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How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs
With some of the most prestigious universities in America now urging students to defer admissions so they can experience the world, the idea of the gap year has taken hold in America. Since its development in Britain nearly fifty years ago, taking time off between secondary school and college has allowed students the opportunity to travel, develop crucial life skills, and grow up, all while doing volunteer work in much needed parts of the developing world. Until now, there has been no systematic study of how the gap year helps students develop as young scholars and citizens. Joseph O’Shea has produced the first empirically based analysis of how the gap year influences student development. He also establishes a context for better understanding this personal development and suggests concrete ways universities and educators can develop effective gap year programs.
Critical Perspectives for Change
This volume addresses the ways in which gender takes shape in and is shaped by higher education environments. Focusing on historical knowledge and contemporary experience, the contributors identify several key gender issues affecting students, faculty, and leaders in higher education. They examine such diverse topics as what lessons women’s colleges have to offer, violence on campus, women faculty and part-time employment, and intersecting identities of race and gender, and they apply critical perspectives to suggest needed change. While they may not agree on the necessary strategies to improve higher education environments, they do agree that those environments are currently deeply and problematically gendered.
Academic and Social Responsibilities of Universities in Africa
This book, slim as it looks, took Bernard Nsokika Fonlon the best part of five laborious years to write 1965-9 inclusive. He writes: "I was penning away as students in France were up in arms against the academic Establishment, and their fury almost toppled a powerful, prestigious, political giant like General de Gaulle. In America students, arms in hand, besieged and stormed the buildings of the University Administration, others blew up lecture halls in Canada - the student revolt, a very saeva indignatio, was in paroxysm. But in England (save in the London School of Economics where students rioted for the lame reason that the College gate looked like that of a jail-house) all was calm..." Fonlon drew on these events to define the role of university education in this precious treasure of a book, which he dedicates to every African freshman and freshwoman. The book details his reflections and vision on the scientific and philosophical Nature, End and Purpose of university studies. He calls on African students to harness the Scientific Method in their quest for Truth, and to put the specialised knowledge they acquire to the benefit of the commonwealth first, then, to themselves. To do this effectively, universities must jealously protect academic freedom from all non-academic interferences. For any university that does not teach a student to think critically and in total freedom has taught him or her nothing of genuine worth. Universities are and must remain sacred places and spaces for the forging of genuine intellectuals imbued with skills and zeal to assume and promote social responsibilities with self abnegation.
The Completion Agenda in Higher Education
The United States, long considered to have the best higher education in the world, now ranks eleventh in the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds with a college degree. As other countries have made dramatic gains in degree attainment, the U.S. has improved more slowly. In response, President Obama recently laid out a national “completion agenda” with the goal of making the U.S. the best-educated nation in the world by the year 2020. Getting to Graduation explores the reforms that we must pursue to recover a position of international leadership in higher education as well as the obstacles to those reforms. This new completion agenda puts increased pressure on institutions to promote student success and improve institutional productivity in a time of declining public revenue. In this volume, scholars of higher education and public policymakers describe promising directions for reform. They argue that it is essential to redefine postsecondary education and to consider a broader range of learning opportunities—beyond the research university and traditional bachelor degree programs—to include community colleges, occupational certificate programs, and apprenticeships. The authors also emphasize the need to rethink policies governing financial aid, remediation, and institutional funding to promote degree completion.
First-Generation College Graduates Who Lead Activist Lives
How do children from undereducated and impoverished backgrounds get to college? What are the influences that lead them to overcome their socioeconomic disadvantages and sometimes the disapproval of families and friends to succeed in college? These are the basic questions Sandria Rodriguez posed to seventeen first-generation college graduates, and their compelling life stories make important contributions to what little is known about this phenomenon. The daughter of parents who didn't finish elementary school, Rodriguez uses many examples from her own life in the course of examining the participants' experiences before, during, and after college that directed them toward social or educational activism. Together, the seventeen represent a wide range of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geographical area of childhood, and profession. Twelve of the seventeen hold advanced degrees, all are working professionals, and all come from families who were poor. Jerry, the son of German immigrants, owns an engineering company in Chicago; Chang, a native of China, is the first from his village to go to college; Grant, a sharecropper's son, is a lawyer with a nationally prominent law firm in Washington, D.C., and patron of fine arts; Arlene, a Mohawk Indian, is a storyteller and social activist; Alex, from Spanish Harlem, is an elementary school principal. The book is divided into four parts. In the first two chapters, we meet the participants. In the three chapters that follow, Rodriguez examines how the participants as children perceived themselves within their families, schools, and communities. Chapters four and five focus on the campus life and the participants' activist experiences. Finally, chapter six offers recommendations for mentoring disadvantaged children, so that they can successfully "switch the track" and aim for something better. Giants among Us is an essential resource for college administrators, faculty, counselors, and student support-services staff--as well as K-12 educators--concerned with preparing, retaining and mentoring first-generation students. "If I believe in you, I'm going to do everything in my power to convince that committee to give you that loan. I can offer that comfort, and I really, really like what I do because I'm giving back something to the community. The clients don't go through anything alone. Whatever that business goes through, I go through, too. They need somebody to believe in them."--Maria, business advisor for a nonprofit organization
The Story of William W. Cook and His Michigan Law Quadrangle
“Margaret Leary's carefully researched book illuminates a complex man who marked his university in a truly enduring way." ---Francis X. Blouin Jr., Director, Bentley Historical Library, and Professor, School of Information and Department of History, University of Michigan “Generations of Michigan Law grads have passed on myths about their generous but eccentric benefactor. . . . Now Margaret Leary has given us the real story, and it reads like a gripping whodunit." ---Theodore J. St. Antoine, James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor Emeritus of Law and Past Dean, University of Michigan Law School “In an absorbing book, Margaret Leary unstintingly investigates unpublished, archival material to unravel enigmas surrounding William Wilson Cook. She brings to life Cook's brilliant interactions with powerful moguls of the early twentieth century as she traces his lofty, philanthropic mission to elevate the legal profession." ---Ilene H. Forsyth, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of the History of Art, emerita, University of Michigan William W. Cook, born in 1858 and a graduate of the University of Michigan and of its law school, made his fortune by investing in the burgeoning telegraph and communications industry, as well as in representing the Mackay Company in their frequent tumultuous battles with Western Union and the U.S. government. Though Cook entered New York society and never returned to Michigan after receiving his law degree, he decided not just to give his alma mater the finest physical facility of any existing law school, but to donate permanent resources that would permit the law school to engage in groundbreaking legal research. However, his generosity proved controversial and eventually very litigious. Margaret A. Leary places Cook's story in the rich social and cultural context of his time and paints a fascinating portrait of a complex figure whose legacy continues to shape the University of Michigan. Cover photographs: (left) Gregory Fox Photography; (right) Ann B. Cook collection, photo by Russell R. Serbay
Women’s Experiences in Formerly Men’s Colleges and Universities, 1950-2000
More than a quarter-century ago, the last great wave of coeducation in the United States resulted in the admission of women to almost all of the remaining men’s colleges and universities. In thirteen original essays, Going Coed investigates the reasons behind this important phenomenon, describes how institutions have dealt with the changes, and captures the experiences of women who attended these schools. Informed by a wealth of fresh research, the book is rich in both historical and sociological insights. It begins with two overview chapters—one on the general history of American coeducation, the other on the differing approaches of Catholic and historically black colleges to admitting women students—and then offers case studies that consider the ways in which the problems and promise of coeducation have played out in a wide range of institutions. One essay, for example, examines how two bastions of the Ivy League, Yale and Princeton, influenced the paths taken by less prestigious men’s colleges. Among the topics addressed in other chapters are how the presence of women affected schools with strong masculine traditions, such as Virginia and Dartmouth; how prior cooperation with a women’s college eased Hamilton College’s transition to coeducation; and how institutions outside the liberal-arts tradition, from West Point to for-profit vocational schools, have incorporated women students. In exploring specific cases, the essays illuminate such key issues as the impact of the women’s movement and the development of women’s studies as an academic discipline, the pressures exerted on institutions by economic necessities and legal challenges, and the strategies women have utilized in adapting to formerly all-male environments. In their conclusion, the editors synthesize some common trends among the case studies and assess what remains to be done to achieve gender equity in higher education.
Civic and Community Engagement
The terms “civic engagement” and “community engagement” have various definitions, but they are united by the sense that individuals who are civically engaged not only are concerned about the quality of life in their communities but also take action to improve conditions for the common good. In the United States, to be civically engaged means to actively participate in a civil democratic society. Going Public examines programs related to civic engagement and the ways in which faculty and students participate in communities in order to improve them. Engagement scholarship is a scholarship of action, a scholarship of practice that takes place both in and with the community. Within the framework of this new scholarship, the mission of the academy does not begin and end with intellectual discovery and fact-finding. Rather, the academy joins forces with the community, and together they use their knowledge and resources to address pressing social, civic, economic, and moral problems. Each chapter in this book tells a unique story of community engagement and the scholarship of practice in a diverse range of settings, documenting successes and failures, the unintended consequences, and the questions yet to be answered.
Writing Beyond the Curriclum in the City of Brotherly Love
In Gravyland, Parks chronicles the history of an urban university writing program and its attempt to develop politically progressive literacy partnerships with the surrounding community while having to work within and against a traditional educational and cultural landscape. He details the experience of the New City Writing program at Temple University from its beginning as a small institute with one program at a local public school to a multi-faceted organization, raising millions of dollars, and establishing partnerships across the diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In doing so, the author describes classrooms where the community takes a seat and becomes part of the conversation—a conversation which is recorded and shared through a selection of writing produced. While Parks celebrates classroom success in generating knowledge through dialog with the larger community, he also highlights many of the obstacles the organizers of the New City Writing program faced. The author shows that writing alliances between universities and communities are possible but they must take into account the institutional, economic, and political pressures that accompany such partnerships. Blending the theoretical and practical lessons learned, Parks details New City Writing’s effort to offer a new model of education, one in which the voice of the professor must share space with the voices of the community, and one in which students come to understand that the right to sit in a classroom is not just the result of war, but of peaceful civil disobedience, of community struggles to gain self-recognition, and of collective efforts to seek social justice.