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January 18, 1947 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1947-01-18

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PE RSPECTIVES

Page Nine

STATE EDUCATION
... Eugene B. Elliott

Ens OR'S NOTE: Eugene B. Elliott is the
Superintendent of Public Instruction
n the State of Michigan.
College enrollment figures for Michi-
gan will climb to new heights by 1960
although it is believed that by that time
the unusual enrollments caused by the
avalanche of returning veterans will
have' passed. Conservative data for
Michigan indicate that by the end of
the next decade no fewer than 120,000
students will be in attendance at our
011 es. Today there are fewer than
90;000.
It is thought that the potential peak
enrollment for returning veterans will
be 1950-51 when an all-time high of
210,000 students may go to college. This
peak enrollment can only be taken care
of if the colleges have plant facilities
to meet adequately the anticipated stu-
dent load of 1960. It is possible that
many veterans will not care to subject
themselves . and their families to the
great inconveniences and hardships
which may prevail and the actual num-
ber may fall far short of the possible
peak.
During the last four years the state
has appropriated $22,912,000 to provide
buildings on the campuses of the public
colleges and universities. An addition-
al sum of $2,750,000 was appropriated
for building repairs and the elimination
of fire hazards. While the sum total
appears large, it must be remembered
that the state has spent but little on
college buildings during the last two
decades. There follows a breakdown of
the building appropriations:
Building Appropriations 1942-46
University of Michigan..$8,000,000
Michigan State College.. 7,000,000
Central Michigan College
of Education ....... 1,105,000
Northern Michigan College
of Education ....... 950;000
Western Michigan College
of Education ....... 1,305,000.
Mich. State Normal Col.. 1,205,000
Michigan College of
Mining and Technology 1,047,000
Wayne University ...... 2,700,000
TOTAL .. . ........ $22,912,000
Since 1925 college enrollments have
increased from 23,000 to 83,000, a gain
of, 260%. Many college buildings con-
structed during the last quarter of the
nineteenth century or before have be-
come obsolete, unsafe, and very expen-
sive, to maintain. The story is not
complete without adding that building
costs today are almost exactly two
times the cost of buildings constructed
prior to the war.
Adequate building accommodation is
not the only problem foreseen in the
rising enrollments. A more important
problem Will be to secure a staff, suf-
ficiently trained in research techniques
and possessing experience both in teach-
ing and the practical applications. Busi-
ness and industry are calling for trained
personnel to meet the many techno-
logical and complex problems of our
modern economy. If the colleges must
put up with second or third rate teach-
ers because business and industry can
out-bid them, we are heading for very
unsatisfactory college instruction.
The principal function of a college
is the instruction of students. No other
consideration must supercede the edu-
cational aspects. Administrative staff,
buildings, finance, and public relations
must never become ends in themselves.
They are supported and maintained
solely to improve instructional process-
es. While it is important that practical
considerations of living be considered in
close relation to the instructional pro-
gram there are dangers that students
may become only trained rather than

educated. he college instructional staff
must be selected with the utmost care

to insure a sound educational program.
More generous grants to public edu-
cation on the elementary and secondary
level will further complicate the prob-
lem of securing teachers in many col-
leges. Some of the larger school systems
are already attracting persons with
doctor's degrees for administrative and
key instructional positions.
Lack of housing in the rapidly grow-
ing college communities has further
complicated the task of securing per-
sonnel. Some ccileges have partly solved
the difficulty by erecting housing which
may be rented by, staff members.
The shortage of well trained person-
nel has forced some institutions to use
makeshift devices in order to maintain
student work standards. Department
heads or a group of experienced teach-
ers make up the examinations for class-
es taught by inexperienced and less
well trained teachers. Demonstration

as energetically as though they had
playgrounds well equipped with swings
and slides.
Colleges everywhere can materially
aid the government in performing its
tasks if given sufficient funds for re-
search and consultative services. The
demanding urgencies of governmental
administration leave little time for
delving into facts to extract therefrom
basic and fundamental principles of
action. Rather administration develops,
a natural desire for maintaining a
status-quo unless machinery is devel-
oped which stimulates creative action.
The use of the services of expert college
personnel to assist in conducting con-
tinuous and objective research in co-
operation with governmental officials
would provide the people with govern-
ment more closely related to their
needs. The very ccmplexity of modern
living has tended to open a wide gap

The Ageing
The child rises early;
Sleep is a moment between night and day.
Waking he sees and runs to see.
All things that he touches have not been touched before;
The tree will not thwart his determined climb,
The water falls back before his eager arms,
Small bodies like his own may give under
his pounding fists.
Knowing no denial how can he know hope?
I have seen too many unresilient days,
Too many Gods that fell before an angry phrase,
an action too unpatterned
To meet the morning without hope and fear
of resolutions.
-Donald La Badic

ments to more selected individuals.
The high school mark gained while
pursuing a high school program mainly
dominated by colege influences has,
therefore, been the major criterion for
college admission. Several evaluative
studies, the needs of community high
schools, and the varied educational pat-
terns of returning veterans are forcing
a reconsideration of the traditional re-
quirements. Many realize that the ability
to secure desired grades in the second-
ary schools may cist quite apart from
emotional stability and social under-
standing. Ccllsge drop-outswhich av-
erage s muchas from 35 to 40 per cent
of the total enrollment indicate that a
new basis of admssion ss needed.
The development of the community
college often spoklen of as the thirteenth
and fourteenth grades will bring re-
newed interest in college admission
practices. These community colleges,
like the public secondary school, will
be supported by the local communities
and will in many instances prepare
students for their vocational interests.
Most of their gr.duates will have:taken
terminal courses. Many will want to
continue in college. It would be un-
fortunate for the proper development of
the community college if it were domin-
ated by the four-year college to such an
extent that only those taking the tra-
ditional college courses would be re-
cognized as having acceptable academ-
ic standing.
It seems entirely logical that college
entrance requirements should take into
consideration the emotional stability
and the social understanding of pro-
spective students, as well as their ability
to think, as demonstrated by whatever
work has been pursued.
A committee has been organized by
the Michigan colleges and secondary
schools for the purpose of studying evi-
dence relative to the admission require-
ments and to make recommendations.
In the meantime students from the bet-
ter secondary schools are to be admitted
without the usual course patterns pro-
vided they demonstrate their ability to
do college work. It is expected that the
study will last for at least eight years or
for such time as will allow at least one
class to complete a full cycle of the
secondary school and the college study.
The solution to many of the problems
which have been discussed will mater-
ialize over a period of many years,
Many of the solutions may be developed
only through help from the people of
the state as they act through their leg,
islative bodies.
The Michigan legislature has already
felt its responsibility and has created
a committee to bring recommendations
back to the present legislative session,
The interim committee made three m-
portant studies. One deals with the
origin of resident students attending
both the public and private colleges and
universities. A second is concerned with
the estimated future enrollments of
higher education. The third examines
the evidence for the establishment of
community colleges at the thirteenth
and fourteenth grade level: The joint
legislative committee asked for an ad-
visory committee to be appointed by
the governing boards of the public col-
leges and junior colleges.. This advisory
committee recommends that the legis-
lative committee ask for an appropria-
tion to finance a comprehensive study
of higher education sin the state. Such
a study is greatly needed and would
facilitate the constitutional mandate
that the legislature provide for the ed-
ucation of youth. , Rwould enable the
legislature to plan adequately for the
future program of higher education
whether it be for the extension of col-
lege facilities, housog, improved staffs
or the encoucagement of better ser-
vices to the Dubc.

has to be resorted to frequently because
of deficiencies of laboratory equipment
and space. The student suffers because
he can see only how it is done and
does not have the experience of actually
doing.
A large percentage of the veterans
are married. In some institutions nearly
half are married and it is unusual when
less than a third maintain homes. Many
had children when they began their
college work and additional children are
being born. Colleges have had thrust
on them the responsibility of caring for
these families to a greater or less de-
gree. The degree seems to be in keep-
ing with the sense of responsibility felt
by the college administration and the
seriousness of the problem. Some insti-
tutions are finding it difficult to find
school facilities for the growing child-
ren. Others have met real problems in
providing for health and medical needs
of the families of veterans.
Extensive housing developments on
college campuses have brought needs
for recreation opportunities suitable for
children as well as adults. Especially
needed are play oreas for children.
The hurried development of temporary
housing projects has allowed little time
for proper planning. In many instances
the veterans are living in a college slum.
Their lives are dominated by regimen-
tation and lack of conveniences. Even
the purchasing of household supplies is
a major achievement. Few have cars
and often it is a long trip to the nearest
market.
No one wants these conditions to
exist any longer than is necessary. The
veterans, to be sure, are taking it in
stride. Young mothers walk long dis-
tances uncomplainingly to buy food;
and their children, play in dusty streets

between the technical operation of gov-
ernment on the part of the people. The
channels of popular expression must be
maintained to give opportunity for the
establishment of sound policies of po-
litical thought and action. The protec-
tion of our form of government means
increasing reliance upon the services of
experts and less faith in the emotional
solution of technical governmental
problems.
The people must come to have a
greater appreciation of the value of
higher education in the lives of the cit-
izens. In earlier days when few went to
college and when a college education
centered about the training of teachers,
lawyers, doctors, and preachers, it was
easy for the average citizen to compre-
hend the value of trained people in his
own everyday living. He could easily ob-
serve that the trained medical man was
superior to the vitch doctor and that
the village school teacher who read the.
overseas letters from relatives or com-
puted- his mathematical problems had
knowledge which was useful in the daily
economy. Now, when more go to col-
leges and when the average citizen
makes fewer demands upon them, the
popular appreciation of the worth of.
the college must rest not so much on
personal advantage as on the social
regenerative function of higher educa-
tion.
One final problem facing public higher
education is that of limiting the admis-
sion of students to those who will most
probably succeed. As enrollments in-
crease and resources became more diffi-
cult to obtain, the colleges will be more
and more selective in their entrance re-
quirements. Even now many of the
church-related and private colleges
in the state are limiting their enroll-

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