Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to trace the events of the transition from the locally-owned public junior colleges in Iowa to the state system of community colleges, and to analyze and record the first 15 years of operation of the new comprehensive community colleges. A review was also made of the two-year colleges on the national level and of earlier efforts to provide postsecondary education at the two-year level in Iowa;The major sources of information were from national and state studies of two-year colleges, the Iowa General Assembly, the Iowa State Board of Education minutes, records from the colleges, annual reports from the Iowa Department of Public Instruction and from personal interviews;Major factors influencing the transition were: (1) the limited access to the locally-owned junior colleges; (2) the movement in the state from a rural to an industrial economy; (3) the infusion of federal dollars into vocational education; and (4) the need to expand postsecondary educational opportunities in the state, especially in vocational education;Institutional topics given major consideration during the 15-year period of operation were students and student services, faculty, instructional programs, campus developments, finances, governance, and the status of the graduates;The findings of the study revealed that over the 15-year period the number of full-time equivalent students attending two-year colleges in Iowa grew from 11,136 in 1966-67 to 48,050 during 1979-80. The headcount enrollment in 1979-80 grew to 498,061. The enrollment in college transfer courses remained rather constant while vocational enrollment showed tremendous growth. The number of vocational programs grew from 12 in 1945 to 145 in 1980. Education for adults of all ages grew tremendously with 48,689 individuals earning a high school diploma or the equivalent between 1966 and 1980. Follow-up studies of the graduates entering employment, showed 85.8 percent were employed in jobs related to their training. Of the graduates transferring to either of the three state universities, a slight drop in grade point average occurred during the first term, but in succeeding terms the grade point improved.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Paul J. Lowery



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

244 pages