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ERIC Number: ED402599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The First College Journalism Students: Answering Robert E. Lee's Offer of a Higher Education.
Mirando, Joseph A.
The first class of journalism students ever assembled at a college or university enrolled at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in 1869-70. Studying Washington College's efforts shows that much of the promise and the shortcomings of this discipline were clearly evident more than 125 years ago. During the 1700s and 1800s the typical college curriculum was restricted to the liberal arts, and studies took place in an atmosphere similar to an academy or boarding school, reflecting British roots. The common way to learn journalism was to apprentice in a print shop, in the tradition of Benjamin Franklin. A proposal was made in 1834 for a formal school of journalism, to be called "The Washington Institute," with the intention of raising journalistic standards in the United States. During the later 19th century American higher education changed rapidly to imitate the admired German model, where lessons were based on systematic methods of inquiry and the university was viewed as a laboratory designed to develop experts and scholars. In 1862 the Morrill Land Grant Act helped establish colleges that would offer teaching specifically in fields of a practical and industrial nature--colleges were encouraged to revise their curricula. Robert E. Lee was Washington College's president when journalism education began there. He organized a committee to plan for journalism education, met with the trustees to make his case, and arranged for and advertised scholarships. After Lee's death in 1870, the program was discontinued. Though no official reason was given, the program ended probably because of constant attacks by the press. (Contains 60 notes.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A