Still, many Americans are not satisfied with the condition of higher education in their country. Perhaps the most widespread complaint has to do with the college curriculum as a whole and with the wide range of electives in particular. In the middle of 1980s, the Association of American Colleges (AAC) issued a report that called for teaching a body of common knowledge to all college students. The National Institute of Education (NIE) issued a somewhat similar report, “Involvement in Learning”. In its report, the NIE concluded that the college curriculum has become “excessively vocational and work-related”.
The report also warned that college education may no longer be developing in students “the shared values and knowledge” that traditionally bind Americans together. A serious charge: Is it true? For the moment, to some degree, it probably is. Certainly, some students complete their degree work without a course in Western Civilization – not to mention other world cultures. Others leave college without having studied science or government.
As one response, many colleges have begun reemphasizing a core curriculum that all students must master.
Such problems are signs that American higher education is changing,as it has throughout its history. And, as in the past, this change may be leading in unexpected directions. The Puritans set up colleges to train ministers. But their students made their mark as the leaders of the world’s first constitutional democracy. The land grant colleges were founded to teach agriculture and engineering to the builders of the American West. Today, many of these colleges are leading schools in the world of scientific research.
Americans have always had a stake in “making the system work”. They have especially critical reasons for doing so in the field of education.
People in the United States todayare faced with momentous questions: “What is America’s proper role as the world’s oldest constitutional democracy; its largest, economy; its first nuclear power? ” Americans cherish their right to express opinions on all such issues. But the people of the United States are also painfully aware of how complex such issues are. To take part in dealing with new problems, most Americans feel they need all the information they can get. Colleges and universities are the most important centers of such learning. And whatever improvements may be demanded, their future is almost guaranteed by the American thirst to advance and be well informed.
In fact, the next charge in American education may be a trend for people to continue their education in college – for a lifetime. Vysshee obrazovanie v SSHA. Okonchanie shkoly – nachalo nezavisimoj zhizni dlya millionov molodyh lyudej, poluchivshih diplomy. Mnozhestvo dorog otkryto pered nimi. No ne tak legko vybrat’ professiyu iz bolee dvuh tysyach suschestvuyuschih v mire. Iz bolee treh millionov uchaschihsya, okanchivayuschih ezhegodno srednyuyu shkolu, priblizitel’no odin million prodolzhaet poluchat’ vysshee obrazovanie.
Prosto, postupaya v odin iz naibolee prestizhnyh universitetov Soedinennyh SHtatov, vypuskniki srednej shkoly dostigayut bol’shego uspeha. Kolledzh kak veduschij universitet mog by prinimat’ zayavleniya ot dvuh procentov vypusknikov srednej shkoly, i zatem prinimat’ tol’ko odnogo iz kazhdyh desyati postupayuschih.
Dlya uspeshnogo postupleniya v takie kolledzhi pretendenty obychno vybirayutsya na osnovanii sleduyuschih pokazatelej: a) vysokih ocenok v srednej shkole; b) rekomendacij ot prepodavatelej srednej shkoly; v) vpechatleniya, kotoroe oni proizvodyat na sobesedovanii v universitete; g) ih ballov v intellektual’nyh testah – Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT); Sistema vysshego obrazovaniya v Soedinennyh SHtatah slozhna.
Ona vklyuchaet chetyre vida uchrezhdenij: 1. Universitet, kotoryj mozhet vklyuchat’: – neskol’ko kolledzhej dlya postupivshih studentov, pretenduyuschih na chetyrehletnyuyu stepen’ bakalavra; – odnu ili bolee shkol dlya prodolzheniya specializirovannogo obucheniya vyshe stepeni bakalavra, chtoby stat’ specialistom ili poluchit’ doktorskuyu stepen’; 2. CHetyrehletnee obrazovatel’noe uchrezhdenie – kolledzh, bol’shinstvo iz kotoryh ne yavlyayutsya chast’yu universiteta;
3. Tehnicheskoe uchilische, v kotorom vypuskniki srednej shkoly mogut prohodit’ kursy prodolzhitel’nost’yu ot shesti mesyacev do chetyreh let, i izuchat’ razlichnye tehnicheskie navyki, ot parikmaherskogo dela do buhgalterskogo ucheta i komp’yuternogo programmirovaniya;
4. Dvuhletnee obrazovatel’noe uchrezhdenie, ili obschestvennyj kolledzh, posle kotorogo studenty mogut rabotat’ po razlichnym professiyam ili prodolzhit’ obuchenie v chetyrehletnih kolledzhah ili universitetah. Lyuboe iz `etih uchrezhdenij, v lyuboj kategorii, mozhet byt’ besplatnym ili chastnym, v zavisimosti ot istochnika ego finansirovaniya. Net nikakogo ochevidnogo razlichiya v kachestve obrazovaniya, predlagaemogo raznymi uchrezhdeniyami, finansiruemymi otkryto ili konfidencial’no.
Odnako nel’zya skazat’, chto vse uchrezhdeniya obladayut odinakovym prestizhem, i net nikakih material’nyh razlichij sredi nih. Mnozhestvo universitetov i kolledzhej, kak besplatnyh, tak i chastnyh, poluchili reputaciyu za predlozhenie osobenno spornyh kursov, i za obespechenie ih studentov bolee vysokim kachestvom obrazovaniya. Voobsche podavlyayuschee bol’shinstvo ih rascenivaetsya ves’ma udovletvoritel’no. Nekotorye drugie uchrezhdeniya, naoborot, obespechivayut tol’ko dostatochnoe obrazovanie, ih studenty poseschayut zanyatiya, sdayut `ekzameny i okanchivayut kak prosto kompetentnye specialisty, no ne kak vydayuschiesya uchenye i professionaly.
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