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Text 4D. Higher Education in the USA

  1. An American View of Russian Education
  2. British educational and foreign language policy
  3. Childrens health and educational centre Salute.
  4. Compare schooling in Great Britain with the school education in Belarus.
  5. Early life and education
  6. Education
  8. Education
  9. Education
  10. Education

There is no national system of higher education in the United States. Higher education is given in colleges and universities. There are over 2100 various higher educational institutions, including colleges, technological institutes and universities. American colleges and universities are either public or private, that is, supported by public funds or supported privately by a church group or other groups acting as private citizens although under a state charter.

A public institution is owned and operated by a government, either a state or a municipal government. The government appropriates large sums of money for the institution's expenses. Yet these sums are normally not sufficient to cover all expenses, and so the institution is partially dependent on student fees and on gifts.

A private institution receives no direct financial aid from any government, municipal, state or federal. The money used to pay the operating expenses has a threefold origin: tuition fees paid by the students, money given in the form of gifts for immediate use, and the income from invested capital in the possession of the institution and originally received by the institution in the form of the gifts to be invested with only the income to be spent.

Of the nation's nearly 1,900 institutions of higher learning roughly one-third are state or city institutions. About 1,200 are privately controlled. Approximately 700 of these are controlled by religious groups. Less than half of these institutions ate liberal art colleges and universities which stress the languages, history, science and philosophy. The rest are professional and technological schools and junior colleges.

A college is generally defined as an institution of higher learning which offers a course of instruction over a four-year period, and which grants a bachelor's degree at the conclusion of studies. As part of university, a college graduate is distinguished from a graduate of professional school. However, the professional schools in some universities are called colleges.

A college prepares the student for two things: either graduate study leading to master's or doctor's degree or a job immediately after graduation. A student who majors in business administration for example, may be fully prepared for a career in business when he has finished college.

On the other hand, a student majoring in psychology often must do a great deal of graduate work before he is competent in this field.

The average college course of study is 4 years. The academic year is usually 9 months or 2 terms of four and a half months each. Classes usually begin in September and end in June.

Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. A freshman is a first year student, a sophomore, a second year student, a junior, a third year student, and a senior, a fourth year student. All students who have graduated from the senior class and who continue studying at a university are classified as advanced students or graduate students. Some graduate students receive grants which cover the cost of their education; a person on such a fellowship is called a university fellow.

Harvard College was established in 1636, with the principal purpose of providing a literate ministry1 for colonial churches. It was a small institution, enrolling only 20 students in 1642 and 60 in 1660. It soon became more than a theological training school and established itself as a liberal arts college. The next institution of higher learning established in the American colonies was the College of William and Mary, which opened in 1693 at Williamsburg, Virginia. Other colleges were founded in the next century, but all of them remained small schools for long periods. Students entered at the age of 14 and remained until they were 18, and the curriculum, while rigidly academic and classic was by modern standards rather secondary in nature.

Private colleges and universities were established in various states. The first state university was the University of Virginia, founded in 1819. Some state universities have large endowment funds which provide a substantial portion of their support. Other sources of income are student fees, gifts and endowments.

In general, higher education in the USA may be divided into two broad fields: liberal arts and professional. Each of these fields may be further subdivided into undergraduate and graduate levels. The liberal arts program, on the undergraduate level, may be a two-year junior college course, or a four-year course leading to a degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. The four-year course is usually subdivided into a lower division (which may be called the junior college), consisting of the two first years, and the upper division, which is the last two years. The first two years continue the general education and specialization begins in the third year. Then the students may go on to graduate school and with a year or two of further study get a Master's degree. After another year or two of study and research, they may get a still higher degree as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The student's progress is evaluated by means of tests, term works and final examinations in each course. The student's work is given a mark, usually on a five point scale. Letters indicate the level of achievement. A is the highest mark. F denotes a failure.


10. Skim through text 4D and say which of its paragraphs gives information about:

a) what is a public institution; b) what is a private institution; c) what is a college; d) what a college prepares the student for; e)classification of students; f) state universities; g) the first institutions of higher learning in the country; h) the two broad fields of higher education.


: 2015-09-11; : 6 |

CONVERSATIONAL TOPICS | Read Text 1A and translate it using Vocabulary. | Text 1B. My biography | Text 2A. My week day | Vocabulary | Read Text 2B and translate it. | Text 3A. Ural Federal University | Text 3B. Functions of the Universities | Text 4B. Cambridge | Text 5A. I want to be an engineer |

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