A case study of the development of the Argentinean community college system

Alfredo Calixto Gomez, Florida International University


In the 1980's and 1990's, Argentina was undergoing significant political, social and economic changes as a result of the change over from a military driven government to elected governments. A major aspect of the change was an increased emphasis on privatization, and promotion of foreign and domestic investment in Argentina. Higher education leaders were increasingly drawn into developing a national strategy for changing the educational structure to help facilitate changes in other aspects of the society. Preliminary reviews by the Argentinean higher education leaders indicated that adaptation of the American community college promised to help achieve the national goals. ^ The purpose of this study was to determine: if and how the community college concept, an American invention, could be adapted to function in Argentina, a nation with a significantly different history of political, social, cultural and economic development. Achieving this purpose involved: identifying the key leaders in the movement that developed to apply the community college concept in Argentina; the study of their perspectives regarding the movement as it developed; and tracking the assistance given by selected American community college leaders. ^ The case study method was employed in this research, using interview and historical data collection. Key leaders from higher education in the United States and Argentina were interviewed in-depth, to determine their views. An interview protocol with appropriate sub-questions was followed to ensure complete coverage. The interviewees identified several major areas of education in need of change including, the system, access to the system, new areas of study, integration into the hemisphere and, in general, decentralization. Historical review revealed a steady development of the community college concept in Argentina reflected in documentation of events, conceptual writings and legal structures. ^ It was concluded that there is a community college structure beginning to emerge that, so far, in broad outline, follows the structure developed in the United States. It is anticipated however, that future developments will include conceptual aspects to the model reflective of Argentina. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Sociology, Social Structure and Development|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Gomez, Alfredo Calixto, "A case study of the development of the Argentinean community college system" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9938876.