Argumentative essay about higher education
The answer is “yes” – American institutions of higher education aspire to do all of those things, although particular institutions may emphasize one of these purposes more than the others. As I said, higher education is a big tent: there is room for many purposes.
Directorate of Higher Education Himachal Pradesh
Historically, the earliest colleges in this country were liberal arts institutions, including the earliest public universities (the first of these date to 1790). With the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862, however, wherein public schools of agriculture and mechanical arts (what we now call “engineering”) were to be established in every state for the explicit purpose of improving the nation’s economy, liberal and professional studies have co-existed, eying each other warily at times, but generally recognizing that higher education was a large enough tent to support both schools of thought.
In a recent book, (Yale University Press, 2014), , looks in detail at the conflicting views regarding the purpose of higher education in America since its origins in 1636 with the founding of Harvard. It seems that the purpose of higher education has been a source of controversy for almost its entire history. Thomas Jefferson was a staunch supporter of the value of the liberal arts, and founded the with that perspective in mind; Benjamin Franklin, with little formal education of his own, advocated for practical education (even though he subsequently founded the , an institution that began as a liberal arts school). George Washington Carver, a son of slaves, strongly pushed for the true emancipation of African Americans through the acquisition of practical skills. W.E.B. Du Bois, the early 20th century black leader, maintained that the “talented tenth” (of the black male population) should be educated in the liberal arts, in order that they might become more effective leaders.