(Latin: collegae colleague) Originally a community, a corporatIon, an organized society, or a society of persons engaged in a common pursuit; in this sense it is occasionally used today, e.g., the college of surgeons; the college of cardinals. In the 14th century a college meant especially a community of secular clergy living on a foundation for religious service. As some of the communities were in return required to teach, the word became connected with education and denoted a society of scholars formed for the purposes of study or instruction. At present a college means an institute of higher learning of a general, not professional, character; where, after a regular course of study, the degree of Bachelor of Arts, or some equivalent degree, is given.

New Catholic Dictionary

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