Fiscal realities are forcing a review and potential refocusing of Illinois community colleges. This study compared the themes that emerged from interviewing an Illinois community college stakeholder group in 2005 to what emerged from a similar study in Iowa by Ebbers and Gardner in 2002. Illinois stakeholders talked about their overall perceptions regarding community colleges, issues they see facing the system, and their views for the future. What emerged were seven themes, with access to education being the core around which the other six themes (partnerships, technology, local needs, value, funding, and outcomes) revolved. The end result of this research project was the preparation of a foundation document for the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Council of Community College Presidents, and Illinois Community College Trustees Association to consider while updating the Illinois Community College System's strategic plan.

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