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Our shame is their tragedy as well. Every State in the Nation provides some kind of public higher education opportunities for those of its residents who choose it, but not the District of Columbia. Every State legislature in the country has, at least to some extent, recognized its obligation to provide a higher education for the young people of its State, but the Congress of the United States has done nothing. Therefore, it is time that we act.
I have no strong preference about the two bills before us, both would establish a 2-year community college and a 4-year liberal arts college. We will hear testimony about the differences between the two bills, we want to consider the resolutions of the differences with care. What is of overriding importance is that we enact legislation this year to bring higher education to the District of Columbia, we have been derelict in our responsibility for far too long and I look forward to following the leadership of my chairman in this committee in our efforts to enact a meaningful bill in this important field.
Senator MORSE. Senator Kennedy, I want to thank you very much. I think that your support of the objectives of this legislation is a source of great strength to the passage of this legislation. It fills me with great confidence and, in fact, puts me in the position where I am willing to predict that we are going to pass some legislation. As to the differences between the two bills I do not think that there are any differences that cannot be ironed out into a final composite bill that will resolve differences on the basis of the facts and I want to thank you very, very much for this statement.
Now, Dr. Chase, before I let you proceed I want you to know that I am sending to you and to the members of the President's Special Committee that brought forth this very valuable report to the President on public higher education in the District of Columbia, a letter of thanks and appreciation from this committee for the educational statesmanship of each one of you on that special committee. You have performed, in my judgment, a very valuable service and you have sent to the President a report that will be used by educators that are confronted with similar problems in many other parts of the United States. Publicly I want to say to you that we are saying to you, in our letter of appreciation, you have performed a very fine service for your President, for the District, and for your country, and I thank you most sincerely for it.
You may now proceed to present your testimony in your own way before this committee.
STATEMENT OF FRANCIS S. CHASE, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Dr. CHASE. Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Public Health, Education, Welfare, and Safety, it is a great privilege to me to appear before this committee, and I appreciate the words of the chairman with regard to the Committee's report. I will say, also, it was a great satisfaction to serve on that Committee and to present the report that we presented.
Dr. Muirhead has spoken on behalf of the President. I have listened to his statement and to the statement of this subcommittee, which seems to me in every respect just and wise in the best sense of those much overused terms. In fact, the case for the bill could not be better put. I have also listened with care to the statement made by the other members of the subcommittee and the other Senators testifying, and I am going to try to avoid unnecessary repetition of what has been said and what appears in the report. I do so on behalf of the Committee, which was set up at the request of President Kennedy and reappointed by President Johnson to recommend to the President what should be done about public higher education in the District of Columbia.
The bill before you incorporates the most urgent and crucial recommendations of the Committee. They are
1. The immediate creation of a comprehensive community or junior college, publicly supported, that will put within reach of all high school graduates opportunities for technical and vocational training and for general education leading both to greater personal and civic effectiveness and to further study in a 4-year college or university for those who qualify and seek it.
2. The immediate creation of a college of liberal arts and sciences, also publicly supported, authorized to confer both the baccalaureate and the master's degrees, with a special concern with teacher education (a function it should assume from the District of Columbia Teachers College) and prepared to offer specialized courses of study as need and feasibility are established.
I want to stress the complementary nature of the two colleges. On the basis of its deliberations, the President's Committee became convinced that it is important to establish as soon as feasible both of the recommended institutions of public higher education. Each of these two colleges, through the performance of its own distinctive functions, will complement and strengthen the other in making its essential contributions to higher education in the District of Columbia and the Nation. Moreover, these public colleges will supplement the work of the nonpublic institutions of higher education allowing each to identify and concentrate on those programs and functions to which it is highly committed. The combination of public and privately supported colleges and universities offers the hope of making the District of Columbia one of the Nation's most distinguished and productive centers of higher education.
And I think the people of the United States should not wish and do not wish it to be any different.
The public college of arts and sciences will meet the needs for liberal education and lay the foundation for advanced graduate and professional study, thus opening careers in the professions, in college and university teaching, and in the public service, to talented residents of the District and metropolitan area, for whom attendance at private institutions or institutions outside of the District would not be feasible.
The community college will have its own important functions to be performed chiefly for District residents who have completed high school or passed the usual age of high school attendance and who wish types of post-high-school education difficult to provide in an academi
cally oriented college. It also will relieve the college of arts and sciences of pressure to accept high school graduates of dubious achievement by giving them a second chance to demonstrate ability for intellectually demanding studies.
With regard to teacher education, the college, by assuming the functions now allocated to the District Teachers College, is expected to provide an increased supply of qualified teachers whose education includes firm grounding in the humanities, the sciences, and other disciplinary studies as well as professional training of unusual effectiveness. The Teachers College for years has lacked the minimum facilities requisite to teacher preparation; but the chief basis for the Committee recommendation that its functions be transferred to the college of arts and sciences is the conviction, supported by both experience and logic, that the education of teachers is more likely to produce the desired scholarship and breadth when offered in strong multipurpose colleges and universities than when provided in institutions designed solely for the education of teachers.
Aside from the fact that a master's degree is required for permanent appointment as teacher in the District's high schools, the Committee believes that in most cases a program extending beyond the master's degree will be required in order to provide adequately for general education, specialized studies in the subjects to be taught, and the knowledge and skills essential to teaching.
THE CHARACTER OF THE COLLEGE
The offering of graduate studies also will strengthen other programs in the college by making appointments more desirable to scholars who wish to work with graduate students and pursue specialized research. To serve the intended functions the college must maintain programs of unquestioned excellence, must attract a faculty of first rank, and must appeal to students with ability to do outstanding graduate and undergraduate work. It is to be hoped that it will aim to be more than just another "good college," that it will take upon itself a continuing quest for more effective means of instruction and seek to create an environment in which skills and dispositions are developed for lifelong self-directed learning. It seems to me the Nation has some right to look to its Capital City for leadership in the field of education.
It is anticipated that the college will accept qualified high school graduates who wish to begin their studies in a degree-granting college as well as transfers from other institutions who can profit by its programs, and will extend a special welcome to transfers from the community college of the District who have demonstrated ability to meet exacting academic standards. While the major concerns of the college will be to meet the needs of District residents for public higher education of recognized quality, the Committee hopes that it will also accept qualified applicants from elsewhere in the Nation and from other countries, as it believes that cross-cultural communication among students is itself an important aspect of higher education.
ENCOURAGEMENT OF UNDEVELOPED TALENT
The community college is intended to serve a different set of purposes, of which one of the more fundamental is to open opportunities
for higher education to ambitious and promising young people whose earlier education may have been deficient in some respect. The college of arts and sciences cannot meet this need without overburdening itself with remedial courses and endangering its reputation for scholarly attainment.
The community college will have greater freedom to experiment with those selected on indications of promise other than standardized tests or previous academic performance. The Committee believes that many young people, through the experiences provided by the community college, may satisfy rigorous requirements for admission to strong 4-year colleges which would have rejected them on the basis of high school records. The community college thus will serve as an open road for the pursuit of higher education for many residents of the District whose education might otherwise cease after completion of high school or even earlier. Moreover, the Committee is convinced that the existence of opportunities for higher education will encourage greater efforts toward academic excellence and the completion of high school by many who otherwise might become "dropouts."
If I may interject here, I think it is the good fortune of the District of Columbia and the citizens of the United States that this bill is in charge of the subcommittee whose chairman has an understanding of education possessed by few people and who sees it, it is quite evident from his statements, as an evoker of the human capacity to aspire, to achieve, to create, to savor, and to respond to life in all of its manifestations, and this is what we are about when we talk about this bill for public higher education in the District.
Senator MORSE. May I interrupt for just a sentence or two, Dr. Chase?
I think the comment you make here about the availability of an institution of higher learning known to the student at the time he or she is in high school is very, very important. Especially in connection with the dropout problem. I have talked to these high school students, and I have talked to many of them, and many of them, while they are in high school ask, What's the future for me?
I am glad you made this point. It is hard to demonstrate with objective data, but people working in the field of education-talk to the high school teachers, they will tell you what the presence of a continuing higher education institution in the District of Columbia will mean as an incentive to students while they are still in high school, and may I label it, it is a psychological argument but it is a very important one and I am glad you made it.
Dr. CHASE. Thank you for that comment, Mr. Chairman.
May I also add here that if one looks at the history of higher education in this country I think he is struck by the fact that it is not only elementary and secondary public education that has contributed to the development of talents in this country but that it is the peculiar way in which we have extended higher education. You can take any number of examples of the contributions of colleges and universities to the development of groups in the population. If you took the land-grant colleges, for example, it is perfectly clear that farm boys who would not have finished high school, finished high school and went on to these colleges which were designated cow colleges by some who looked down on them, and that as these rural youth received the benefits of
higher education, and agriculture was improved, and as the population was upgraded, the colleges upgraded themselves so that many of them today stand in the first rank of universities in the world.
The same thing has happened to a lesser degree with the education of women, not only through the women's colleges but through the normal schools and through the teachers' colleges, one of the great things they did was to bring higher education within the reach of women and the contribution here has been enormous. We tell the same story with respect to the early junior colleges and here again we are reaching out for a portion of the population for whom opportunities have been restricted and unless we add this capstone of public higher education to supplement the work of the private colleges we are not really contributing properly to the development of this talent that is presently somewhat obscured.
The function of opening higher education to able young people whose early environments and experiences have not been conducive to full development, if pursued with imagination and wisdom, may reveal means of uncovering talent now obscured by conventional tests and lead to more effective techniques of instruction. This may be a hope, but it is a hope in which I devoutly believe, that these colleges in the District of Columbia can, through experimentation, find new ways of discovering talent that is not now revealed by existing methods and of developing this talent.
What is contemplated is not an opening of college doors to poorly prepared students whose achievement will continue at a low level, but a carefully worked out plan for the discovery of obscured ability, coupled with ingenious experimental efforts to develop the powers and raise the level of performance. It is quite possible that what is thus learned may contribute to the improvement of education everywhere.
Contributions of the community college to the discovery and recovery of otherwise lost talent are emphasized because of their importance to the ideal of equal opportunity and to the goals of the Great Society as envisioned by the President. If adequate attention is given to identification of conditions essential to effective learning and communication of the findings to schools and other community agencies, it is anticipated that a major part of this function subsequently will be discharged in the periods of early childhood and adolescence, so that it will become a less demanding task at the college level. Further, the committee believes that the function can be performed in ways which will reinforce, rather than detract from, other essential and continuing functions of the community college.
I have here a list of the other community college functions:
"in addition to stimulating and assisting every student to discover his highest potentialities," the purposes of the community college should be
1. To provide through education and community life the knowledge and the ideals on which active, informed, and responsible citizenship is necessarily based;
2. To enrich the personal lives of students through both formal and informal contacts with art and literature, with artists and writers-indeed, with all those humane sources of a vision of human greatness;