HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Ø 1) Decipher the abbreviations:A.A., B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.F.A., PhD, M.D. or D.O., J.D., D.V.M.
Ø 2) Explain the terms in English:a stipend, tuition-free education, a fund, a scholarship, a student loan, a grant, a scholarship, endowment.
According to statistics, the United States have the second largest number of higher education institutions in the world. The US have also the highest number of higher education students in the world. Public universities, private universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges all have a significant role in higher education in the United States.
Colleges and universities in the US vary in terms of goals: some may emphasize a vocational, business, engineering, or technical curriculum while others may emphasize a liberal arts curriculum.
Two-year colleges (community colleges) usually offer the associate’s degree such as an Associate of Arts (A.A.). They often have open admission with low tuition.
Four-year colleges (which usually have a larger number of students and offer a greater range of studies than two-year colleges) offer the bachelor’s degree, such as the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.). These are usually primarily undergraduate institutions, although some might have limited programs at the graduate level. Many students earn an associate’s degree at a two-year institution before transferring to a four-year institution for another two years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Four-year institutions in the US which emphasize the liberal arts are liberal arts colleges. These colleges traditionally emphasize interactive instruction. They are known for being residential and for having smaller enrollment, class size, and teacher-student ratios than universities. These colleges also encourage a high level of teacher-student interaction at the center of which are classes taught by full-time faculty rather than by graduate student teaching assistants. Most of them are private.
Universities are research-oriented institutions which provide both undergraduate and graduate education. For historical reasons, some universities - such as Boston College, Dartmouth College, and the College of William & Mary - have retained the term “college,” while some institutions granting few graduate degrees, such as Wesleyan University, use the term “university.”
Graduate programs grant a variety of master’s degrees - such as the Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), or Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) - in addition to doctorates such as the Ph.D.
Some universities have professional schools, which are attended primarily by those who plan to be practitioners instead of academics (scholars / researchers). Examples include journalism school, business school, medical schools (which award either the M.D. or D.O.), law schools (J.D.), veterinary schools (D.V.M.), and dental schools. A common practice is to refer to different units within universities as “colleges” or “schools” (what is referred to in other countries as “faculties”). Some colleges may be divided into “departments”– such as an anthropology department within a college of liberal arts and sciences within a larger university.
The American university system, like the primary and secondary education system, is largely decentralized. Such a degree of autonomy in higher education is rare.
Except for the United States service academies and staff colleges, the federal government does not directly regulate universities, although it can give federal grants to them. The majority of public universities are operated by the states and territories, usually as part of a state university system. Each state supports at least one state university and several support many more. Public universities often have a large student body, with introductory classes numbering in the hundreds and some undergraduate classes taught by graduate students. Tribal colleges operated on Indian reservations by some federally recognized tribes are also public institutions.
Many private universities also exist. Among these, some are secular while others are involved in religious education.
Tuition is charged at almost all American universities, except 1) the five federally-sponsored service academies, in which students attend free and with a stipend in exchange for a service commitment in the U.S. armed forces after graduation; and 2) a few institutions where offering tuition-free education is part of their mission. Public universities often have much lower tuition than private universities because funds are provided by state governments and residents of the state that supports the university. Students often use scholarships, student loans, or grants, rather than paying all tuition out-of-pocket. Several states offer scholarships that allow students to attend free of tuition or at a lesser cost. Most universities, public and private, have endowments. The largest endowment is that of Harvard University.
The majority of both liberal arts colleges and public universities are coeducational; the number of women’s colleges and men’s colleges has dwindled in past years and nearly all remaining single-sex institutions are private liberal arts colleges. There are historically black colleges and universities, both private and public.
American universities have developed independent accreditation organizations to vouch for the quality of the degrees they offer. The accreditation agencies rate universities and colleges on criteria such as academic quality - the quality of their libraries, the publishing records of their faculty, and the degrees which their faculty holds.
According to numerous surveys, the top US universities include:
· Harvard University (private, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts),
· Stanford University (private, located in Stanford, California),
· University of California, Berkeley (public),
· Massachusetts Institute of Technology (private, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts),
· California Institute of Technology (private, located in Pasadena, California),
· Columbia University (private, located in the city of New York),
· Princeton University (private, located in Princeton, New Jersey),
· University of Chicago (private, located in Chicago, Illinois).
The following private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States (called the Ivy League) are also ranked prestigious worldwide – they are Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth College. They are known for academic excellence, selectivity in admission, and social elitism.
Strong research and funding have helped make American colleges and universities among the world’s most prestigious, which is particularly attractive to international students, professors and researchers in the pursuit of academic excellence. According to the Ranking of World Universities, more than 30 of the highest-ranked 45 institutions are in the United States.
Ø 3) Agree or disagree with the statements:
a)The US higher education is more prestigious than the Russian one.
b)To become a doctor, one needs to graduate from the university.
c)The degree “PhD” means “a physician.”
d)Students don’t pay for their higher education in the US public universities.
e)A college is smaller than a university in the USA.
f)In the USA women and men study separately to get higher education.
g)Cambridge is one of the US’ most prestigious universities.
Ø 4) Name the difference in the establishment of Russian and American universities.