive and/or negative results as measured through data collection, research and/or evaluation processes. To allow readers to apply ideas and strategies in other settings, authors should provide a clear description of the challenges and lessons learned. Papers that offer descriptions of initiatives without research or evaluation elements will not be accepted

Focus areas may include:

  • The role of community colleges in the twenty-first century workforce development
  • Vertical integration or not? K-12, community colleges and baccalaureate institutions
  • Status, stigma and cultural capital of community colleges
  • The equity agenda, community colleges, and higher education’s commitment to access and student success
  • Research on national, state and local policy impacts on community college student success
  • Research on funding models – free community college, discounted community college, debt-free college – and others and their impact
  • Community colleges as urban anchor institutions
  • Community colleges or community college systems
  • Critical analysis of regional, national, local, and institution specific policies and evidence of their impact (positive or negative) on effectiveness of community college social and economic responsibility
  • Comparative case studies regarding the forms of innovative initiatives and approaches to community college teaching, programming and outreach that involve mutually-beneficial academic-community partnerships

Manuscript Submission Guidelines 

We invite submissions of manuscripts by February 21, 2020. Submissions should be prepared in accordance with MUJ’s instruction for authors and should be no more than 7,000 words (exclusive of  tables, references, etc). Preference is given to those manuscripts that demonstrate innovation and impact and include perspectives across multiple institutions. Shorter submissions for this issue will be considered.

This issue is scheduled for publication in August 2020.

Please direct any questions regarding this issue to:

  • David Potash, president, Wilbur Wright College, City Colleges of Chicago, at
  • Valerie Holton, editor, at

About Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ)

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) is the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ quarterly online journal. Founded in 1990, the journal disseminates scholarship on cutting-edge topics impacting urban and metropolitan colleges and universities. It is a peer-reviewed, open access publication—which means that it employs traditional methods of evaluating manuscripts while ensuring that those accepted for publication are freely available to anyone interested in the issues and themes covered. MUJ’s readership includes those working to address issues facing modern universities and the communities they serve. Authors bring diverse institutional and professional perspectives to showcasing applications of theory and best practices to these issues.