liberal arts

Science Study at the Small College

Science Study at the Small College

If you’re a serious science student, one who might want to someday get a PhD, teach, research, become a member of the National Academy of Sciences, or vie for a Nobel Prize, it might best serve your interests to attend a major research university, such as UCLA, USC, Stanford, Northwestern, Yale, or Duke.

Small liberal arts colleges just don’t have the resources available to do meaningful research. Don’t, though, feel too confident in this belief. Just review the resources available to undergraduates at, say, Hamilton College’s Taylor Science Center and the list is enough to dispel the resource limitation concern.

Yale University in Singapore—the Liberal Arts in Asia—and its Discontents

The small city state of Singapore, with a population of just over 5 million, is quickly becoming the educational hub of Asia. Prior to the turn of the 21st century, Singapore offered postsecondary degrees almost solely through its two large flagship universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Then, in January 2000, Singapore Management University opened its doors, followed by Singapore Institute of Management (2005), Singapore Institute of Technology (2009), Singapore University of Technology and Design (2011), and, coming soon, Yale/NUS (2013).

The Marked Decline of Liberal Arts Colleges and Why

  • Students want to study vocational subjects
  • Number of Liberal Arts schools declined to 225
  • Definition of the Humanities
  • Humanities at Trinity College (CT), Amherst, and Wellesley

Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities are in crisis. Victor Ferrall Jr, a graduate of Oberlin College (#24 on the US News list of liberal arts colleges), president emeritus of Beloit College (WI) (#60) and author of Liberal Arts at the Brink cites a statistic that in 2000, fewer than 100,000 students, or less than 0.6 percent of all US higher education enrollees graduated from liberal arts colleges. (www.miller-mccune.com ‘Wither the Liberal Arts College?’ by Anne Trubek, 27 September 2011) That doesn’t mean that only liberal arts colleges award degrees in liberal arts subjects, about a third of baccalaureates went to liberal arts subjects (which includes math, social sciences, and the humanities), with a third of that amount, just over 10%, to the humanities (Classics, History, Languages, Literature, Performing Arts)(  http://archives.acls.org/op/49_Marketplace_of_Ideas.htm, p.4)  This news is usually met with a shrug of indifference. Possibly for good reason: the liberal arts, and certainly the humanities, have lost their collective philosophical rudder.  

All told, Mr. Ferrall notes there are only 225 liberal arts schools extant, which he categorizes into four tiers(why he bothers to do this is anyone’s guess). This somewhat jives with US News which stops its liberal arts ranking at 178 with the likes of Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) and then goes on to list a slew of unranked institutions. At the lower rungs of Mr. Ferrall’s tiered system are former bastions of liberal arts now catering to students with a range of vocational courses.  At last count 51 had over 50% of their majors in vocational subjects such as business or health care. It appears, from the bottom up, these last strands of liberal arts schools are being transformed into vocational training centers.

William James, who fathered psychology (writing the two volume magnum opus on the subject, included in most Great Book readings) at Harvard in the late 19th century and was the brother of Henry James, the famous American novelist, defines the humanities as ‘the study of masterpieces in almost any field of human endeavor.’ The product of the pursuit of the humanities is, “… (a) better-organized mind capable of inquiry and distinguishing false from true and fact from opinion; a mind enhanced in its ability to write, read, and compute…with a trained curiosity and quiet self-confidence.”  (Barzan, Jacques)

If humanities courses were intended to study the ‘masterpieces’ or ‘masterstrokes’ mentioned by James, what has actually happened in these disciplines over the years?  At Trinity College, Hartford, Ct (#37) the philosophy department in the undergraduate catalog announces, “A good philosopher should know at least a little something about everything…” (The Marketplace of Ideas by Louis Menand, p.13), and then mentions under “Introductory Courses”, “…there is no single best way to be introduced to philosophy.” Could you imagine the same treatment for an Organic Chemistry course at Trinity?

Or compare the English department of Amherst (#2 US News) and Wellesley (#6). Wellesley requires majors to take 10 department courses, 8 must be literature (Wellesley’s English department offers a number of courses in film), basic writing courses do not count, with 4 courses required to be in literature prior to 1900; one course in Shakespeare is required. This is hardly the rigor one would expect for a major at such an elite institution as Wellesley, but it does compare favorably with Amherst.

Amherst also requires 10 courses for its English major, of which all, upon approval by the Amherst English department, can be within any department. There is no core requirement, no historical period requirement, and the courses selected for the final project can even be changed up to the final add/drop date of a student’s final semester (Ibid. p.14). In essence, the English department at Amherst barely exists.  

Obviously, the permissive manner in which Amherst holds its English requirements indicates that it doesn’t take its role as guide to review masterpieces of humanity very seriously. It’s hard to even consider English a ‘discipline,’ within the walls of Amherst. Unfortunately, too many schools have forsaken the humanities, and, consequently, the humanities languish on the verge of extinction. It’s slightly reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451. But, why bother reading that anyway? It won’t get you a job.

인문대학의 수요 감소와 이유

  • 학생들의 직업으로 가는 전공선택
  • 인문대학의 숫자 225개교로 감소
  • 인문학의 정의
  • Trinity College (CT), Amherst, Wellesley대학의 인문학

인문대학들이 위기에 처해 있다.  Oberlin College (US News의 인문대학 리스트의 24위)의 졸업생이며 Beloit College (WI: 60위)의 명예총장이며 Liberal Arts at the Brink의 저자인 Victor Ferrall Jr.는 2000년에는 인문대학 학생 수가 10만명 미만이 될 것이며, 인문대학 졸업생은 학사학위의 0.6%이하가 될 것으로 언급했다 (www.miller-mccune.com ‘Wither the Liberal Arts College?’ by Anne Trubek, 27 September 2011).  물론 인문대학이 인문학 학위만 수여하는 것은 아니다.  인문대학의 1/3은 인문학(수학, 사회과학, 인문학 포함)에 수여되었으며, 그 중 1/3인 약 10%만이 인문학 (고전, 역사, 언어, 문학, 행위예술)에 수여 되었다 (http://archives.acls.org/op/49_Marketplace_of_Ideas.htm, p.4).  이 소식이 새로운 것은 아니다.  이유를 찾는다면, 교양 학문, 즉 인문학이 이제는 철학적인 방향키를 잃은 것이다.

 또한 Mr. Ferrall은 현재 225개의 인문대학이 존재한다고 밝히며 여기에는 4류에 속하는 Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN; US News 178위)이 있고, 등위에 들지 않는 학교들도 있다고 한다.  또한 이전에는 요새에 속했던 인문대학들이 직업 과목들을 추가하며 학생들에게 맞추고 있다고 한다.  이 대학들에서의 전공이 50%이상이 비즈니스나 건강관리 등의 직업 과목들이다.  이제 인문대학들이 직업 교육기관으로 전락하는 것을 보여 준다.

미 소설가로 유명한 Henry James와 형제이며, 19세기 말 하버드에서 심리학을 창시한 William James (Great Books의 독서리스트의 2권의 대표작을 씀)는 인문학을 다음과 같이 정의했다: 인간 연구의 모든 분야에서의 최고의 연구이다.  인간성의 추구는….”질의를 할 수 있도록 잘 짜인 머리로  참과 거짓을 구별하며; 훈련된 호기심과 차분한 자신감으로 쓰고, 읽고, 계산하는 능력을 향상시키는 결정체”이다(Barzan, Jacques).

그렇다면, James가 언급한 이러한 최고의 교육은 어떤 결과를 낳았는가?  Trinity College (37위), Hartford, CT의 철학과의 카탈로그에는 다음과 같이 나와 있다:  좋은 철학자는 적어도 모든 것에 대해 어떤 것을 알아야 한다…..입문과목으로….철학을 소개하기에 가장 좋은 한 가지 방법은 없다 (The Marketplace of Ideas by Louis Menand, p.13).  이 목표를 이 대학의 Organic Chemistry과목에도 적용할 수 있을까?

다음, Amherst(US News 2위)와 Wellesley (6위)의 영문과를 비교하면, Wellesley는 10과목 중에서 8과목은 문학 (Wellesley영문과에는 영화에 관한 과목들도 있다)이어야 하며, 쓰기과목은 포함이 되지 않고, 그 중 4과목은 1900년 이전의 문학이며, Shakespeare 한 과목은 필수이다.  Wellesley와 같은 명문대에서는 가능한 요구이지만, Amherst에서는 아니다.

Amherst역시 영어전공을 위해서는 영문과에서 승인한 10과목의 영어를 요구한다.  그러나 핵심 필수과목이 없고, 연대별 필수도 없다.  최종 프로젝트도 마지막 학기 첨가/삭제 기간까지 변경이 가능하다.  말하자면, 이 대학 영문과도 근근히 존재하고 있다.

이렇게 Amherst의 허용적인 태도는 인간성의 걸작을 리뷰하는 가이드의 역할을 잘 감당한다고 보기가 어렵다.  어쩌면 Amherst를 영어를 학문으로 여기는 대학으로 보기도 어렵다.  불행히도 많은 대학들이 인문학을 포기하고 있다.  그 결과로 인문학은 시들고 있으며 사라지기 직전이다.  Fahrenheit 451이 생각난다.  그러나 왜 이 책을 읽겠는가?  이 책을 읽는다고 좋은 직업을 보장하는 것이 아닌데…

Top Small Liberal Arts Schools: Haverford and Pomona College

Highly successful students, prior to matriculation, have concrete undergraduate goals. Research experience, whether in the humanities, social sciences, or the hard sciences, mentored by a respected faculty member is one. If such research leads to publication, that’s even better. Building solid communication skills, particularly writing skills, is another. Effectively presenting written proposals is critical to propelling any career. Moreover, developing a rapport with at least two professors is critical for either graduate school or the real world of the job market. Successful undergraduate careers attain these goals to some degree or another.

Selecting a college that best accommodates your path to achieving these goals is what the admissions process is all about. Knowing what stimulates your best academic efforts is the first step. If you happen to prefer a smaller college in which full professors take a personal interest in their undergraduates by nurturing intellectual curiosity, framing research skills, and grooming communication skills, two smaller liberal arts schools warrant inspection: Haverford and Pomona College.

Neither has a graduate school. Teaching is the primary focus of the faculty, and the professors, some among the elite in their disciplines, are accessible and committed to the undergraduate learning experience. At Haverford the student to teacher ratio is 8:1. Even introductory courses are taught by full professors, and rarely do they exceed 15 students.  Both exercise a great deal of trust in their student body. Haverford, which has one of the most encompassing honor codes (probably only matched by Davidson College in North Carolina) lets students take tests in their dorms. Few students ever break, or even contemplate breaking, the honor code.  

Both are steeped in tradition. Haverford dates back to 1833, when it was founded by the religious Society of Friends. It has strong Quaker roots. This is reflected in the aforementioned honor code and trust the entire campus is imbued with by the honor system, which inseminates all parts of the campus’s activities and beliefs. Pomona College, on the other hand, also has its foundations firmly established in the 19th century. In 1899, the football team actually beat USC.

Pomona soaks in the Southern California sunshine and resides in suburban Claremont, a mere 35 miles from Hollywood, while Haverford is in suburban Philadelphia, only 10 miles, a short train ride, to the heart of historic Philadelphia. Haverford’s 206 acre campus contains both an assiduously detailed arboretum (with over 4,000 trees composed of over 250 species), and a duck pond stocked with ducks. Both are encircled by a 2-mile nature walk. The facilities, however, are exceptional. Both Haverford and Pomona have multimillion dollar athletic facilities. Haverford’s cost $23,000,000—that’s a nice resource for fewer than 1,200 students. With an endowment of around $400,000,000, Haverford has the wherewithal to upgrade facilities well beyond ostensible numbers.  

Though both schools are small, Pomona 1,500 and Haverford 1170 undergraduates, both have extensive consortiums. Pomona is part of the Claremont consortium that includes Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer. Haverford’s consortium includes Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and the University of Pennsylvania. Ironically, both have 3-2 engineering programs with Cal Tech. What is truly exceptional about both programs are their commitments to their undergraduates. Both colleges are the only two in the US which guarantee research opportunities for all students in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Obviously, this description of Haverford and Pomona Colleges merely scratches the surface of what these two schools offer their students. Certainly, the academics at both are rigorous, the attention a student receives at either is almost personalized, and the possibilities available for a motivated graduate of either school are virtually unlimited.  These are gems warranting the consideration of even the most discerning applicants: nice places to spend four years.

 

동서의 작은 명문 인문대학: Haverford Pomona College

우수한 학생들은 대학 입학 전부터 대학에 대한 목표가 뚜렷하다.  첫째는 뛰어난 교수로부터 지도를 받으며 인문과학이나 사회과학 혹은 자연과학에서 리서치를 하는 것이다.  이 리서치가 출판으로 이어지면 더욱 좋다.  다음, 견고한 의사소통 기술을 쌓는 것이며, 여기에 글쓰기 기술도 포함된다.  더 나아가 적어도 2명의 교수와 친밀감을 갖는 것이 대학원 진학이나 직업을 가질 때는 매우 중요하다.  성공적인 대학생활이란 이러한 목표를 이루는 것이다.

대학을 잘 선택한다는 것은 이러한 목표를 이룰 수 있도록 여러분의 진로를 정하는 것이다.  여러분이 학업 능력을 잘 발휘할 수 있어야 하는 것이 첫번째이다.  만약 여러분이 작은 대학을 선택하여 전 교수가 학생들의 지적 호기심을 자극하고, 리서치 기술을 보여주며, 의사소통 기술도 연마하도록 하도록 개인적인 관심을 갖는 곳을 찾는다면 2군데 작은 인문대학을 알아보도록 하자: Haverford와 Pomona College.

두 대학 모두 대학원이 없다.  가르치는 것이 이 대학의 교수들의 우선 관심이다.  전공분야의 최고의 교수들도 쉽게 만날 수 있으며, 직접 공부를 배울 수 있다.  Haverford는 학생 대 교수 비율이 8:1이다.  그래서 입문 과목도 교수에게 배우며, 거의 학생수가 15명을 넘지 않는다.  교수와 학생 모두 서로 신뢰를 바탕으로 한다.  Haverford에서는 무감독 명예제도(단지 North Carolina의 Davidson College에서만 실시됨)로 기숙사에서 시험을 본다.  그래도 학생들은 이 제도를 무시하지 않으며, 무시할 생각조차도 않는다.

두 대학 모두 전통에 빛난다.  Haverford는 종교단체 Society of Friends에서 1833년에 세운 대학이다.  강한 퀘이크의 뿌리를 갖고 있다.  이러한 정신은 이미 언급한 무감독 제도에도 나타나며, 전 교정에 이러한 명예제도 방식으로 캠퍼스의 신념이나 다른 활동에도 스며있다.  한편, Pomona College는 19C에 설립되었으며, 1899년에는 축구팀이 USC를 물리치기도 했다.

Pomona 는 Southern California의 태양아래에 Hollywood에서 35마일 떨어져서 Claremont 근교에 자리잡고 있다.  반면, Haverford는 Philadelphia중심지에서 짧은 기차여행으로 닿을 수 있는 10마일 떨어진 곳에 있다.  Haverford는 206에이커의 교정에 수목원(250 종류의 4,000그루의 나무들)을 이루고 있으며 오리떼가 몰여있는 오리 연못이 있다.  두 곳 모두 2마일의 산책로가 있으며, 시설은 이례적이다.  두 대학 모두 수백만 달러의 체육시설을 갖고 있다.  Haverford의 시설은 $23,000,000인데, 학생 수는 1,200명이 채 안된다.  Haverford는 4억불의 자산으로 시설을 최고로 높은 수준으로 만들고 있다.

Pomona의 1,500명, Haverford의 1,170명으로 두 대학 모두 작은 규모지만 폭넓은 콘솔시엄을 갖고 있다.  Pomona는 Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer로 이루어진 Claremont consortium에 속해 있다. Haverford는 Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, University of Pennsylvania의 콘솔시엄에 속해 있다.  또한 재미나게 두 대학 모두 Cal Tech와 공학 프로그램을 갖고 있다.  두 대학이 공통적으로 갖는 특이점은 미국에서 인문과학, 사회과학, 자연과학 분야에서 대학에서 리서치를 할 수 잇는 유일한 두 곳이다.

위와 같은 이러한 설명은 두 대학이 학생들에게 제공하는 가치의 표면적인 것들만 언급했다고 할 수 있다.  두 대학 모두 학문적으로 우수하며, 학생들은 개인적인 관심을 받으며, 졸업생들의 가능성은 무한하다고 할 수 있다.  정말 우수한 학생들이 고려해야 할, 4년을 보내기에 좋은 곳으로 추천하는 보석들이다.

What are Liberal Arts Colleges and Why You Might Want to Know?

When US News and World Report ranks ‘liberal arts’ colleges, it lists such schools as Amherst, Williams, Wellesley, or Haverford. Nowhere, however, does it mention what the ‘liberal arts’ are. We’re also left in the dark about why a college might provide such a program, or why a student might seek entry into an institution, usually with a stiff price tag, that offers a liberal arts curriculum. A lot of confusion surrounds the liberal arts.

How Colleges and Salaries Match Up

There will always be endless debates about whether an Ivy League school or other highly selective school is worth the price of admission. Now, however, there is hard evidence about the actual payback for attending a certain school. Not that this information is the last word in these debates, but it certainly supplies the numbers one might want to see  when sharpening the pencil and figuring out what are the probable returns associated with attending an UC San Diego instead of a Princeton.