Linda Bourgeois

History and Philosophy of Higher Education

Annotated Article on Urban Higher Education

#5: 175 words


Shoenberg, R. (2003). Tell Me Why: The States’ Leadership Role in General Education Reform. peerReview. 12-15.



The author, a senior fellow, Association of American Colleges and Universities, use data from Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Maryland and Utah to address the problem transfer students face. Fifty-five percent of bachelor’s degree recipients have completed parts of their coursework at two or more institutions. The students need to know why they have to take the required courses and if those courses will be accepted by other institutions. Few states pay attention to the compatibility of course purposes. The institutional systems generally let students know what is required but do not clarify why the requirement exists at all. “The K-16 movement” requires that teachers at all levels define goals and purposes. Legislative bodies want this within higher education to attain educational coherence. The credit transfer process has given state legislative bodies an opportunity to bring some “intellectual order to the chaos” of general education. Faculty members and students should know the purpose of general education courses and why they are required to teach the courses a certain way and why students are required to take them.


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