ERIC Number: ED446643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Tradition, Transformation, and Tomorrow: The Emerging Role of American Higher Education. Continuing Education, Occasional Paper No. 2.
Throughout its history, the U.S. system of higher learning has been a major influence in the building of a democratic and industrialized United States, and it has provided educational programs to help all classes of citizens improve themselves through learning. Today, the United States is no longer an industrializing nation, and the relevance of higher education is in danger of diminishing. As the United States becomes a technological, automated, information-based society, communication is replacing production as the most important factor in the economy. Higher education has a structure well-adapted to meet a clear set of national needs, but those needs are no longer top national priorities. Major realignments will be necessary. The most important change will be in the nature of the student body served by higher education. In the information age, almost everyone is a student, and adult learners will be an ever more important factor in U.S. higher education. Continuing education programs are a crucial means for the dissemination of new information, and they are among the few reliable means for maintaining professional competence in a world of rapid change. By their structure and fundamental tenets, continuing education programs have a primary focus on learning as a lifelong process that will make them natural coordination points between colleges and students who choose to keep working for a degree after launching a career. (SLD)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Communication (Thought Transfer), Continuing Education, Educational History, Higher Education, Needs Assessment
Publications Department, National University Continuing Education Association, One Dupont Circle, Suite 420, Washington, DC 20036 ($1). Tel: 202-659-3130.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Univ. Continuing Education Association, Washington, DC.
Note: Printed on colored paper.