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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The history of academia: From the cradle of civilization to Plato's academy, the university, departmentalization, interdisciplinary programs, international affiliates and strategic business solutions
by Reiss, Christopher Jacob, D.Litt., Drew University, 2016, 203; 10241250
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation reviews the extensive literature on the history of academia and education in historical context, distilling it into a concise storyline, followed by a concentrated focus on the French and German university models, departmentalization, and subsequent reactions to it. The extensive documentation provides a detailed sketch for the motivated scholar to elaborate upon with further reading. Hopefully, the interdiciplinary approach has something to offer most academics. The literature review also helped guide development of a survey assessing student educational experiences in contemporary academia (Cronbach’s α = 0.717). The endeavor included a far-reaching journey of field research across every continent of the world except Antarctica. A total of 273 universities were assessed. Qualitative notes were taken, which may lead to an illustrated travelogue, but the current dissertation aim was to survey undergraduates with the new instrument (N = 1,495 undergraduates). Results show the majority of students were pleased with the education they were receiving, though their program requirements prevented them from studying other subjects of interest, and opportunities to take interdisciplinary courses were limited. Most students found their professors available for guidance, but did not find opportunities to collaborate on publishable research with them. Furthermore, most students did not intend to submit their work for publication, but would be more inclined to submit to a student run journal, if one was available. Finally, most students believe it is important to spend a semester or more aboard, or at affiliate university campuses, but they find the expense and logistical problems a deterrent. In closing, policy considerations are proposed as possible solutions to the problems uncovered by the survey results. The limitations and contributions of this research are discussed. Theoretically, this research places the new global network university model within the context of historical developments. It expands the construct for rating universities beyond standard criteria for rankings to include the issues mentioned above. Methodologically, this research advances the field of university rating systems by providing a new reliable measurement tool. Practically, the survey instrument increases awareness of several issues that need attention in order to improve the educational experiences of university undergraduates.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corrington, Robert S.
Commitee: Winters, Laura
School: Drew University
Department: Caspersen School of Graduate Studies
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Education, History
Keywords: Academia, Interdisciplinary, Liberal arts, Literature, Philosophy, University
Publication Number: 10241250
ISBN: 978-1-369-35447-8
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