The Shaping of American Higher Education: Emergence and Growth of the Contemporary System

Overview

Reading history, says Arthur Cohen, is essential for those who would reform higher education.

From the earliest American colleges, debates have ranged over familiar issues in higher education: curriculum changes, faculty selection and review, student admissions, and institutional funding. Yesterday's practices underlie today's problems even as the system continues evolving. How has this evolution taken place? And to what degree have things ...

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The Shaping of American Higher Education: Emergence and Growth of the Contemporary System

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Overview

Reading history, says Arthur Cohen, is essential for those who would reform higher education.

From the earliest American colleges, debates have ranged over familiar issues in higher education: curriculum changes, faculty selection and review, student admissions, and institutional funding. Yesterday's practices underlie today's problems even as the system continues evolving. How has this evolution taken place? And to what degree have things changed or remained the same?

In The Shaping of American Higher Education, Cohen combines historical perspective with in-depth coverage of current events to provide an authoritative, comprehensive account of the history of higher education in the United States. From the colonial era to the present day--and with particular attention to the past 50 years--the book tracks trends in student access, faculty professionalization, curricular expansion, institutional growth, secular governance, public finance, research, and outcomes, placing them all in the context of contemporary society. Cohen organizes the book around a unique matrix of trends, topics, and eras that enables the reader either to proceed chapter by chapter through a chronological sequence of the entire history, or to easily follow a preferred topic, such as faculty or curriculum, by reading only that specific section in each era.

While other books have detailed the early history of the collegiate system, Cohen's work fulfills the need for an up-to-date account of American higher education that emphasizes the post-World War II era. Cohen synthesizes prevailing views of earlier eras in order to establish a solid background for his extensive examination of the past fifty years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The reader may find the title of this excellent volume too modest for the rich presentation of American educational history it offers. Much more than a shaping of that historical record, the educational facts presented gain a special resonance from the richness of the social and economic background against which the history unfolds." --Change

"This overview is a well-organized, highly readable account which will serve nicely as a background for further specialized study." --The Journal of Academic Librarianship

"A magnum opus--in size, in topics and issues covered, in literature mastered. . . . a well written, smooth flowing, balanced comment." --Clark Kerr, president emeritus, University of California

"I've been waiting for this book for more than a decade. The highly regarded histories of American higher education have become badly dated. They ignore the last quarter century when American higher education was transformed. Arthur Cohen does the nation's colleges and universities a much-needed service by authoring this volume." --Arthur Levine, president, Teachers College, Columbia University

"Arthur Cohen has produced a superb history of American higher education. Masterful, authoritative, comprehensive, and incisive, this work will stand as the classic required resource for all who want to understand where American higher education came from and where it is going." --John V. Lombardi, president, University of Florida

Booknews
The author traces changes in student access, faculty professionalization, curricular expansion, institutional growth, secular governance, public finance, research, and outcomes in higher education from the colonial era to the present day, focusing on the past 50 years. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787910297
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Health and Psychology Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

ARTHUR M. COHEN is professor of higher education and director of the ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges at the University of California, Los Angeles. His previous books include The American Community College (with F. Brawer, Jossey-Bass, 3rd edition, 1996).
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Table of Contents

Introduction.

1. Establishing the Collegiate Form in the Colonies: 1636-1789.

2. The Diffusion of Small Colleges in the Emergent Nation: 1790-1869.

3. University Transformation as the Nation Industrializes: 1870-1944.

4. Mass Higher Education in the Era of American Hegemony: 1945-1975.

5. Maintaining the Diverse System in the Contemporary Era: 1976-1998.

Conclusion: Trends and Issues for the Future.

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