History of American Higher Education: Pursuing the College Degree

In the United States, college degrees come from many sources with many different perspectives on the nature and function of the degree. According to the Random House Dictionary, college degrees generally refer to “an academic title conferred by universities and colleges as an indication of the completion of a course of study, or as an honorary recognition of achievement.” The concept of post-secondary education is broader than the two- or four-year institutions that are typically thought of as “college.” The concept of higher education includes all the trade, vocational, and career institutes, as well as academic college and university programs offered by thousands of institutions nationwide. But it is the college degree, that ennobled document conferred by the degree-granting post-secondary institutions of the America, that retains certain airs of rights and expectations—especially as the student proceeds through the hierarchy of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees.

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 Posted April 29, 2008

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