Higher Education in America [NOOK Book]

Overview

Higher Education in America is a landmark work--a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the current condition of our colleges and universities from former Harvard president Derek Bok, one of the nation's most respected education experts. Sweepingly ambitious in scope, this is a deeply informed and balanced assessment of the many strengths as well as the weaknesses of American higher education today. At a time when colleges and universities have never been more important to the lives and opportunities of ...

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Higher Education in America

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NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
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Overview

Higher Education in America is a landmark work--a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the current condition of our colleges and universities from former Harvard president Derek Bok, one of the nation's most respected education experts. Sweepingly ambitious in scope, this is a deeply informed and balanced assessment of the many strengths as well as the weaknesses of American higher education today. At a time when colleges and universities have never been more important to the lives and opportunities of students or to the progress and prosperity of the nation, Bok provides a thorough examination of the entire system, public and private, from community colleges and small liberal arts colleges to great universities with their research programs and their medical, law, and business schools. Drawing on the most reliable studies and data, he determines which criticisms of higher education are unfounded or exaggerated, which are issues of genuine concern, and what can be done to improve matters.

Some of the subjects considered are long-standing, such as debates over the undergraduate curriculum and concerns over rising college costs. Others are more recent, such as the rise of for-profit institutions and massive open online courses (MOOCs). Additional topics include the quality of undergraduate education, the stagnating levels of college graduation, the problems of university governance, the strengths and weaknesses of graduate and professional education, the environment for research, and the benefits and drawbacks of the pervasive competition among American colleges and universities.

Offering a rare survey and evaluation of American higher education as a whole, this book provides a solid basis for a fresh public discussion about what the system is doing right, what it needs to do better, and how the next quarter century could be made a period of progress rather than decline.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
It's hard to imagine anyone better equipped to write this book than two-time Harvard president Bok (The Shape of the River), whose experience, professional knowledge, and scrupulous research pervade every page of this eminently readable study of American higher education. Keenly establishing the diversity of higher learning institutions in the early chapters, then addressing professional schools, Bok's comprehensive approach covers an array of rising concerns, including: "our stagnating graduation rates"; attrition in graduate school; the increased importance of research in the sciences; and "the hazards of commercialization." His purview extends from the historic roots of the American college to the impact of technology and expansion to overseas locations. Practical suggestions abound, such as steps colleges can take to improve graduation rates. No aspect of academic professional life is neglected; Bok takes notice that writing letters of recommendation is "a burden on the faculty out of all proportion to any real value served" and of "the emergence of China as a rising powerhouse in science and engineering research." Broad as Bok's scope is, its coherent structure, lucid style, and balanced tone ensure that this important scholarship is also a pleasure to read. It is a book of tremendous long-lasting value. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Ambitious and thought-provoking, Higher Education in America represents an informed and informative addition to ongoing debates at the national, state, and institutional levels about the aims higher education ought to aspire to and how best to achieve them."--David M. Brown & John Thelin, Teachers College Record
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848300
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 807,008
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Derek Bok is the 300th Anniversary University Research Professor at Harvard University. He served as the twenty-fifth president of Harvard from 1971 to 1991, and he served again as interim president from 2006 to 2007. His many books include "Our Underachieving Colleges", "Universities in the Marketplace", and the acclaimed best seller "The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions" (all Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1
Part I The Context
Foreword (I) 7
Chapter One The American System of Higher Education 9
Chapter Two Purposes, Goals, and Limits to Growth 28
Chapter Three The Governance of Nonprofit Universities 44
Afterword (I) 72
Part II Undergraduate Education
Foreword (II) 77
Chapter Four Going to College and Earning a Degree 81
Chapter Five Paying for College: The Challenge for Policy-Makers and Academic Leaders 98
Chapter Six Entering the Right College 122
Chapter Seven The Expanding Audience for Higher Education 145
Chapter Eight What to Learn 166
Chapter Nine How to Teach 183
Chapter Ten Prospects for Reform 201
Afterword (II) 220
Chapter Eleven Graduate Education
Part III Professional Education
Foreword (III) 249
Chapter Twelve Medical Schools 256
Chapter Thirteen Law Schools 271
Chapter Fourteen Business Schools 287
Afterword (III) 306
Part IV Research
Foreword (IV) 321
Chapter Fifteen "Publish or Perish" 328
Chapter Sixteen The Changing Nature of Scientific Research 342
Chapter Seventeen The Environment for Research 358
Afterword (IV) 377
Part V A Final Reckoning
Foreword (V) 383
Chapter Eighteen Matters of Genuine Concern 387
The Last Word 408

Notes 413
Index 453

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