A 60,000 student "super college" would become the biggest in the country if the plan is accepted.
It is one of three ideas to come out of the area review, led by the local learning and skills council. Other options up for consideration are a two-college or three-college model.
The area review has been looking at ways of addressing patchy performance, low participation rates, and poor financial health in some of the colleges.
New College, Nottingham, one of the five institutions, supports the idea of the "super college". It has long had good links with community colleges in the United States.
"We would be able to develop an investment strategy for the whole area," said a spokeswoman. " "It could be a tool for regeneration, and enable much more coherent planning."