Select a sector of higher education that interests you. The chapter by Philip Altbach (2001) on the “American Academic Model” and the “Overview of U.S. Higher Education” presentation introduced the basic organization of higher education in the U.S. and the various sectors that have developed over time. Examples include:
For-profit colleges and universities
Next, search the Web for journals on this topic. For example, if your focus was community colleges, one journal you would probably find in your search is Community College Review. There are multiple journals focusing on each of the higher education sectors listed above, as well as many others.
Now, for each journal you find, determine if it is a “scholarly” journal by looking for the following characteristics:
Is it peer-reviewed? That is, does it only publish articles that have been reviewed favorably by one or more individuals with expertise in the field?
Does it have an editorial board? Almost all scholarly journals have an editorial board, composed of individuals with good scholarly records in the field, who oversee the journal’s content and publication process.
Who publishes it? If the journal is published by, or in cooperation with, a university, a professional association, or some other academic organization, it is more likely to be a scholarly, high-quality publication.
You can find this information on the journal’s Web site, usually under ” About the Journal,” “Aims and Objectives,” “Editorial Process,” or similar headings. For example, the home page for Community College Review has an “About This Journal” section that states that it is peer-reviewed, it does have an editorial board (and provides a list of members in another section), and is published jointly by Sage Publications and the Department of Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. This meets the criteria for a scholarly journal. If in doubt about any of the information you find on a particular journal, be sure to ask your Instructor.
Keep searching for scholarly journals until you find one that is available in full-text format in the library. For help finding journals available in the Walden Library, use the Assignment Guide for the Week 2 Application located on the Course Readings page. The example journal, the Community College Review, is available in several research databases, with the most recent issues being available in ProQuest.
Now that you know you have access to all of the journal’s issues and articles, compile the following information:
Title of the journal
A brief summary of the journal’s purpose, its status as a peer-reviewed journal with an editorial board, and the kinds of information it appears to provide
A listing of six recent (within the last three years) article titles that interest you, including their authors
How the journal might be useful to higher education professionals
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