Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges. Peer-Reviewed Since 1993

The Journal of applied research in the community college (JARCC) is accepting manuscripts for its Fall 2024 edition.

Deadline Date

Now Accepting Manuscripts for the Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges' Fall 2024 issue.  Manuscripts must be submitted by August 1, 2024 to be considered for publication in the Fall 2024 edition of the JARCC. 


The JARCC accepts two types of manuscripts: research manuscripts and practice briefs.

1. Research Manuscripts

The JARCC encourages scholarly submissions from educational researchers and practitioners that address contemporary issues facing community colleges. All submissions must have clearly identified recommendations for practice , which inform equitable programming, policies, practices, and structures in community colleges.

Basic Guidelines

JARCC publishes research studies that exhibit rigorous standards of empirical investigation. This includes studies that are mixed-methods, qualitative or quantitative in nature. Manuscript submissions to JARCC should illustrate clear evidence of a theoretical underpinning or conceptual framework. Submissions should be written in a manner that is comprehendible and useful to both researchers and practitioners in community colleges.

Basic Requirements

Maximum 15, double-spaced typed pages, excluding references, figures and tables using the latest APA formatting style. Each manuscript must be accompanied by a title page, a maximum 150-word abstract followed by 3-5 keywords that help describe the research. Abbreviated title on the upper-left hand side of every page. Page number on the upper-right side of every page. All manuscripts must be submitted electronically in MS Word. All parts of the manuscript must be typewritten in 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one inch margins on all sides. Any manuscripts that do not adhere to these style requirements will be returned to the author, without review.

Additional Guidance

Research manuscripts typically contain an Introduction, Purpose, Research Questions, Literature Review, Theoretical/Conceptual Framework, Methodology, Findings/Results, Conclusions, and Recommendations for Practice and possibly Policy.

Potential Research Topics

Emerging issues with implications for equitable policies, practices, programming and leadership generally guide the types of research manuscripts sought by the JARCC. We are interested in sharing research across a wide-spectrum of community college issues.

Examples of research topics recently appearing in JARCC issues are the following:

Presidential Leadership
Student Retention, Persistence and Success
Student Belonginess
Career and Technical Education
Adult Learning
Student Equity
Dual Enrollment Programs
Transferring to Universities
Hispanic Serving Community Colleges

Research manuscripts should be submitted as an attachment to an email and sent to

2. Practice Briefs

A practice brief is a research-based paper written for the benefit of practitioners that provides concrete recommendations on what to do and/or how to approach pressing educational challenges based on empirical evidence and sound theoretical principles.

Basic Requirements

The topic and problem must be specific enough to be adequately addressed within a 10-12 page manuscript following the latest APA style. Each manuscript must be accompanied by a maximum 150 word abstract and 3-5 keywords that help describe the practice brief. Abbreviated title on the upper-left hand side of every page. Page number on the upper-right side of every page. All manuscripts must be submitted electronically in MS Word. All parts of the manuscript must be typewritten in 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one inch margins on all sides. Any manuscripts that do not adhere to these style requirements will be returned to the author, without review.

Additional Guidance

In the practice brief, the author(s) should begin by clearly outlining the problem, formulating a claim as to what action/policy is needed, making a case for why this action/policy is a good way forward, then proceeding to demonstrate the details of that approach and how it is supported by the empirical research literature. The case should be supported with evidence and logic, and should account for potential counter arguments or complications that arise from pursuing the actions/approaches that are recommended.

The format of the practice brief follows commonly accepted academic practices, incorporating at least the following components in some way, following the latest APA guidelines for a manuscript:

  1. A Title Page which includes the title, author names and professional affiliations, contact information for the corresponding author (name, title, mailing address, phone number, email address), and date.
  2. Abstract of 150 words maximum (summarizing all aspects of the brief) and a 3-5 word keywords section, following the abstract.
  3. An introduction or background that identifies a prominent and/or emerging issue facing community college leaders including evidence of its scope and implications. For instance, evidence of an important issue and what people are doing or saying (or not) about it. Sources in addition to research articles could be government data, foundation reports, news articles, and any relevant information gathered personally from college leaders.
  4. A problem statement that clearly and succinctly spells out the problem that is to be addressed by the practice brief. The statement should limit the scope of the problem so that it is manageable and can be addressed within the confines of the brief. It could state, “the problem addressed by this practice brief was.”
  5. A short, direct purpose statement that describes the task one seeks to accomplish in the paper, which may say something like the following: “the purpose of this paper is to provide practitioners (or specific type of practitioner as appropriate, e.g., instructors, presidents, planners, counselors, student services professionals, etc.) with recommendations based on the evidence in the research literature related to XYZ.
  6. If appropriate, a conceptual/theoretical framework to organize your paper broadly. Otherwise, conceptual/theoretical understanding of the issues and practices should be integrated throughout.
  7. A brief review of the literature that leads to recommendations for action. This section of the paper works most effectively as reliance on the literature integrated throughout the paper. A separate literature review that precedes empirical-based recommendations may be appropriate in some cases. A short, concise conclusion that reflects what was learned from the literature review and analysis of the problem could be included.
  8. Acknowledgement of counter-arguments and significant challenges that may stand in the way of accomplishing recommendations. This could be in one place or integrated in the paper overall.
  9. Recommendations for Practicethat begin with action verbs and addressed to positions within the college organizational structure and/or units/departments within the college and/or the entire college. Recommendations should be practical for colleagues at other institutions.
  10. References.

Potential Practice Brief Topics

Examples of practice brief topics recently appearing in JARCC issues are the following:

Advocacy for ESL Students
FERPA and Dual Enrollment Programs
Non-traditional Students
Equity Focused Undergrad Research Program
Creating Faculty Support for Assessment of Learning
Navigating Prison Education

Practice Brief manuscripts should be submitted as an attachment to an email and sent to

The JARCC Review Process

1. Editorial Review (3-5 business days)

Every manuscript submitted to the JARCC undergoes an editorial review by one or both executive editors and/or the managing editor. This review is done to insure that the manuscript aligns with the mission of the JARCC and follows the JARCC guidelines for research articles or practice brief submissions. If a manuscript is not deemed acceptable for publication in the JARCC, the corresponding author is notified and the process ends there. Otherwise, the editors use Track Changes to make suggested alterations, raise questions and/or make comments on the piece. The reason for this process is to enhance the possibilities of a positive external review.

2. Second Editorial Review (3-5 business days)

A second review is conducted by one of the editors to ascertain the changes made in the manuscript. If acceptable, the manuscript then goes out for external review.

3. External Review (2-3 weeks)

The JARCC uses at least two external reviewers for every manuscript. We attempt to match the elements of the manuscript (i.e., submission type (research paper/practice brief), methodology, and/or topic) with what our reviewers identified as their strengths and interests for reviewing manuscripts. When possible, we try and identify one reviewer from a university and one from a community college for each manuscript. Reviewers are given 14 days to complete their reviews, encouraging them to use Track Changes on the manuscript, in addition to completing the rubric. We use a separate rubric for research studies and for practice briefs. (See the rubrics on our webpage).

4. Reaction to External Review (3-5 business days after receiving both external reviews)

We consider the results of the external reviews as recommendations. The editors have the final say on whether manuscripts move forward in the publication process. Nevertheless, we almost always follow the recommendations of the external reviewers. If there is widespread disagreement between the two reviewers (and this is very rare), we might seek additional insights from a third reviewer.

If the reviewer(s) chose to use Track Changes with the manuscript, we send the copy to the author. (Many of our reviewers choose to do this with the manuscript they review). We also send a letter highlighting the recommended changes made by the reviewers to the author(s). In this letter, we ask if the author(s) are planning on resubmitting and if so, when we can expect a revised copy.

5. Recommendations

Our external reviewers have 4 options when making a recommendation about the manuscript. These options are:

  1. Accept as is
  2. Accept with minor to moderate revisions
  3. Not acceptable in present form, but author should be encouraged to revise and resubmit
  4. Reject

No 1 above is seldom selected. Most manuscripts come back to us with #2 above selected.

6. Review of Final Manuscript Copy (2-4 business days)

We conduct a culminating review of the final manuscript copy. If we consider that the revised manuscript adheres to the recommendations of the reviewers, we send it on to our publisher, Montezuma Publishing, to be placed in the queue for our next issue. If we deem that the manuscript needs additional work, we send it back to the author(s) with comments.