Education for Public Administration: Graduate Preparation in the Social Sciences at American Universities

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4 THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

FORMAL PUBLIC service training at the University of Cincinnati began in 1927-28 as an application of the cooperative principle to this field. The university accepted for training a limited number of selected college graduates who worked part time in the public service and studied part time at the university. Students were expected to prepare a thesis and to qualify for a master's degree at the end of two years.


The Cooperative Plan

The University of Cincinnati was a pioneer in the cooperative plan of education, in which the usual arrangement was for students to work part time and to study part time, operating in pairs, with one member at the university and his partner on the job. After two weeks, four weeks, two months, or whatever period was fixed, the members of each pair exchanged places. In this way the university classes were constant in size, and there was always somebody on the job working for the employer who was cooperating with the university.1

This plan was inaugurated in the College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati in 1906 with fourteen pairs of students and was extended until there were more than nine hundred pairs studying in this fashion.

This cooperative plan was both an educational device and a means of student self-support. University authorities emphasized the educational value of coordinating work with study and regarded the function of self-support as secondary in importance. A definite effort was made to place people in jobs that, although subordinate or subprofessional in character, had educational value, and such placement was feasible especially for engineering and commercial students.2 With the adop

____________________
1
See the discussion of the "cooperative plan" of education in Doc. No. 24 of the President's Committee on Civil Service Improvement, submitted by (the late) Herman Schneider , chairman, Committee of Cooperative Colleges, Proposal for the Employment of Cooperative Students in the Federal Service. Other methods of combining study and work were employed where more convenient. Students might work half a day and study half a day without being paired, a frequent arrangement for those who had cooperative jobs in the public service.
2
There were some thirty institutions with one or more departments operating on the cooperative plan. Engineering was the most frequent department, but there were also

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