History of Higher Education Curriculum

  • Harvard College Founded

    Training people for the ministry was a key reason many of the colonial colleges were founded (Brubacher and Rudy, 2008).
  • Harvard College Lawes

    "Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they be ready to give an account of their proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of Language and Logicke, and in practicall and spirituall truthes as their tutor shall require according to their severall abilities respectively, seeing the Entrance of the word giveth light" (Constitution Society, 2009)
  • College of William and Mary founded

    Training students for ministry was noted in 8 out of 9 colonial colleges charters (Philadelphia Academy is the exception) (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • The Harvard Curriculum

    Harvard, along with the other colleges at the time, focused on language arts and the philosophy, along with metaphysics, ethics, politics, mathematics and divinity. Every student followed this curriculum - an individuals own specific interests were not taken into account (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Hollis Professorship

    In 1728 Harvard created the Hollis Professorship of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. This professorship was created to teach math and science concepts by experimentation (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Yale Student Rules

    "That the President ... shall constantly pray in the College-Hall every morning and Evening: and Shall read a Chapter or Suitable Portion of the Holy Scriptures ... and Every Member of the College Whether Graduates or Undergraduates ... Shall Seasonably Attend" (Gaustad & Noll, 2003, p. 179)
  • Smith's Scheme

    William Smith was the Provost at the College of Philadelphia in 1756. In this year he proposed that the curriculum be divided into three parts: a third for math and science, a third for Greek and Latin and a third for logic, reasoning and ethics. Included in these areas were practical areas of study such as chemistry, navigation, political science, trade, history and surveying (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Shift in Curriculum

    More attention given to "mathematics, natural science, English Language and literature" as well as "modern foreign languages" (p. 14, Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • First School of Medicine

    The United States first School of Medicine founded in Philadelphia by John Morgan at the College of Philadelphia. School was modeled after the curriculum of Edinburgh's Medical school in Scotland. (University of Pennsylvania, 2009).
  • First Law School

    The first Law School was established in the United States, Litchfield Law School (Litchfield Law School, 2009).
  • R.P.I. Founded

    The nation's first technical school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was founded by Stephen Van Rensselaer (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • The Yale Report

    The Yale Report was published and declared that a prescribed curriculum featuring "the thorough study of the ancient languages" was the only proper system for a college (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Engineering and Liberal Arts Colleges

    Union College in New York became the first liberal arts college to include engineering in it's curriculum (Union College, 2009).
  • Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act

    Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act is passed. The mission was to teach agriculture, military tactics and the mechanical arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working class could obtain a liberal, practical education (Cornell University, 2009).
  • Changes in Language Requirements

    The study of subjects such as Latin and Greek in the years of junior and senior years was made entirely optional for the students at Harvard (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • President Charles William Eliot

    The ideas of President Charles William Eliot of Harvard influenced the idea of "liberally taught" subject matter. This created subjects in humanistic or scientific fields that were categorized as Liberal Arts (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Freshman year Requirement Changes

    All Harvard required courses were now limited to the freshman year, with the exception of rhetoric, philosophy, history, and political science (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Chautauqua Movement

    Distance Learning through correspondence. Originally focused on Bible education but content expanded to include science, humanities and languages (Berg, 2002).
  • Changes in Language Requirements

    Harvard's required courses were reduced to only 2 English courses and a modern foreign language (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Joliet Junior College

    The nation's first community college was founded in 1901. In the beginning community colleges taught "general liberal arts studies" (American Association of Community Colleges, 2009).
  • Increase in Enrollment

    During this time period the enrollment in higher education approximately doubled which sparked changes in full time students, residential students and the cultural ideals of liberal learning (Altbach, Berdahl & Gumport, 2005).
  • Correspondence Enrollment Peaks

    Correspondence Enrollment peaks at Univerisity of Chicago at 10,545 enrollments per year out of 62,552 nationally (Berg, 2002).
  • The SAT

    The first SAT was administered in the US which has become a predictor of success for the college curriculum (Public Broadcasting Service, 2009).
  • Spike in Correspondence Schools

    There are now 33 correspondence schools in the country, up from 1 in 1982. At the University of Chicago 49% of corespondenace students eventually go on to get a degree in person at a university (Berg, 2002).
  • Job Training Programs

    To combat widespread unemployment during the great depression many community colleges began offering vocational training (American Association of Community Colleges, 2009).
  • Junior College Enrollment

    11% of college students were enrolled in junior colleges which profoundly impacted the thought and structure of Higher education. (Altbach, Berdahl & Gumport, 2005)
  • Community College Explosion

    457 community colleges opened during the 1960's, more then doubling the number of schools (American Association of Community Colleges, 2009).
  • Honors Programs

    During this decade of 1989 to 1999 Honors Programs which provide special sections and other benefits to enrolled students were established at public colleges (Altbach, Berdahl & Gumport, 2005).
  • Community Colleges

    A total of 1600 community college exist enrolling 9 million people in credit based classes and another 5.3 million in non-credit classes (American Association of Community Colleges, 2009).
  • Drexel Online

    Drexel Offers First Online Course. Bachelor and Master Degrees are offered as well as Certificates in all fields including Nursing, Clinical Research, Business, Information Science/Systems, Engineering, Education, Arts and Sports, Hospitality, Construction, Project and Property Management.
  • e-Learning

    "e-learning will make email look like a rounding error" - John Chambers, CEO Cisco (United States Distance Learning Association, 2009)
  • Online Degrees

    According to the Department of Education more then 3 million students pursue their degree online. Students have a wide range of courses and degrees to choose from (Altbach, Berdahl & Gumport, 2005).