State-level community college coordination and governance structures are highly varied

across the 50 states. Some states have two separate governing boards, one for community

colleges and another for the other public higher education institutions; others have one higher

education governing and/or coordinating board for all public higher education institutions. A few

states have one statewide board that coordinates elementary and secondary education and also

coordinates community colleges. (Tollefson, Garrett, Ingram, & Associates, 1999).

Despite these significant differences in structure and governance, members of the

National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges (NCSDCC) are well-positioned to

comment on issues of funding and access in their own sectors specifically, and other sectors of

education including elementary and secondary, public regional universities, publicly controlled

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and public flagship universities as well.

No sector of the American postsecondary system serves more students who are the first

generation in their families to be enrolled in higher education, more racial and ethnic minorities,

and more low income families than do the nation’s community colleges (American Association

of Community Colleges website, 2010).