College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be

By Andrew Delbanco | Go to book overview

TWO
ORIGINS

The assumption that young adults should pass through a period of higher education before entering a life of commerce or service is, of course, much older than the United States and older, too, than the English colonies that became the United States. Aristotle identified the years between puberty and age twenty-one as the formative time for mind and character, and it was customary for young Greek men to attend a series of lectures that resembled our notion of a college “course.” In Augustan Rome, gatherings of students under instruction by settled teachers took on some of the attributes we associate with modern colleges (libraries, fraternities, organized sports), and, by the Middle Ages, efforts to regulate the right to teach by issuing licenses were under way in such nascent educational centers as Paris and Padua—presaging the modern idea of a faculty with exclusive authority to grant degrees.1 In short, college in the broad sense of the term has a history that exceeds two millennia.

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College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • One - What Is College for? 9
  • Two - Origins 36
  • Three - From College to University 67
  • Four - Who Went? Who Goes? Who Pays? 102
  • Five - Brave New World 125
  • Six - What Is to Be Done? 150
  • Acknowledgments 179
  • Notes 183
  • Index 215
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