About Community Colleges

What is a community college?

The community college is America's contribution to education in the 20th century. The roots of the community college movement may be found in the junior colleges of the 1920s and '30s, which offered the first two years of a postsecondary education. Today, there are more than 1,120 comprehensive community colleges across the country. The community college's broad curriculum, its responsiveness to community needs and its accessibility to all local residents distinguishes it from the old junior college.

Recent research shows that public community colleges serve 46 percent of all U.S. undergraduates. Forty-one percent of first-time college freshmen are enrolled in community colleges. Across the country, 7.4 million students are enrolled in community college credit programs, and 5 million are taking community college noncredit courses. Because of the equal opportunity for education offered to its supporters, the community college has been called the "characteristic educational institution of the United States."

A local college serving local needs

Johnson County Community College was founded in 1969 to serve the residents of Johnson County, Kansas. JCCC is governed by a seven-member board of trustees elected at-large from the community to four-year terms. The board governs the college and sets the budget and local tax levy. Every other year, in odd calendar years, three trustees face re-election.

State legislation has enabled communities to create college districts that are supported by state funding and local taxes. About 60 percent of JCCC's operating funding comes from county taxes and motor vehicle taxes; the remainder comes from student tuition and state aid.

The college's fiscal year 2016 management budget, which represents the actual amount the college spends in a year, is $211,179,104. It is composed of the operating budget, totaling $140,575,298, and the budgets for all other funds, such as capital outlay, auxiliary and restricted funds, totaling $70,603,806.