Monday, October 18, 2010

Race to the Bottom

My institution is about to convert from a quarter to a semester calendar system. Everything about the curriculum is already up for grabs, and so we're also completely remodeling the requirements for general education. The university-wide committee has submitted a proposal that would make it at least possible, and maybe even easy, for a student to complete a college degree without ever taking a course in the humanities or social sciences.

One other time I taught in a university in which there were suddenly fewer students taking humanities courses than previously, resulting in stiff competition for students. There are two ways to win that competition--by attracting students through word-of-mouth (e.g. by assigning all A's) and by attracting them with catchy course titles.

I have a title for an Intro course (a topical survey) all ready to go:
Philosophy from A to Z: The Unborn to the Undead.

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