Reading for Lesson 2: 2003 Final Exam


Course Info


By the end of English 101, TC3 students must be prepared to pass an essay exam like the following . . . Suppose that you were faced with this exam today. (Pretend.) Look carefully at the exam instructions, and read closely the "sources for citation in exam." How would you answer the exam question? Which of the sources in the exam would you use in your essay, and what would you say about them? Most importantly, what do you need to learn this semester in order to pass a final exam like this one?

See Dr. G's sample answer to this exam


Course Info


Course goals

What you will need

Course policies


(for Fall 2004)

Course Index



State University of New York 
Tompkins Cortland Community College 
English 101: Academic Writing I, Fall 2003

Final Exam

Write a persuasive essay of approximately 500 words. Create a narrowed persuasive thesis on some aspect of the following area:

What is the role of higher education?

Your essay should incorporate at least three citations from the attached readings. Use the MLA in-text citation and construct a Works Cited list at the end. You may utilize your English handbook and dictionary.

Your essay should demonstrate sound organization, solid development, strong control of the mechanics of grammar, and correct spelling. You should also concern yourself with such elements of style as tone, word choice, sentence variety, correct documentation format and other aspects of good writing that your professor has discussed with you in the course of the semester. You have three hours to complete this assignment.

You will have three hours to complete your essay. 

Sources for citation in this exam

The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, Report on National Consultation, Institute of Education, University of London, 2000. Report section 2.1. Viewed Dec 2, 2003 at <http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/r1_020.htm>. The committee's citation to Robbins refers to: Lord Robbins, Higher Education: Report of the Committee. London: 1963.

 "Robbins (1963) identified four purposes of higher education.

i Instruction in skills 'suitable to play a part in the general division of labour'.

ii The promotion of the general powers of the mind.

iii The advancement of learning.

iv The transmission of a common culture and common standards of citizenship.

"These aims are generally endorsed. All are felt to be necessary purposes of higher education. However, there is a widely held sense that they need to be reinterpreted and extended if they are to remain valid in a modern context.  . . [E]vidence suggests that:

i instruction in specific skills for the labour market is likely to lose its enduring value in a fast-changing world;

ii the general powers of the mind have to be accompanied by what might be termed general powers of action (a view evident, for example, in . . . advocacy of transferable skills);

iii the advancement of learning is becoming more complex as knowledge creation is spread beyond higher education into the professions and the world of work;

iv the cultural dimension becomes more important but also more challenging in a multicultural society."

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 The Harper Book of Quotations, 3rd edition, Robert I. Fitzhenry, editor. HarperCollins, 1993, New York. "Education."

 "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand."--Native American saying, p. 135.

 "The things taught in schools are not an education but the means of an education."--Ralph Waldo Emerson, p. 136.

"By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn."--Latin proverb, p. 136.

 "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."--William Butler Yeats, p. 138.

 "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence."--Robert Frost, p. 138.

 "Education, n.: that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding."--Ambrose Bierce.

 "Education today, more than ever before, must see clearly the dual objectives: education for living and educating for making a living."--James Mason Wood, p. 139.

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Mission Statement on Tompkins Cortland Community College web site as of December 1, 2003, at  <http://www.sunytccc.edu/abouttc3/mission.asp>

 "Mission Statement

"Tompkins Cortland Community College makes it possible for people to identify and achieve their educational goals by providing accessible, quality, post-secondary education and training.


excellence in teaching
imagination and risk taking
promote opportunities for life-long learning
individual and institutional integrity and accountability
the development and success of our students and community
an atmosphere of mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration
diversity of people and perspectives  


As the community's college, we will be leaders in creating environments that produce learning for success in the global society."

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"College Students Value Money Over Mind." Society. New Brunswick, New Jersey. May/Jun 1998. Author: Anonymous. Vol 35, Iss 4: pp 3-4. ISSN: 01472011

"A survey of college freshman confirms what professors and administrators said they have been sensing, that students are increasingly disengaged and view higher education less as an opportunity to expand their minds and more as a means to increase their incomes.

"The annual nationwide poll by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles shows that two suggested goals of education--'to be very well off financially' and 'to develop a meaningful philosophy of life'--have switched places in the past three decades.

"In the survey taken at the start of the fall semester, 74.9 percent of freshmen chose being well off as an essential goal and 40.8 percent those developing a philosophy. In 1968, the numbers were reversed, with 40.8 percent selecting financial security and 82.5 percent citing the importance of developing a philosophy."

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William D. Adams, President, Colby College. "Higher Education: The Status Game" from The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., Apr 13, 2003, p. M.6.

"The higher-education choices offered in America are unrivaled in the world. There are nearly 4,000 community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, enrolling almost 15 million students. Over the last two decades, however, we have become less eager to celebrate this abundance of choice. Prestige has become the coin of the realm in college selection and marketing, and both prospective students and institutions are competing more and more aggressively for a greater share of that most rare and alluring of all commodities in higher education--reputation.

"Part of the reason for this shift can be found on campuses like that of Colby College, where, in subtle and overt ways, prestige has become integral to our identity. Our students and their parents want to hear--and are told--that they are several cuts above the pack. Our college magazine features stories that foster pride of affiliation among alumni. Our handsome admissions publications imply, in statistics and in prose, that only top students need apply..."

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Vital Speeches of the Day, Sept 15, 1994 v60 n23 p732. Mark Draper, "Take Back the Temple; Restore Higher Education's Higher Purpose." (Transcript) COPYRIGHT 1994 City News Publishing Company, Inc. Delivered before the Eight Annual National Conference of Accuracy in Academia, Washington, D.C., July 8, 1994

"Look around the world and you will find that private property, production for profit, regulation by a free marketplace brings not only prosperity but a free country as well. Democracy and prosperity go hand in hand.  But our leftist professors ignore this reality. Rather than teach individualism, civic virtue, enterprise, self-reliance, and independence, today's professors glorify the government, discourage self-help, promote victimism, and idolize collectivism and the security of a welfare state. This idea that we must turn to ever more powerful authority to solve our problems is a denial of the American spirit of individualism and the sure road to the loss of liberty.

"Marxism survives in only two places on the planet: on Castro's island empire and on the American university campus. With the Soviet Union gone, the most socialistic, the most Godless, enterprise on earth is America's educational system. The university has lost its soul, is wandering in aimless confusion, unsure of its purpose. Its fundamental problem is the loss of academic freedom brought on by the politicization of the university, the imposition of a politically correct radical agenda by a militant minority who despises America and all she stands for. "

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The Financial Times, London, July 19, 2001 p12. "The Decline of Higher Education: There is a deepening crisis in universities worldwide over the purpose of learning and the relentless search for funds." Byline: ROBERT TAYLOR

 "The problem lies in what amounts to an assault on the original function of the university. Increasingly, learning is seen as a direct function of the existing economic order. It seems to be concerned with little more than the direct preparation of young people for work. The emphasis is on vocational learning, on an essentially utilitarian concept of education rather than on the pursuit of truth and knowledge for its own sake.

 "Generations at university studied law and medicine, essentially vocational subjects. Before the decline of religion, many took degrees in divinity to prepare for jobs in the Church. But many more chose to read degrees that were not necessarily of immediate practical relevance to employment markets. They learnt foreign languages, read literature, history and other subjects that were proudly called the humanities. The social sciences attracted radicals and iconoclasts, who wanted to change the world, especially in the 1960s. Clever students in search of rigorous intellectual challenge read philosophy, mathematics and physics. Some even took degrees in Latin and in Greek.

 "Now in the UK and the US but also in western Europe all those subjects of scholarship are under siege. Not only is there less intellectual toughness but there is even growing hostility in academia to subjects that require reading, thinking and stretching intelligence. Objective testing and formal examinations are frowned upon. Overheads are preferred to texts. Many of what were once regarded as the core subjects of university education are being run down or marginalised. Many campuses have fallen foul of the march of managerialism. Academics have to prove their relevance and contemporaneity.

 "Much of this reflects a retreat from acceptable standards of excellence and a philistine triumph. Universities worldwide are turning into mass-production factories with assembly lines. The emphasis is on subjects that promise a passport to high salaries and benefits. Cultural and media studies, accountancy and various forms of management are popular subjects."

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"To Seek a Newer World" in Liberal Education, Washington, Spring 2003, Vol 89, Iss 2, page 46, by L Katharine Harrington

 "The debate about what type of education will best prepare students for this new century pits liberal education against professional education; breadth against specialization. It is a false choice. Even in the short span of four years, breadth and depth are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they can be extraordinarily complementary if neither is relied on as an end, but rather a means. Breadth is necessary to the  development of transferable skills--reading and understanding, listening and hearing, communicating and persuading. Likewise breadth provides a context for understanding a rapidly changing world.

"At the undergraduate level, depth of knowledge in a particular area is simply a place to start--whether that start provides basic preparation for a professional career or for further study at the graduate level. Thus to the extent that we allow students to focus exclusively on depth, we prepare them for a short-range destination at the expense of their long-term journeys. We prepare them to pursue their own immediate interests. But we do so without preparing them to understand or appreciate the extent to which their future is connected to other persons and to social, political, economic, and technical environments that, like their own interests, are constantly changing.

"It is time to reclaim the moral imperative of liberal education. To this end, we must revitalize liberal education for the twenty-first century by grounding it in a clear purpose: to prepare productive citizen-leaders. We must do so for two reasons. First, it is liberal education that provides students with fundamental knowledge and skills--critical thinking, communication skills, etc.--that are neither job- nor place-in-time specific. They are skills that will not become obsolete. Second, it is our greatest hope for a good society..."

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Daedalus, Fall 1993 v122 n4 p101. "The Mission of the Research University." Nannerl O. Keohane  

"In 1965, on the verge of some especially profound changes in higher education, President James A. Perkins of Cornell University delivered the Stafford Little Lectures at Princeton University on "The University in Transition." He listed as the "three great missions" of the university the acquisition, transmission, and application of knowledge. These were his terms for the familiar goals of research, teaching, and public service.

"Perkins pointed out that modern American research universities are a hybrid of two earlier traditions, with a peculiarly American shoot grafted on. The German universities in the third decade of the nineteenth century developed the model of the university dedicated almost solely to research. Founders and reformers of American universities in the latter part of that century combined this with undergraduate collegiate teaching modeled on the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which had already taken root in American soil. The peculiarly American shoot was first exemplified after the Civil War in the land grant universities, foreshadowed by Franklin and Jefferson, who asserted the practical importance of knowledge "in the nation's service." This hybrid model is still recognizable in our contemporary universities.

"Let me broach a core definition based upon this hybrid model. The modern research university is a company of scholars engaged in discovering and sharing knowledge, with a responsibility to see that such knowledge is used to improve the human condition."

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Carl Sagan (1993), Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science. Ballantine Books, NY: p. 15

"We are an intelligent species and the use of our intelligence quite properly gives us pleasure. In this respect the brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."

"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten" (B.F.Skinner).




gutchess@englishare.net                    Academic writing home page                    Gary Gutchess 2003