The View from Higher Education: Public Universities Respond to Educational Reform

Publication September 1998

Public universities’ attitudes toward recent educational reforms affecting vocational education were examined through structured telephone interviews of personnel at state higher education agencies or coordinating boards and in the admissions offices of public flagship institutions in 48 states (Colorado and Nevada did not participate). Special attention was paid to attitudes toward the following reforms: unconventional transcripts; courses integrating academic and vocational content; interdisciplinary courses; tech prep; and applied associates degrees. Many large public universities appeared to be making sincere efforts to accommodate reform; however, those efforts largely took the form of minimal accommodation rather than innovation and adaptation. Some resistance or refusal to accommodate reform was found. The curriculum reforms examined were frequently seen at only 4 flagship institutions. In 35 states’ flagship institutions, policies were in place to handle instances of the curriculum reforms, and in 12 states, the reforms were the subject of a current policy review. Unconventional transcripts have generated the least policy action and competency-based reforms have generated the most.

McCormick, A. C., Alt, M. N., & Geis, S. (1998, September). The view from higher education: Public universities respond to educational reform. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

Download the report (PDF)