This type of education is under University administration and is considered as an inseparable part of higher education. These different opinions in U.S.A. reflect the free and local influence tendency in education.
In U.S.A., the suggestion of connecting the first two years of junior college with secondary level schools was placed by Htenry Tappen of Michigan in the year 1852. But this viewpoint was declared in the twentieth century.
In the beginning of the current century, there began a movement that the 4 year education at college level was not suitable to meet the needs of the local people.
It was not related to the life of the students and was useless. If the first two years of junior college were connected with the secondary level schools, the same would prove fruitful after being integrated with useful vocational education.
This 4 year college education was unduly long. All the students could not complete that course. Hence it was considered worthwhile to connect the first two years of junior college with secondary level in order to provide social, vocational and utilitarian base to education. By adding the two years of college level education to the secondary level, it was made more progressive, mature and useful.
It was re- planned and re-organised in order to give it a social and vocational form. This provision was first made in Illinois. Less number of junior colleges was established in eastern States, but they were developed speedily in the western and middle- west States.
The junior colleges increased in number under the Government Education Programme due to the fall in trade and commerce during the period of depression (1920-30). The third decade of this century proved crucial for the expansion of these colleges.
After the World War II, there was such a huge crowd of young boys and girls returning from the war that the then existing colleges were unable to accommodate them. Consequently, the municipal boards and local education boards established new junior colleges.
To meet the need of that time, many temporary junior colleges were established, the curriculum of which was influenced by higher education. But even the temporary colleges, established in California and Illinois taught progressive curriculum.
California has been most progressive in the establishment of junior colleges. The universities here have extended their full co-operation in the establishment of these colleges. The reason for this co-operation was that there was a fear of a large number of students seeking admission to the universities.
The history of junior college movement makes it clear that mostly these colleges were established speedily around 1930. Private efforts contributed a lot in this movement.
According to the data of 1950, there were 256 public junior colleges and the number of students studying in them was 1, 87,659. Moreover there were 227 private junior colleges and the numbers of students enrolled in them were 55,045.
The financial support of private junior colleges and public junior colleges is different. So, these institutions have been classified on the basis of this financial support. The public colleges get financial help in the form of Government grants and education tax.
All the States do not have similar provisions. In California State, government grant is given on the basis of student’s attendance. But in Texas and other States, financial help depends on the education tax.
In Northern Carolina, the court judgment on the dispute of 1930 that local townships were empowered to levy education tax for running junior colleges, proved very helpful.
The court judgment also made it clear that necessary help could be taken from the local education tax funds. In most of the States, these examples led to the sanction by special legislations to impose education tax or take necessary help from it.
In European countries, 8 year curriculum, from junior high school to junior colleges, is prevalent. The same curriculum is found in American education system also. Here classes XIII and XIV are included in junior colleges. In these classes pre- vocational education is given and needs have the local society are met.
With the establishment of junior colleges, the colleges of higher education which provided four year curriculum improved their educational standards and most of them divided the curriculum into two years each. Junior colleges, being situated in the local areas, were near to the colleges providing four year curriculum.
So the guardians admitted their wards in the nearly junior colleges instead of sending them to distant colleges. Thus the importance of junior colleges increased and they developed also.
The curriculum of junior colleges is very useful and modern. These colleges not only prepare the students for higher education through the teaching of general subjects, but they also provide industrial and vocational education which helps the students in earning a living. These colleges have gained importance because of their terminal functions.
These colleges include all the educational groups—technical, scientific and arts. In the beginning, the curriculum at this level was neither useful nor utilitarian. But these courses have now become more flexible, progressive, varied and utilitarian because semi- professional and highly skilled subjects have been included in them.
Private junior colleges create a better vocational atmosphere than public junior colleges do. For the sake of social services, adult education has been started in these colleges.
These colleges provide supplementary education to adults through short-term education and arrangement of evening classes. In some places, junior colleges have been converted into community colleges, keeping in view the importance of adult-education. Post high school education is provided in these community schools.
The importance of junior colleges has gone up for the following reasons:
(1) Those persons or young boys and girls who do not get any job after secondary education and are unable to enroll for 4 year higher education, take the benefit of these junior colleges.
(2) Those boys and girls who find it inconvenient to go to distant colleges for their education or find it difficult to take admission in colleges after the completion of secondary education or cannot bear the expenses of college education; take advantage of these junior colleges.
(3) The junior colleges provide opportunities of education to boys and girls of all communities and are educationally convenient also.
(4) The teachers teaching similar classes at the junior college level are more capable than the teachers teaching the same classes at the college level because their system of instruction is higher and more developed.
(5) These junior colleges have been made more useful for the public by introducing important programmes, supplementary education and terminal education from the civic and social point of view. These colleges are able to make those young boys and girls efficient, who do not want to study further.
Some people criticise the junior colleges because the money meant for secondary schools is spent on these junior colleges and these colleges usurp most of the help from education tax.
These colleges are responsible for the increase in education tax again and again and are opposed to four year college education. But in fact, they are now complementary and not opposed to higher education and have become a necessary part of higher education.