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Higher Education and Society

Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Higher education and society are becoming increasingly intertwined. Both act as a transmitter of culture, yet many colleges and universities also ideally seek to create a more perfectible society and more enlightened, engaged citizens. When the connections between social structures and post-secondary education are closely entangled, the university’s aims can take on a contentious struggle for identity in a vexing web of competing external interests – especially in light of scarce economic resources, corporate pressures, technological questions, and globalizing trends. Higher Education and Society weighs the urgent question of how society and higher education influence each other. How the latter responds to that unsettled issue may well determine whether colleges and universities chart a more self-reflective path or one of rising deference to societal contingencies. This book is essential for all those who study and work in today’s colleges – and for all those who seek a better education for their children, the nation, and the world. It is especially recommended for courses in higher education and society, contemporary issues in higher education, the philosophy of higher education, academic issues in higher education, leadership in higher education, and globalization and higher education. The book is also useful for the preparation of faculty development programs in colleges and universities.
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4. Civic Engagement and Higher Learning



In the midst of the most substantive fiscal and demographic challenges to higher education since the Great Depression, universities and colleges face dramatic problems in reconfiguring the pricing and delivery of undergraduate education. Tuitions rise along with increasing student debt. According to the national narrative, students and families confront the rising cost of college with uncertainty, fearing that for too many, higher education may be priced beyond their means. Families worry that tuition debt burdens will overwhelm them, particularly if their students are unable to secure adequate post-graduation employment set at meaningful levels of compensation.

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