Viewpoint: Community And Technical Colleges Perfect For Those Wondering ‘What’s Next?’

Starting this fall, Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) and Inver Hills Community College (IHCC) will commemorate 50 years of providing higher education in Minnesota. As we reflect on our history, I am reminded of the special role that community and technical colleges play in higher education.

Going back to the early 20th century, junior colleges represented a unique American invention in higher education. They offered the first two years of a four-year education, providing access to affordable collegiate education to a growing number of communities. By 1940, more than 450 junior colleges offered associate-level education. Career and technical education was present from the beginning, but it expanded rapidly during the Great Depression as students sought access to employment opportunities.

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