ERIC Number: ED245600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Controversy of the Underprepared Student at Vassar College and Cornell University, 1865-1890. ASHE 1984 Annual Meeting Paper.
Brier, Ellen M.
The presence of academically underprepared students at Vassar College from 1865 to 1890 and at Cornell University from 1868 to 1890 was a source of controversy in both institutions. Vassar took on the burden of providing for comprehensive preparatory education for academically-deficient students within the context of the college. Cornell, although publicly stressing that it was not a preparatory institution, did provide some opportunities for remedying academic inadequacies. Rather than creating a separate class of students and distinct preparatory course as Vassar did, Cornell offered subsections of college courses as well as tutoring. In addition, Cornell referred its underprepared students elsewhere for preparatory work. Complaints and protests regarding students' deficiencies in the basic skill areas are prevalent in the records of both colleges. The controversial presence of underprepared students led to a nineteenth century high school/college connection: the colleges worked to elevate the quality of secondary school curricula. However, the colleges viewed the presence of underprepared students as reflecting negatively on their public images, and underprepared students presented instructional as well as administrative problems. (SW)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting; Cornell University NY; Vassar College NY
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Chicago, IL, March 12-14, 1984).