College And University

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The term college is also, as in the United Kingdom, used for a constituent semi-autonomous part of a larger university but generally organized on academic rather than residential lines. For example, at many institutions, the undergraduate portion of the university can be briefly referred to as the college (such as The College of the University of Chicago, Harvard College at Harvard, or Columbia College at Columbia) while at others, such as the University of California, Berkeley, each of the faculties may be called a “college” (the “college of engineering”, the “college of nursing”, and so forth). There exist other variants for historical reasons; for example, Duke University, which was called Trinity College until the 1920s, still calls its main undergraduate subdivision Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Some American universities, such as Princeton, Rice, and Yale do have residential colleges along the lines of Oxford or Cambridge, but the name was clearly adopted in homage to the British system.Unlike the Oxbridge colleges, these residential colleges are not autonomous legal entities nor are they typically much involved in education itself, being primarily concerned with room, board, and social life. At the University of Michigan, University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Santa Cruz, however, each of the residential colleges do teach its own core writing courses and has its own distinctive set of graduation requirements.

n addition to private colleges and universities, the U.S. also has a system of government funded, public universities. Many were founded under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862. When the Morrill Act was established, the original colleges on the east coast, primarily those of the Ivy League and several religious based colleges, were the only form of higher education available, and were often confined only to the children of the elite. A movement had arisen to bring a form of more practical higher education to the masses, as “…many politicians and educators wanted to make it possible for all young Americans to receive some sort of advanced education.”[3] The Morrill Act “…made it possible for the new western states to establish colleges for the citizens. Its goal was to make higher education more easily accessible to the citizenry of the country, specifically to improve agricultural systems by providing training and scholarship in the production and sales of agricultural products,[4] and to provide formal education in “agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other professions that seemed practical at the time.

he term “college” in Singapore is generally only used for pre-university educational institutions called “Junior Colleges”, which provide the final two years of secondary education (equivalent to sixth form in British terms or grades 11-12 in the American system). Since 1 January 2005, the term also refers to the three campuses of the Institute of Technical Education with the introduction of the “collegiate system”, in which the three institutions are called ITE College East, ITE College Central, and ITE College West respectively.

The term “university” is used to describe higher-education institutions offering locally conferred degrees. Institutions offering diplomas are called “polytechnics”, while other institutions are often referred to as “institutes” and so forth.

In South Africa, some secondary schools, especially private schools on the English public school model, have “college” in their title. Thus no less than six of South Africa’s Elite Seven high schools call themselves “college” and fit this description. A typical example of this category would be St John’s College.

Private schools that specialize in improving children’s marks through intensive focus on examination needs are informally called “cram-colleges”.

Although the term “college” is hardly used in any context at any university in South Africa, some non-university tertiary institutions call themselves colleges. These include teacher training colleges, business colleges and wildlife management colleges.

Community colleges absolutely do now offer bachelor degrees and not always in conjunction with a 4-year college or university. This is a new trend in the US and many are fighting it, because that wasn’t the purpose behind the community college concept when it was first developed.

 Universities are not more prestigious than colleges. I defy anyone to tell me that MIT, which isn’t a university, isn’t as prestigious as Harvard University.

 In answer to this post: “A university confers degrees up to PhD. A 4-year college confers Bachelors and Masters degrees. (BA,BS & MA, MS) A 2-year or community college confers the associate degree. (AA or AS)”: There are many colleges that offer doctoral degrees. In the US, a “4-year college” does not offer a masters. That goes beyond the 4 years. As I wrote before, many community and 2-year colleges offer bachelor degrees.

 Last point, in answer to “The difference between a college and a university is that a college just offers a collection of degrees in one specific area, while a university is a collection of colleges”: Universities contain colleges and universities offer the degree. For example, my degree is from the University of Illinois, not from the College of Education. I earned the degree through the COE, but UI granted the degree.


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