Monday, March 21, 2011

"Directional university"

I learned a new term recently.
A state-supported university in the United States whose name includes a compass direction, e.g. "North state name State University." Many directional universities started out as teachers' colleges, broadening their educational missions in the 1950's or 1960's. In most instances a directional university has easier admissions standards than its state's flagship university ("The University of state name") and serves a greater proportion of commuter/part-time/older students.
California does not have directional universities. As an equivalent, it has universities with the word "State" in their names.  
Job hunting with a degree from a directional university is mighty tough.
Let's see if I can think of a few possible examples.
--  Southern Connecticut State University
--  Midwestern State University
--  Western Nevada College

And my favorite:
--  Eastern New Mexico University, also affectionately known as "Enema U"


  1. I have never heard that term before, but I like it! I used to teach at a directional university, Western Connecticut State University. I am very proud of that. When I was teaching at WCSU, my husband was teaching computer science at an elite liberal arts college. I can report that there was NO DIFFERENCE in the way we taught, the material we taught, the class sizes (15 to 20), the equipment, the faculty expertise, the amount of interaction with students, or ANYTHING ELSE that is important to education. Our students were paying a fraction of what my husband's students were paying for the same education. Our students were wonderful, too. I keep in contact with many of them. They have gone on to PhDs from excellent universities, founding their own businesses, and climbing their corporate ladders. I think directional universities are the true bargain in the higher ed scene, much better bargains than CC's which are overwhelmed with remedial students.

  2. Good to know that, but I'm sure you need to do your homework since the quality among these DUs must vary.

  3. You have to do your homework regarding ANY college or university. Too many parents don't understand that, and rely on "brand name", or coffee bars, or gym facilities, or a winning sports team.