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ERIC Number: EJ1090127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1066-8926
A Brief History of General Education
O'Banion, Terry
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v40 n4 p327-334 2016
In the 1960s, general education was at the forefront of innovative programs in American community colleges. Every community college designed a program of a common core of courses for the common person. General education was so popular it was included as one of the required components of a comprehensive community college along with university transfer, vocational and occupational programs, remedial education, and community service programs. By the 1980s, the common core idea began to fracture, and faculty began to add so many courses to meet general education requirements that today Thomas Bailey and his colleagues at the Community College Research Center cite the cafeteria-style, self-service model as one of the key issues keeping the Completion Agenda from reaching its goals. Whereas in the 1960s, students were required to take one comprehensive course in the humanities; students today choose from among 60 or more courses to meet the humanities requirement. In current student success reform efforts to increase retention and completion rates, the curriculum has pretty much been ignored. But leaders in a handful of community colleges are beginning to realize the unintended consequences of too many courses and too many choices, and they are beginning to appoint faculty committees to explore and redesign general education programs to better serve the needs of today's students. Few faculty leaders and administrators are familiar with the history and philosophy of general education, and this brief history will be helpful in their work as they design the next generation of these programs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A