Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/290

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
286
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

THE MATTER OF COLLEGE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
By President FRANK L. McVEY
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA

IN the past several years a marked change has taken place in the attitude of colleges and universities toward the matter of entrance requirements. An examination of catalogues, articles and discussions, shows clearly the swinging of opinion from the former college view to the high school way of regarding the question. It is, moreover, now generally conceded that the relationship existing between the college and the secondary school is a part of the whole system of education and not a specific relation between two of the factors of that system. The growth in the high-school attendance and the emphasis upon the importance of it as a factor have been brought about by a clearer recognition of the high school in its relation to public education.

Perhaps the most fundamental point in all of this discussion is the fact that the secondary period in the school-boy's life is far more favorable than his college years to the free exploration of the boy.[1]-Self-realization has come to be a motive that has reached down into the high school period, and it has been found, in the opinion of able directors of secondary education, that restricted preparatory courses prescribed by colleges do not afford the experience needed in the high school. It is further stated that individual pupils can not know at the beginning of the high-school course that they can go to college four years later on. Moreover, it has been shown that the specification of subject matter for the four years of the high school tends to materially hamper rather than help in the direction of secondary education. The confusion in the requirements of different colleges east and west makes it impossible for the ordinary high school to meet the demands of all of them. The result is that those who have observed the boys and girls working in the high schools of the country have come to the conclusion that there is a wide discrepancy between preparation for life and preparation for college as defined in the ordinary entrance requirements. For these reasons and many others it has come to be felt that the high school should serve as an open door through which may pass the boys and girls looking for a larger education.

The placing of the emphasis upon citizenship and the efficiency of the individual seems to point conclusively to a Larger freedom on the part of the high schools and their management to meet the specific needs

  1. Abraham Flexner, "The American College," p. 223.