ERIC Number: ED368401
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Nonsense and the Junior College: Early California Development. Working Papers in Education.
Gallagher, Edward A.
Recent critics of community colleges wrongly argue that early junior colleges in California were created not to democratize education, but to keep the university exclusive. The first state junior college law was passed in California in 1907, allowing high schools to offer 2 years of postsecondary work at a time when high schools were not yet required to offer grades nine through twelve. Benjamin Ide and Alexis Lange of the California State Board of Education and Anthony Caminetti of the Senate Committee on Education were key players in the bill's passage. The first junior college, established in Fresno in 1911, was plagued with image problems and low enrollment. By 1917-18, there were 1,561 students enrolled in 21 California junior colleges, but by 1922-23, there were only 1,416 students in 18 institutions. Revisionists criticize early junior college advocates of diverting junior college students into vocational programs to maintain the existing social order, but California was a new frontier with a dynamic evolving middle class where farmers, ranchers, and miners later became successful businessman. The California junior college was a hybrid product designed to reflect the economic interests of local communities through different technical and vocational programs. For newspaper editors, magazine and business writers, and real estate brokers, the colleges were an asset to local boosterism, making the surrounding communities appear to be superior in status and culture. California boosters held the vision of creating a new society in a new land. The new society had one new educational institution for the new century, the public junior college. (KP)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace.
Note: Hanna Collection on the Role of Education. For a related document, see JC 940 151.