ERIC Number: ED470030
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
Brief History of American Academic Credit System: A Recipe for Incoherence in Student Learning.
This paper traces the development of methods for determining students' qualifications for the baccalaureate. In the 1700s and into the 1800s, students stood comprehensive examinations, which were often oral and public. Later in the 1800s, comprehensive examinations were written and reviewed by faculty, without involving public review. At the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, the Carnegie unit became the basis for granting high school diplomas and credit hours for the baccalaureate. The credit system has made the university a banking system, using time as the consistent determining factor in granting the baccalaureate. In the future, it may become necessary to find a way to graduate students based on their achievement, rather than the time spent. However, at present credits provide the basis for degree qualification and they are the basis for fiscal management in higher education. Without the credit system, or something like it, the U.S. higher education system could not manage its enormous migration of students. (Contains 18 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A