« PreviousContinue »
graduates of first-class junior colleges, as well as other standard colleges of the State, to receive a first-grade State certificate upon fulfilling certain other requirements. A large number of junior colleges have been established under the provisions of this law, evidently expecting to make teacher training a prominent feature. Nineteen, or 34 per cent, of the private junior colleges replying to the questionnaire mentioned the desire to provide additional opportunities for teacher training as one of the reasons for their organization. As long as there comes from the various States a constant call for more and better trained teachers, no one can deny that the small college, equipped to do well what it attempts to do, has an excellent opportunity to perform a much-needed service for the schools of the country. 4. Perhaps the most important single factor that has led small colleges to become junior colleges is that of the financial difficulty of maintaining a four-year course under present standards. This feature has already been discussed at length and need only be mentioned here. Seventeen institutions replying to the questionnaire mention this as an especially important reason for making a change. When President Harper suggested in 1902 that perhaps 50 per cent of the colleges of the country should limit their work by becoming junior colleges, he met with very little response from the colleges themselves. Now the wisdom of his advice is widely recognized. In this connection the following quotations from letters accompanying the replies to the questionnaire will be of interest: A big controlling reason, at the time of reorganization, was a desire to make only honest claims. I knew that we could not, with the resources at hand, give a baccalaureate course and hence ceased to claim to do it. Our chief reason was honesty of standards. We did not want to advertise the school as doing more than two years of college work when we knew that it could not be well done with our limited equipment. We prefer good standing among colleges as a junior college to poor standing as a senior college. The junior college, if fostered, will enable the honest small college to do real worth while work and will be the means of closing the “degree-giving mill” so prevalent in our country. These college presidents have realized the fact that we have endeavored to emphasize throughout this chapter, namely, that the junior college offers a solution to the problem of the small college. By such an organization the small college secures for itself a definite place in the educational system; it becomes an honest institution by claiming to do only that which it can do well, and puts itself in position to meet certain great educational needs such as those which we have mentioned in this and other chapters of this report. By this means there will be assurance that the excellent contributions of the small college to the education of American democracy will be continued, but that at the same time the serious evils that have so frequently been a by-product of these institutions will be checked if not absolutely abolished. No discussion of the relation of the small college to the junior college would be complete without some mention of the recent educational experiment carried out so systematically by the University of Missouri. In the number of weak and poorly-equipped institutions attempting to do college work, Missouri was perhaps typical of the other States which we have described. One exception might be noted, however, in the fact that in this State most of the colleges were for WOI men. In 1911 a few of these institutions, feeling that they were misfits in the field of higher education, having no recognition by the State, and assured that “their salvation depended upon getting such recognition,” invited the University of Missouri to extend its accrediting system to include the small college. The invitation was readily accepted. In the working out of a plan for such, the university consulted freely with those representing the colleges concerned, and the final arrangement was mutually agreed upon. For many reasons it was agreed that the work of these institutions should be limited to two years. Certain requirements were set up that all were expected to meet. Any institution desiring to be accredited first applied for a blank which was furnished by the university. On this blank was placed carefully data relative to the actual status of the institution on the points mentioned in the requirements. If the university authorities were convinced by the report that the institution deserved to be considered, a special committee was sent to inspect the same, with power to take final action. An evidence of the success of the plan is found in the large number of schools that have been accredited. In the 1916–17 catalogue of the University of Missouri we find the names of 14 accredited junior colleges. If we look to the colleges themselves, we find sufficient reason for this enthusiastic response. They report a better faculty, better equipment, higher entrance requirements and requirements for graduation, more students of a higher class, more graduates, and better financial support. President Wood, of Stephens College, Columbia, Mo., in discussing these results before the National Education Association in 1916, reports an increase of 180 per cent in enrollment in his school from 1912 to 1916. The number of graduates during the same period increased 227 per cent. The percentage of high-school graduates in the literary department increased from 57 per cent to 87 per cent
during this time, while an annual deficit of $15,000 was turned into an annual surplus of $4,000." In regard to the encouraging of financial support after becoming junior colleges, Prof. Coursault reports an excellent example: * An instance of this appeared when one of the accredited junior colleges needed $75,000 to complete payment on a building. A St. Louis man headed the subscription list with $10,000, and in doing so remarked: “I never contributed to this college before because I was not certain that its work was effective. But now, since the
university has vouched for the efficiency of the institution, I am glad to contribute to its needs.”
In February of this year the University of Missouri issued a special bulletin of 182 pages devoted strictly to the needs of the junior colleges of that State. It is apparently safe to say that the junior college in Missouri bears every mark of success, and that the example there set merits imitation.
co" James M. The Junior College. Address before Nat. Ed. Assoc., New York, July, 1916, Stephens lege.
* Coursault: Standardizing Junior Colleges. Educ. Rev., vol. 8, pp. 36–02.
PRESENT STATUS OF THE JUNIOR COLLEGE.
1. RECENT GROWTH.
In an earlier chapter were traced the beginnings of the junior college movement. As was there suggested, this new departure in education found its first significant expression at the University of | Michigan in the early eighties. Later, in 1892, it was taken up almost
GRAPH II.-Number of junior colleges organized each year for the years 1907–1917. |
simultaneously by the Universities of Chicago and California. It } will be remembered that in these institutions there was not only a reorganization of the liberal arts colleges into upper and lower divisions, or junior and senior colleges, but that also definite steps were taken toward the reorganization of the high schools and colleges of the country in accordance with this idea. Both institutions encouraged high schools to extend their courses so as to include at least !
one and ultimately two years of standard college work. The University of Chicago in particular emphasized also the necessity of small colleges limiting their work to the first two years rather than attempt— ing to offer the full four years of college work. Although especially ably championed by President Harper, of the University of Chicago, and by Dean Lange, of the University of California, and although accepted favorably by many educators, the
junior college movement made little headway during the next 15 years. The most significant event during that time was the organization of a junior college in connection with the high school at Joliet, Ill., in 1902. This institution is now perhaps the oldest junior college in operation, and its apparent success of 16 years speaks much for the junior college movement as a whole. In 1907 the legislature of the State of California passed an act permitting high schools to offer the first two years of standard college work in addition to the regular four-year high-school course. The decade since that time has witnessed the rapid growth of that idea. A number of public high schools in California, Illinois, Michigan,