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The American system of education continues undergoing considerable changes each time the nation reaches certain improvements. There are many historical events that created significant shifts in higher education and its administration. However, the role of the American Revolution and the Civil Rights Act remains to be integral from a variety of perspectives. The outcomes of the Revolutionary War, including the creation of the United States and the proclamation of the independence for the 13 colonies, introduced new living conditions for the population (Geiger, 2015).
Although no clear educational goals and practices were determined, the contributions of Thomas Jefferson helped extend the boundaries of American education, divide the church from the state, and guide the people how to develop governmental affairs. When the Civil Rights Act passed to protect people against discrimination based on race, color, and origin, new opportunities for employees became open. These two events, the Revolution and the Act, influenced the establishment of the purpose of higher education, its availability to all people despite their origins, and the need for higher education administrators.
Event in the History of American Higher Education
The purpose of higher education in the United States is to prepare human minds. In addition, American colleges and universities have to create appropriate conditions to enrich the existing system and develop specific institutions through reformations (Lombardi, 2013). Every facility in the system has its purpose and has to be firmly managed by skilled employees and leaders (Shapiro, 2005).
However, all these tasks and expectations would not have any meaning without the American Revolution that occurred in the 16th century. The period between 1765 and 1783 was the culmination in the history of the United States when 13 colonies got their independence from Great Britain and founded a new nation based on patriotism, courage, and democracy (Brubacher, 2017). Americans were ready to go away from the already established European traditions and introduce a new vision of growth and development.
Education had to be improved at that period of time. People wanted to use it as a tool with the help of which such concepts as freedom and democracy could be introduced and established. It was necessary to educate the population and get prepared them for new discoveries and opportunities. This Revolution proved that ordinary people could achieve great results in case they started believing in something great and collaborated, following the same purposes.
However, it is necessary to admit that the Revolution itself did not open new prospects for the higher education system. It was Thomas Jefferson who underlined the need to divide the church from the state and educate the citizens in order to make them able to participate in governmental affairs, strengthen their attitudes, and develop careers (Brubacher, 2017). He took such important steps as the reconstruction of the College of William and Mary and the necessity of new academic facilities. Finally, he promoted the idea of free public education for American citizens.
In general, some people could say that the American Revolution did not create new educational standards and options for the population. However, this event was the first step in the reconstruction of the current education system. It was a great example of how people could defend their freedoms and strive for serious purposes. The purpose of higher education to introduce prepared minds can gain a better understanding through the prism of the Revolution and its outcomes. It is not enough for people to start fighting and demanding freedoms. It is more important to get them prepared for changes, and it was the essence of the Revolutionary War of the 16th century.
Event in the History of American Higher Education Administration
After the Revolution, a number of events took place to stabilize the education system of the United States and introduce effective curriculums and programs for all people. Still, even being proclaimed as a democratic society, America faced numerous problems with protecting human rights and discrimination-associated debates (Geiger, 2015). Higher education administration was challenged to coordinate and manage various college and university activities.
There was a need to make a decision that provided people with rights and freedoms to act in regards to their skills and intentions. The introduction of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was the event that influenced the development of higher education administrators and their need in the system.
Discrimination was one of the main reasons for social complaints. Many students could not enter the desired colleges and universities because of the color of their skin, their origins, or race. Some people could not find jobs in the field of education because of the same reasons. They had to created groups and organizations where they could find protection and support. To prohibit such unfair treatment to the citizens of the United States, the current president Kennedy took a step to improve the situation and ban discrimination in public organizations by means of a new civil rights law (Goonen & Blechman, 1999). However, his assassination postponed the decision, and it was Lyndon Johnson who signed the Act in 1964.
The effects of the Act spread immediately in the higher education system of the United States. It was legally approved to end all the programs where the practice of discrimination based on sex, race, color, or origin was followed (Brubacher, 2017). With the help of this Act, it became possible for academic staff to focus on their professional demands and problems and improve the way of how education is offered to society.
The need for administrator turned out to be a burning issue because it was necessary to manage the work of the staff, cooperate with students, and make sure that all people receive the same options. Universities and colleges could easily lose federal funding in case they violated the law and promoted discrimination based on race or color (Goonen & Blechman, 1999). Many colleges depended on the funds given for student programs and research. Therefore, that ban on discrimination changed the attitudes towards people who had suffered from racial or gender prejudices before.
To conclude, one may say that the higher education system in the United States is not the best one in the global arena with its problematic specific areas. Still, the intentions of the Americans to promote freedoms, democracy, and equality cannot be judged or neglected. The American Revolution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were the two crucial events in the history of the US education that proved how strong a human will could be. Despite some challenges and concerns associated with the decisions of leaders, these episodes show how human actions shape the purposes of higher education, prove the need of administrators, and secure Americans as a nation with great potential.
Discussion Question Assignment
Despite the fact that I believe that my personal growth as an educational leader depends purely on my skills and abilities, I also think that certain historical events have a considerable impact on my future career.
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For example, I admire the events that happened in the second half of the 1700s and led to the American Revolution and all those associated changes. People got a serious lesson on how to protect their rights, how to fight against the ruling power, and how to develop the skills that are necessary for goals’ achievement. The Revolution was the event led by people who were not specially prepared to complete their tasks. However, they showed a good example and opened new opportunities for people.
As a future administrator and leader, I want to use this knowledge about the past and improve my present attempts and steps. At this moment, I am guided by such principles as freedom of choice and democracy that makes all people equal regardless of their origins or skills. Education is the field where equal opportunities have to be offered, and I will be the leader who will try to raise all these standards and make them working again.
Many political and academic figures are involved in governmental affairs and confuse their functions being spoiled by corruption and personal profits. My task as an educational leader is to make sure that all people of the chosen academic facility focus on the development of their skills and knowledge. Colleges and universities have to prepare human minds to strengthen the nation but not their own pockets. The US society has already achieved a lot through the line of significant events starting from the American Revolution. I feel like today’s students and educators start forgetting the essence of this victory, and it is high time to remind them about it.
Brubacher, J. (2017). Higher education in transition: History of American colleges and universities (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Geiger, R. L. (2015). The history of American higher education: Learning and culture from the founding to World War II. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Goonen, N. M., & Blechman, R. S. (1999). Higher education administration: A guide to legal, ethical, and practical issues. Westport, CN: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Lombardi, J. V. (2013). How universities work. Baltimore, MA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Shapiro, H. T. (2005). Larger sense of purpose: Higher education and society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.