ERIC Number: ED339429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Origins and Evolution of the Two-Year College from Colonial Times to 1950.
Krol, Edwin J.
The emergence of the community and junior college as an established element of a system of higher education is unique to the United States. The rapid growth of the system can be attributed to three main factors: the idea of the two-year college as instruction oriented in contrast to the research orientation of universities; the constant increase in economic wealth after the Civil War which enabled the country to support more students in college and required a more educated workforce; and a widespread belief in the "American Dream," which includes the notion that society is obligated to provide education for the social and individual good. Four distinct ideological stages can be identified in the development of the two-year college. During the first stage, in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century, university leaders embraced the two-year college as a place in which the university might unload its burden of adolescents, thereby freeing the university for the higher and loftier pursuit of scientific research. The second stage of the movement occurred between World War I and World War II when leaders became committed to the concept of a two-year college independent of the dominant university. This stage was marked by a concern for the "terminal" student. Following World War II, a third stage emerged in which citizenship training and general education were promoted to develop national unity and common social values. During this stage, proponents of the two-year college did not forget the worker coming out of the terminal programs, but also supported the elevated goals of preparing loyal and better educated citizens. In the last and current stage, an emphasis on the liberal arts gave way to a new concern for the vocational and transfer functions of the two-year college. (JMC)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Henry Ford Community Coll., Dearborn, MI.