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Short-term post-secondary education in the United States: community colleges, workforce development and changes in occupational structure (1990-2016)


The proposal aims to study the increasing participation of american community colleges (CCs) in the workforce development programs, on the border of secondary and tertiary education. As we indicated in previous works, this vocational inclination was already strong in the deployment of CCs in the early 20th century. Apparently, she has been stimulated by different reasons now, a century later. We seek to investigate the roots of the stimulus to such programs of "workforce development", on the part of State Governments and the federal Government. In addition, it is important to understand their difficulties and their results, as well as the impact of these initiatives on the old debate about the vocational education, its methods, and contents. In the last 30 years, it's a usual statement that a new setting of the work would require a new design of teaching and learning systems. This change implies rethinking not only "what" to teach, but also "who" and "how", with implications that include the so-called "learning" professions (such as medicine and law, for example). Thus, this research advances, also, to the study of this debate, a luck of "State of the art", which would discuss consequences for all of higher education. The investigation seems useful to understand the "American case", but beside that, it can enrich the Brazilian debate on these questions. This project is part of a broader program, the development of the NISUS (National Institute of Science and Technology for Studies on the Unites States), supported by FAPESP and CNPq. (AU)

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