Educational News and Editorial Comment

1920 The School Review  
NUMBER 8 Ebu•tattnnal WNms aut bEitarial ( umeutt STUDIES OF UNIVERSITY PROBLEMS The University of Minnesota has just published a bulletin edited by President Coffman, which is one of the few examples in existence of a careful, scientific study of the outlook of a university for future growth. A like study was made some years ago by President Hughes of Miami University and showed, as does this, that there are large problems ahead for the state university and for the contributing high schools. A
more » ... ing high schools. A number of paragraphs from the summary of the Minnesota bulletin will be of interest to high-school officers, as well as to those who have to provide for Freshmen in college. We quote, therefore, at length from the bulletin. A study of the several classes of secondary schools in Minnesota as to their number, enrollment, and, in some instances, their numbers of graduates, shows the state high school to be easily the dominating institution of this grade. There is no evidence that it will not continue to be so. Computation of the proportion of the population attending public secondary schools shows that secondary education is being rapidly popularizedmore rapidly in Minnesota than in the United States as a whole. The annual number of graduates of the state high school has reached 7,000. If the forces which have been influential in bringing the number of 561 This content downloaded from on July 29, 2016 09:58:31 AM All use subject to University of Chicago Press Terms and Conditions ( THE SCHOOL REVIEW [October graduates to this annual total continue to operate during the next twenty years as they have in the past-and whether they will or will not no one can prophesy-there will be approximately 14,0oo or 15,000 graduates in 1930 and 20,000 or thereabouts in 1940o. The state high school is also the predominant source of university Freshmen. For instance, of the 1,379 entering Freshmen of I916-I7, of whom 247 came from secondary schools outside the state, 989, or 71. 8 per cent, were graduates of the state high schools of Minnesota. These graduates of state high schools constituted 87.4 per cent, or almost nine-tenths, of all those entering from within the state of Minnesota. Although the number of Freshmen in the university shows a rapid increase, it appears that secondary education is being popularized much more rapidly than is higher education. A diminishing proportion of high-school graduates enter the university. The decrease was more rapid during the earlier than during the later portions of the thirty-year period for which facts are available. It seems not unlikely that during the next ten or twenty years this proportion will settle to somewhere between 20 and 25 per cent of the number of those graduated from the high schools. A consideration of the relationships of the percentage just named with the probable number of graduates of state high schools in I930 and again in 1940 as previously prophesied, leads to the prediction that the numbers of university Freshmen in those years may be, respectively, 3,500 and 4,500. This prediction is made on the assumption-not a very tenable one at best-that the forces which brought the number of Freshmen up to the proportion of I916-I7 will continue to be consistently operative. It has the merit, however, of being to some extent a conservative prophecy, since it does not leave out of account the decline in the proportion of high-school graduates who enter the university. The bulletin quoted ought to be studied, not only because of the facts which it presents, but also because it gives hopeful promise that the scientific study of education is finally to become a part of the administration of universities. Following the history of science in general and beginning with the remote, universities have been scientific on every subject in the world except their own administration. The probable size of the Freshman class has been in all higher institutions a matter of interested speculation, but not of study. The preparations in state universities from year to year for the reception of this class have been often inadequate because growth has been unforeseen. The Minnesota study makes it certain that Freshmen are on the increase. It opens several interesting questions of the relation of higher education to secondary education, and it points to the
doi:10.1086/437270 fatcat:umnmxxkusbh6hcc46vk7u4beju