The Reinvention Center
The 1800s: More Students, More Schools
The Public University System is Born
The Research University Emerges
The Twentieth Century
Inventions & Reinventions
|Colonial America (1600-1700s)|
Elite young men preparing for the ministry, teaching, and public service
Subjects: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, and math
Sites: Small, church-controlled four-year colleges
1636: Harvard is the first college established in the United States.
|The 1800s: More Students, More Schools|
Elite and middle-class young white men and women; Elite young black men
New Subjects: Agriculture-related studies; Speech courses to erase accents
Sites: Public and private colleges
1785: University of Georgia is chartered as the first state institution in the U.S.
1847: City College is established as a free school for children of immigrants and the working class.
1851: Cooper Union is the first college to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or religion in its charter.
1856: Iowa State is the first coeducational public institution in the US.
|The Public University System is Born|
The Morrill Act officially establishes land-grant colleges and universities.
1867: University of Illinois is chartered.
1868: University of California is chartered.
|The Research University Emerges|
The first graduate and professional students
Subjects: Specialized academic training and research; Professional education in law, medicine, and engineering
Sites: Universities modeled after European research institutions such as the University of Berlin
1876: Johns Hopkins is chartered as the first research university in the United States, followed by Stanford in 1891 and the University of Chicago in 1892.
|The Twentieth Century: Mass Higher Education and Vast Transformations|
Students: Male and female students
of all ages and ethnicities
|Information for this
section was drawn from:
A Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Princeton: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1994 edition.
Betterton, Don. Alma Mater: Unusual Stories and Little-known Facts from America's College Campuses. Princeton: Peterson's Guides, 1988.
Cohen, Arthur M. The Shaping of American Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.
DeVane, William Clyde. Higher Education in Twentieth-Century America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965.
Ehrmann, Stephen C. "Access and/or Quality? Redefining Choices in the Third Revolution." Educom Review 34 (5), September/October 1999, 24-27+.
Kerr, Clark. Higher Education Cannot Escape History: Issues for the 21st Century. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
Matthews, Anne. Bright College Years: Inside the American Campus Today. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
Mazuzan, George T. The National Science Foundation: A Brief History. National Science Foundation Office of Legislative and Public Affairs , July 15, 1994 (General Publication, NSF8816, 1994).
RC Home | Contact us | Join our network | SUNY Stony Brook
Back to top