Happy May Day! Or, if you’re a high school senior, good luck with one of the biggest decisions of your academic career. Many high school seniors across the country are likely deciding what college they will attend today, and a number of books Princeton has published in higher education happen to be perfect reading to accompany their journey. College, by Andrew Delbanco looks at how college has evolved and where it’s heading. Higher Education in the Digital Age by William Bowen describes higher education’s transformation with technology, while Privilege by Shamus Khan and Pedigree by Lauren Rivera analyze elite culture in higher education and how it translates to the job market respectively. Happy reading & congratulations to high school seniors!
Andrew Delbanco, author of College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, is one of several interviewees in Andrew Rossi and Kate Novack’s movie Ivory Tower. The movie, which made its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, will make its global television premiere on CNN/U.S. on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 9:00pm and 11:00pm Eastern.
“As tuition rates spiral beyond reach for many students, and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), the film asks: Is college worth the cost? From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to new models for accessing higher education influenced by Silicon Valley, the filmmakers assemble an urgent portrait of a great American institution at a transformational breaking point.”
For more information on the documentary that is sure to spark conversations about the state of higher education in America, click here.
What It Was, Is, and Should Be
As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience–an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers–is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.
In College, prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich. In arguing for what a true college education should be, he demonstrates why making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America’s democratic promise.
In a brisk and vivid historical narrative, Delbanco explains how the idea of college arose in the colonial period from the Puritan idea of the gathered church, how it struggled to survive in the nineteenth century in the shadow of the new research universities, and how, in the twentieth century, it slowly opened its doors to women, minorities, and students from low-income families. He describes the unique strengths of America’s colleges in our era of globalization and, while recognizing the growing centrality of science, technology, and vocational subjects in the curriculum, he mounts a vigorous defense of a broadly humanistic education for all. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual, and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable institutions for future generations.
In a new preface, Delbanco addresses recent events that threaten the future of the institution.
Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His many books include Melville: His World and Work (Vintage), which won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prize in biography. He is a recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.
It seems as though having a college education is becoming more and more necessary in today’s job search, and with the high price of getting that degree and the constant changes in our modern higher education system, something’s got to give. With some wisdom on exactly what is giving and who is being affected, here is a list of some of our top books on higher education:
1) Higher Education in America
By: Derek Bok
This book is an analysis of the current condition of our colleges and universities and the strengths and weaknesses of modern American higher education. At a time when colleges and universities have never been more important to its students or to our nation as a whole, Bok provides a thorough examination of the entire system and determines which criticisms of higher education are unfounded or exaggerated, which are issues of genuine concern, and what can be done to improve matters.
2) College: What it Was, Is and Should Be
By: Andrew Delbanco
As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience–an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers–is in danger of becoming a thing of the past. College demonstrates why making education available to as many young people as possible remains central to America’s democratic promise.
3) Higher Education in the Digital Age
By: William G. Bowen
Two of the most visible and important trends in higher education today are its exploding costs and the rapid expansion of online learning. Could the growth in online courses slow the rising cost of college and help solve the crisis of affordability? In this short and incisive book, Bowen explains why he believes technology has the potential to help rein in costs without negatively affecting student learning.
4) The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World
By: Ben Wildavsky
This book presents the first popular account of how international competition for the brightest minds is transforming the world of higher education–and why this revolution should be welcomed, not feared. Every year, nearly three million international students study outside of their home countries, a 40 percent increase since 1999. Wildavsky shows that as international universities strive to become world-class, the new global education marketplace is providing more opportunities to more people than ever before.
These are the best-selling books for the past week.
|College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco|
No Joke: Making Jewish Humor by Ruth R. Wisse
|Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson|
|The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil|
|Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers by John MacCormick|
|On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt|
|Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 by Italo Calvino
Selected and with an introduction by Michael Wood
Translated by Martin McLaughlin
|Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica by T.J. Clark|
|Kafka: The Years of Insight by Reiner Stach
Translated by Shelley Frisch
|The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird|