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This dissertation explores the history of junior colleges in the United States. Each of its five chapters examines an aspect of these colleges, such as community interests and state legislation. Chapter 1 discusses junior college historiography, testing the conventional explanation of the junior college's origins and early development against the historical record. This chapter also argues that junior college historiography has been captive to the idealist fallacy, evidenced by the literature's disregard for the unique experiences of individual junior colleges. In this chapter, the author questions the prominent role the literature has assigned to university leaders in creating a public awareness of and support for the junior college. Chapter 2 attempts to lay a foundation for a new explanation of the junior college and its origins in the form of a comprehensive inventory of these two-year institutions and their sponsoring communities. Chapter 3 advances the explanation of the municipal junior college's origins that centers on the pivotal role of community interests and local conditions in giving life and direction to this institution. Chapter 4 argues that the explanation of the municipal junior college's origins cannot be extended to include either its small town or its great city counterparts. Finally, Chapter 5 provides evidence that school historians have consistently understated the extent, intensity, and effectiveness of the resistance with which the early junior college was met. (Contains 259 references.) (EMH)

Descriptors: Educational History, Financial Support, Government School Relationship, Politics of Education, School Community Relationship, Two Year Colleges

Autor: Pedersen, Robert Patrick


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