Education 564

History of American Higher Education

Fall, 1999


School of Education

University of Missouri-Kansas City

J. Douglas Toma

I.   Introduction and Overview

Our purpose is to explore the historical foundations of American higher education in order to inform contemporary practice by higher education administrators.  We will proceed chronologically, but focus on a small set of key themes across periods.  These include:

1.            the ever increasing demands upon higher education to serve an ever expanding economy and ever more mobile populace

2.            the diversification of missions among different institutions as an evolutionary process, particularly as it relates to access for groups of students for whom access was formerly difficult

3.            the gradual professionalization of the faculty and higher education administrators

4.            trends in instruction and the curriculum, especially those toward vocational ends and specialization

5.            the roots of governance and funding in American higher education

In order to understand American universities, colleges, and community colleges, it is essential to understand these characteristics and their history.  Working toward this understanding is our goal this semester.  Doing so is not only about acquiring knowledge and context, but is also about improving your reading and discussion skills.  It is also about developing your ability to research, analyze, write, and present material within the knowledge and context from the course.

II.  General Information

A.   Date, Time, and Place

We will meet in room 336 School of Education.  The reference number for the course is 17785.  We will begin class promptly.  We will meet on the following days at the following times:

Thursday, August 26 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 16 @ 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, September 17 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 18 @ 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Friday, October 8 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 9 @ 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Thursday, November 11 @ 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, November 12 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 13 @ 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, December 15 @ 6:00 - 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 16 @ 6:00 - 10:30 p.m.

B.   Addresses and Telephone Numbers

You may reach me outside of class by visiting my office, via telephone, or through electronic mail.  My preference is that you contact me by e-mail, whenever possible.  I check for voice mail and e-mail messages at least daily.  My office is located on the third floor of the School of Education in Suite 328.  My address is:

School of Education

University of Missouri-Kansas City

5100 Rockhill Road

Kansas City, Missouri  64110

My telephone numbers in Kansas City are:

816-235-2451, office

816-235-5270, fax

My UMKC electronic mail address is:

I also hold a courtesy research appointment at the University of Pennsylvania.  If it is necessary to contact me in Philadelphia, I may be reached at the Institute for Research on Higher Education at 215-898-4585 or at home at 215-875-3331.

C.   Office Hours

I will hold office hours by appointment.  Please contact me via electronic mail to schedule an appointment.

III. Texts

We will use two texts in the course.  I have ordered the texts through the UMKC bookstore:

Cohen, Arthur M. (1998).  The Shaping of American Higher Education:  Emergence and Growth of the Contemporary System.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Goodchild, Lester F. and Wechsler, Harold S. (1997).  The History of Higher Education, Second Edition.  ASHE Reader Series.  Needham Heights, MA:  Simon and Schuster Custom Publishing.

The reading for October 9 will be available for you to download via the Internet.

IV.  Written Assignments and Other Expectations

A.   Final Paper

You will be responsible for producing an original research paper of 15-20 pages in length.  The paper may be drawn from secondary or primary sources.  Papers using secondary sources must include at least 15 citations.  These citations must be from a source generally considered to be scholarly, although you may include limited material from popular magazines and books in addition to your 15 sources.   Papers from primary sources must include a similar amount of source material, whether from interviews or document analysis.   We will discuss the requirements for the paper in greater detail in class.

We will not have a final examination in the course.  Instead, we will meet during finals week to hear 15-20 minute presentations by each student on his or her paper.

One set of purposes of the paper is to have you consider the ideas in our readings and that we discuss in class in more detail and within the context of our primary course objectives.  Another set of purposes is to strengthen your research, analysis, writing, and presentation skills.

Please staple your papers and do not use a paper clip or put them in a binder or cover.  The paper should have 1-inch margins all around and be in a 12-point type no broader than the times font. 

Although I recognize that several of you are working full-time outside of the classroom and have several demands on your time, I will allow extensions only in the case of extreme hardship.

B.   Readings Quiz

I will prepare a short quiz on the readings assigned to everyone in the class for each set of three course meetings.  My intention is not to "trick" anyone in the quizzes, but to ascertain whether you have reviewed the reading assignments for that week.  We will grade the quizzes in class and the grades will count toward your final grade.

C.   Readings Summary and Class Discussions

For the Goodchild and Weschler readings, you will be required to write two paragraph summary of one-fourth of the readings assigned for a given set of course meetings.  (For example, if there are 12 articles assigned, you need to read and prepare summaries for three of them.)  Choose the articles of most interest to you.  You should make enough copies of the summaries to distribute one to every member of the class.  I may call on you to discuss any of the readings/summaries in class.

D.   Electronic Mail

Sometime before the second class meeting on September 16, everyone must obtain an electronic mail account from the university and send me a message at the address listed above.  You can reach UMKC Computing Services at 816-235-1480 for information on establishing an e-mail account.  I will occasionally post messages about the course to your address so it is essential that you not only establish an e-mail account but check it at least weekly.

E.   Attendance, Class Participation, and Behavior

I expect that you will contact me, preferably by electronic mail, if you will not be able to attend any class meeting.  I will not tolerate repeated unexcused absences or excused absences and will take appropriate action if they occur.  I also encourage you to plan ahead to avoid conflicts with our scheduled class meetings.  Your attendance is obviously essential to your class participation, which is an important element of your final grade.  I define participation broadly to include your careful attention to discussions, as well as your direct contributions to our discussions.  Finally, I expect your adherence to UM System and UMKC policies on plagiarism and student academic conduct.

V.   Evaluation

I will use two primary criteria in determining your course grade.  The first is the quality of your contributions in class and your regular class attendance.  The second is the level of sophistication that you display in your written work.  Both are products of your attention to the assigned readings and your class attendance.  I encourage you to read carefully and bring any questions that you might have to the attention of the class.

VI.  Class Meetings and Reading Assignments

Please read the material listed under each topic for the class meeting indicated.  Assignments without a number in parenthesis following them are to be read by the entire class.  Assignments with a number in parenthesis following them are to be read by only the working group of students assigned to that number.  For example, only students in working group 1 need to read the assignments followed by "."  We will determine the composition of the working groups at the first class meeting.  

1.   Introduction and Overview

Thursday, August 26 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.


     Introduction, 1-9

     Goodchild and Wechsler:

     Preface and Introduction, xix-xxxiii

2.   Ancient and Medieval Foundations of American Higher Education, pre-1636

Thursday, September 16 @ 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

     Goodchild and Wechsler:

          Perkin, 3-34

     Readings Quiz (in class, optional)

3.   Higher Education in the American Colonies, 1636-1789

Thursday, September 16 @ 9:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, September 17 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.


     Chapter 1, 9-50

     Goodchild and Wechsler (read 2 of the 7):

     Cremin, 35-52

     Herbst, 53-71

     Wright, 72-79

     Finkelstein, 80-93

     Sloan, 94-108

     Moore, 108-114

     Vine, 115-124

Readings Summary Due (beginning of Thursday session)

4.   The Legacy of the Booster College, 1790-1869

Saturday, September 18 @ 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.


     Chapter 2, 51-96

     Goodchild and Wechsler (read 1 of the 5):

     Church and Sedlak, 131-148

     Potts, 149-161

     Whitehead and Herbst, 162-172

     Palmieri, 173-182

     Perkins, 183-190

5.   The Emergence of the Research University, 1870-1944

Friday, October 8 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.


     Chapter 3, 97-174

     Goodchild and Wechsler (read 4 of the 16):

     Gruber, 203-221

     Johnson, 222-233

     Hoeveler, 234-246

     Stetar, 247-266

     Williams, 267-272

     Geiger, 273-289

     Ross, 290-314

     Brubacher and Rudy, 315-317

     Hawkins, 318-332

     Leslie, 333-346

     Ogren, 347-361

     Brubacher and Rudy, 379-394

     Lagemann, 394-402

     Cremin, 403-415

     Pedersen, 499-509

     Goodchild, 528-550

     Readings Quiz (in class, optional)

Readings Summary Due (beginning on Thursday session)

6.   Understanding the American "System" of Higher Education Through Intercollegiate Football, 1856-1999

Saturday, October 9 @ 9:00 - 11:30  p.m.

Toma (Handout):

     Chapter 3 (check internet site given at class on September 18)

7.   Federal Involvement and Postwar Expansion, 1945-1975

Thursday, November 11 @ 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.


     Chapter 4, 175-290

     Goodchild and Wechsler (read 2 of 7):

          Trow, 571-587

          Freeland, 587-609

          Hutcheson, 610-627

          Kerr, 628-653

          Metzger, 653-666

          Astin, et. al, 724-738

          Altbach, 739-754

     Readings Quiz (in class, optional)

Readings Summary Due (beginning on Thursday session)


7.   Discrimination and Diversity in American Higher Education

Friday, November 12 @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Goodchild and Wechsler (read 2 of 8):

     Wechsler, 416-432

     Anderson, 432-459

     Wagonner, 459-473

     Gordon, 473-498

Levine, 510-527

Roebuck and Murty, 667-676

Olivas, 677-698

Fass, 699-723

9.   Contemporary American Higher Education and Beyond, 1976-

Saturday, November 13 @ 9:00 - 11:30  a.m.


     Chapter 5, 291-436

     Conclusion, 437-458

     Readings Quiz (in class, optional)

10.  Student Presentations

Wednesday, December 15 @ 6:00 - 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 16 @ 6:00 - 10:30 p.m.

25 students @ 15 minutes each for 8 hours

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