The American University system with its emphasis on a flexible, elective course approach dates back to the 1870s when the educator, Charles W. Eliot, reformed the then traditonal Oxbridge‐type curriculum at Harvard. This disjunction from the “locked‐in” approach of British universities was further accelerated by the need for high quality engineering courses to replace the Classics and Arts as the levels of American technology and industry were raised. In fulfilment of the American dream that higher education should be open to all irrespective of class or wealth, the flexible curriculum of Eliot allowed a young man to work his way through college in accordance with his circumstances. Consequently, Harvard became the model for a plethora of universities founded in the 1890s and thereafter. Bradley, a private university, is one of that number.
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