Investigating Higher Education
UNIV 190P - Spring 2011
In this course you will explore a variety of issues related to student access to, and success in, Higher Education in America from both current and historical contexts. The seminar will provide you with a supportive environment for personal reflection and critical thinking about the politics, economics and cultures of Higher Education in general as well as your own pathway through college. By identifying ways to incorporate your personal interests with your academic studies, this course is designed to help foster academic skills that will prove useful to you during your undergraduate career and beyond. In particular you will hone your presentation skills, critical analysis and reasoning tools and research techniques.
This course is organized by themes. We will begin with a quick exploration of the concept and history of Higher Education in America, before turning our attention to more specific topics including: changes in educational policy, pedagogical practices, methods and models of evaluation, issues of funding, and the ways in which different populations (racial, ethnic, socio-economic) have been given or denied access to college historically as well as more current struggles with retention. As we explore these topics you will begin to craft your own questions for your individual research project.
In choosing your research topic there are two criteria. First, that your chosen topic relates, in some way, to the theme of investigating higher education. Second, that it is a topic you are personally interested in. In fact the goal of this project is to help you find that thread of interest you have in any course you take and see where it leads. If you don‟t know what you want to do your research project about – don‟t worry – there are plenty of steps built into the curriculum this semester designed to help you figure that out.