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History of Higher Education

A guide to support the EDHE 5300 Course

History of Higher Education Post WWII

Over the last century, higher education has gone through an enormous metamorphosis. Immensely few industries have expanded as quickly and have had such an effect on the American population as the increased access to postsecondary education. In addition, the introduction of the GI bill in 1944, although meant to be simply an anti-depression bill, had a much more significant impact on veterans and higher education institutions than initially assumed. This led to an overall expansion of higher education institutions in the 1970s-1980s. The resources below will help expose some of this history, including the issues that arose from its development.

Public Domain: Post-WWII: Walking Past an Unexploded Bomb, 1948 (HD-SN-99-02673 - DOD/NARA)

"Public Domain: Post-WWII: Walking Past an Unexploded Bomb, 1948 (HD-SN-99-02673 - DOD/NARA)" by is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

Resource for History of Higher Education Post WWII

Sample List of Articles- Please email me or schedule a consultation to locate more articles on this topic! 

From the Beginning: Development of For-Profit Higher Education in the United States. (2006). ASHE Higher Education Report31(5), 13–24.


Lazerson, M. (1998). The disappointments of success: Higher education after World War II. The American Academy of Political and Social Science Annals, 559, 64-76.  Retrieved September 23, 2020, from


Leslie, W. B. (2017). From tumult to benign neglect: The strange career of the history of American higher education in the 1970s. The Review of Higher Education3(3), 3–7.


Roger L. Kemp. (2017). From the military service to the public service: Thanks to the G.I. Bill. National Civic Review106(4), 59–61.


Scott David W. (2008). The transformation of higher education in the 1960s: Master plans, community colleges, and merging universities. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1998-)101(2), 177–192.


Taylor, B. P. (2020). American higher education since World War II: A history. American Educational History Journal, 47 (1). pp 107-111.