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L-R: Dr Don Perlgut, Community Colleges Australia; Dr Ricky Shabazz, President, San Diego City College; and Alante, a science student at San Diego City College. Image: CCA

Diversity more than a multicoloured student body: US community college leader

The American TV show Community, which aired between 2009 and 2015, humourised the experiences of community college students. The usual stereotypes – a single mother, a former drug addict, a film student – featured, yet the show gave them a depth usually not afforded to such characters. For example, the high school quarterback and prom king, Troy Barnes (played by Donald Glover), wasn’t just depicted as an arrogant jock. In the show, his true self is revealed as a sensitive, goofy nerd. He takes dancing classes, admits he is afraid of centipedes, and dumps a girlfriend because she called his best friend “weird”.

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