Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



IN THE YEARS SINCE the Second World War, "higher education" has emerged as one of the major influences in American life. Well over 50 percent of the age cohort now in its teens or early twenties will attend a college or university, more than a five-fold increase from the prewar period. Moreover, colleges and universities now engage in so broad a range of activities that the appellation "higher education" no longer seems entirely appropriate to describe the institutions. Community colleges, but also four-year colleges and universities, play a major role in training individuals for skilled and semiskilled occupations. Universities are our most important centers of research, and they have become so, significantly, at a time of unprecedented societal dependence on research. They are major providers of medical care. Their faculty members figure prominently as experts for government, industry, and the media; and their athletic teams are important sources of mass entertainment.