Course Catalog


The History of Higher Education in the United States

This core course surveys the history of higher education in the United States with a dual focus on mainstream collegiate institutions and non-traditional alternatives. Early class sessions explicate the development of traditional higher education from its liberal arts origins through the growth of the research university. Subsequent sessions explore how, over two centuries, various groups such as women, blacks, working-class, immigrant and older students contended for places within higher education. Participants explore how institutions and their leaders responded to these challenges, sometimes creating accommodations or changes in traditional settings, and other times prompting new structures that often marginalized the newcomers. Several questions guide inquiry through the various eras and subjects: Whom do we educate? Why do we educate (our purposes and expectations)? How do we educate (in what sorts of institutions)? Where does responsibility lie for education? With what effects (or results) do we educate? The course does not presume a strong background in history.

Section Class Number Weekly Schedule Time Instructor Location