I learned something in school!
Hard to believe that we actually learn something right? I doubt it. I am confident that you all learn a lot. But as many of you know I started taking graduate classes online to attain a Master’s Degree in Higher Education.
So…I learned something. I learned about a classification of colleges and universities, whether they be public, private, for profit or not for profit, etc. This classification system of schools can help you in your decision-making process when choosing colleges.
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. The mission is to draw tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, as well as structured opportunities to build knowledge.
It is also meant to help people like you and I figure out what types of schools that are available and what we might be interested in. Its pretty simple, but don’t let this be your only decision maker. Remember my past posts (see below) about visiting colleges, and making the right choices when it comes to college.
Below is a list of the different classification categories that I mentioned about above. You can access the Carnegie website and look up schools based on your preference. Are you interested in size as one of your decision-making criteria, or maybe its the type of degree, or residential status? Well, you can find all the schools categorized in those specific areas, based on the classification listed on the website.
Check out each definition below and move forward.
Graduate Instructional Program
Size and Setting
Undergraduate Instructional Program Classification
Most of the U.S. institutions of higher education teach undergraduates and offer undergraduate degrees. A majority of student’s enrolled in college are receiving an undergraduate degree. This classification focuses attention on undergraduate education whether that school offered graduate degrees as well, the sole focus here are schools that offer undergraduate programs. If you are looking to get an undergraduate degree, you can use this classification to see all the schools that offer undergraduate degrees.
The instructional program part of this classification is based on three pieces of information: 1. the level of undergraduate degrees awarded (associate’s or bachelor’s), 2. the proportion of bachelor’s degree majors in the arts and sciences and in professional fields, and 3. the extent to which an institution awards graduate degrees in the same fields in which it awards undergraduate degrees.
Graduate Instructional Program Classification
As a companion to the Undergraduate Program classification above, this classification examines the nature of graduate education, with a special focus on the mix of graduate programs. In this classification, a single graduate-level degree qualifies an institution for inclusion, whether it also carries undergraduate degrees or not.
The classification is based on the level of graduate degrees awarded (master’s/professional or doctoral), the number of fields represented by the degrees awarded, and the mix or concentration of degrees by broad disciplinary domain. The classification has two parts: 1. for institutions that do not award the doctorate, and 2. for doctoral-level institutions (based on the record of degree conferrals, not program offerings).
Enrollment Profile Classification
By grouping institutions according to the mix of students enrolled at the undergraduate and graduate/professional levels, this classification provides a bird’s eye view of the student population overall. Through this classification, these schools are exclusively undergraduate institutions, further broken down by level (two-year and four-year). For institutions with both undergraduate and graduate/professional students, institutions are grouped according to the distribution of full-time students across the two levels, giving an approximate measure of the student population’s “center of gravity.”This basically breaks down the specifics with regard to enrollment and two-year/four-year programs offered.
Undergraduate Profile Classification
This new classification describes the undergraduate population with respect to three characteristics: 1. the proportion who attend part-or full-time; 2. achievement characteristics of first-year students; and 3. the proportion of entering students who transfer in from another institution. Each of these captures important differences in the nature of the undergraduate population. They do not necessarily assess the quality of education, but it does assess and rank the services provided to the student from the institution.
Some institutions serve a primarily full-time student population, while others serve large numbers of students who attend part-time due to substantial work and family commitments outside school. These differences have implications for the scheduling of classes, student services, extracurricular activities, time to degree, and other factors. Part-time students also tend to be older than full-time students, and older students bring more life experience and maturity into the classroom, often accompanied by a greater zeal for learning compared with those who have not spent any appreciable time away from formal education. Older students also face special challenges related to the competing obligations of school, work, and family.
Size & Setting Classification
This classification describes institutions’ size and residential character. Because residential character applies to the undergraduate student body, exclusively graduate/professional institutions are not included. Size matters. It is related to institutional structure, complexity, culture, finances, and other factors. Residential or non-residential character reflects aspects of the campus environment, student population served, and the mix of programs and services that an institution provides.
The Basic Classification is an update of the traditional classification framework developed by Carnegie With the advent of several new classifications to complement the Basic classification, more nuanced groupings of institutions can be identified by examining the classifications in combination.
So check out Carnegie Classification system and let me know your thoughts. Does it make it easier? I have a lot of parents asking me all the time the differences between private, public and community colleges. This classification systems shows you just that!
Your Success is My Success,
Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Hope Chest. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college.