The Proper Role of Higher Education in a Democratic Society

The Proper Role of Higher Education in a Democratic Society

Vincent Bowhay (Independence Community College, USA)
Release Date: June, 2021|Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 314
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7744-8
ISBN13: 9781799877448|ISBN10: 1799877442|EISBN13: 9781799877462|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781799877455
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Description & Coverage
Description:

American higher education has served to prepare students to be active participants in a democratic society. During a time of great civil upheaval following the tumultuous elections of 2016 and 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and mass demonstrations following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, higher education may be the only institution left to be both responsible for and responsive to society at large. Public trust in the federal government is at near-record lows, but confidence in higher education has decreased more than any other U.S. institution since 2015. In a time where public opinion is quickly changing for the better or the worse, higher education must respond to this decline in trust in it as an institution, but also the decline in the belief that a college degree is worth the time and cost. Higher education was founded on the idea that colleges would prepare citizens for a life of public service, but they have quickly changed to a business model that largely puts profits over people. Practitioners of higher education must respond to this lack of trust and the pressures of preparing a 21st century workforce while battling the threats of a pandemic, declining enrollment, budget destabilization, and increased regulation.

The Proper Role of Higher Education in a Democratic Society reexamines the purpose of higher education during rapidly changing times, offers practical advice and best practices to reclaim higher education’s most fundamental mission, and argues that if higher education is called to prepare students to serve a government by the people, the people must be prepared to govern effectively. This book provides resources and suggestions for restoring the public faith in higher education by connecting the educational experience with civic engagement outcomes. Diverse perspectives presented in this book challenge traditional notions that civic engagement is handled by one office on a college campus and is only discussed during a presidential election. Covering everything from civic engagement to diversity perspectives, this book is ideal for higher education practitioners and those interested in promoting civic engagement and democratic participation, improving assessment or accreditation standards using a civic engagement perspective, and infusing civic engagement to diversity conversations on campus.

Coverage:

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Campus Operations
  • Civic Engagement
  • Civic Participation
  • Democratic Engagement
  • Diversity Perspectives
  • Funding Civic Engagement
  • Role of Technology
  • Social Empathy
  • Social Movements
  • Student Activism
  • Transferable Skills
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