The Public Purposes of Higher Education: What Does the Public Think?

  • Robert G. Bringle Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Keywords: Higher Education, Public Purpose, Public Opinion


A telephone interview of 821 residents of a Midwestern state found endorsement for higher education's role in career preparation, future leaders, and citizens. In addition, almost 80 percent of these residents supported community service as part of the curriculum (i.e., service learning). This suggests that higher education can improve the understanding of the general public for how service learning contributes to these three objectives which, in turn, can build greater support for civic engagement and community-based learning.