ERIC Number: ED374829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
New Models for American Higher Education.
Evans, Geraldine A.
The establishment, design, and location of American higher education institutions correlate directly with the evolution of American thinking regarding the nature of democracy, the knowledge required by the citizenry for full participation in democracy and the "American Dream," and the progression of the American economy from an agrarian to an industrial, and later to a technological base. Early American colleges were based upon the model of European colleges, which provided liberal arts curricula to ruling and upper class youth. In the increasingly industrialized society of the late 1700's, an influx of technological ideas created a need for a better educated population, and the demand for public support and control of higher education increased. Two articles of legislation provided major public support of higher education: the Morrill Act of 1862 provided 30,000 acres of public land to each congressman for the establishment of colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, while the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the "G.I. Bill of Rights," provided tuition, subsistence, books, supplies, and counseling services for World War II veterans. Another major impetus on higher education has been the Basic Grant Program first passed by Congress in 1972. These monies have allowed millions of previously disenfranchised students access to higher education. Community colleges, which had their greatest growth during the 1960's and 1970's, began in the early 1900's as junior colleges designed to provide free or inexpensive education beyond high school to the area's citizens. Because the American economy is becoming more knowledge based, community colleges should provide educational facilities and support services, allowing other institutions to provide upper division and graduate instructional programs. Figures showing fastest growing occupations by general training requirements are included. Five footnotes contain reference information. (MAB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A