Based on my visits to hundreds of college campuses, I believe that all colleges should be subject to Truth in Labeling requirements and should carry warning labels to advise teenagers what they are getting into. It takes extraordinary smarts, detective work, and maturity to select colleges and courses that give value for the price (now more than $100,000 at elite universities).
At many colleges, selecting courses is like eating at a cafeteria where you must choose items by label only without seeing what is in the package, where you can’t return it if it isn’t what the label advertises, and where you cannot sue the management if you get food poisoning.
- Warning: It now takes most college students five, six or more years to get their B.A. or B.S. degree rather than the traditional four years. Unless you are unusually skillful in choosing your college and your courses, you will be tricked (conned or cajoled) into spending 25% or 50% more time and money for your diploma, but it will not be worth a penny more than if you graduated in four years.
There are a few valid reasons for why an individual student would take so long (such as working a fulltime job or supporting a family), but there is no valid reason for the majority of students to take so long. The reason most often given is that students couldn’t get admitted to the courses they need for their major, or to graduat e, because not enough sections of the necessary courses are given, so students must waste their college dollars taking trivial courses that do not advance them toward their degree.
2. Warning: Most university course catalogues are dishonest advertising because up to half of the courses listed are not really offered, or may be offered only once in ten years. One researcher found that, at Harvard, of the 44 courses listed in American History, only 10 were offered at one time.
3. Warning: Most undergraduate courses, especially at the large universities, are not taught by professors at all, but by graduate students who know little more than the students they are supposed to be teaching. Harvard has 800 students posing as professors, Columbia 600, and Princeton 500. The average tenured professor teaches six hours a week at most.
Even then, most tenured professors teach mostly seminars about extremely limited subjects, and a lot of them are just rap sessions with students that require no preparation.
4. Warning: Many important and necessary college courses – especially in math and the sciences – are taught by instructors who can barely speak English . There is no excuse for a university hiring an instructor who cannot speak understandable English, and it is dishonest not to warn students about such instructors.
5. Warning: Don’t think you are getting a good education just because you get good grades, because the grading practices are corrupt. At Stanford 90% of letter grades are A’s and B’s, at Princeton 80%, and at Harvard the average grade is B+.
6. Warning: Much of the college curriculum has been politicized by the liberals and the feminists. The title of the course in the catalogue may indicate a traditional course of study, but the assigned readings have frequently been changed.
Instead of reading the great works of Western civilization (Aristotle, Locke, Shakespeare), many courses have censored out the famous DWEMs (Dead White European Males) and shifted to what is called “Oppression Studies,” that is, readings of third-rate feminist and minority writers who paint themselves as victims and attack Western civilization as sexist, racist, and oppressive.
7. Warning: The prevailing environment on most college campuses – in faculty bias, course content, visiting speakers, and organizations and events funded by student fees – is what is known as Political Correctness, and deviators from the party line are punished academically, socially and financially.
Here are the principal tenets of Political Correctness.
(1) Everything is political. All academic subjects must be seen through the prism of gender and race oppression, including history, literature, social relationships, and even private conversation.
(2) Victimology. Every group is entitled to claim minority status as victims except, of course, white males and Christians.
(3) Multiculturalism, which is a code word for the false notion that Western Civilization is bad and every other group, whether civilized or not, is superior.
(4) Radical feminism. The entire world must be seen as one big conspiracy against women, and all men are guilty individually and as a group. Joking about this doctrine is not permitted.
(5) Affirmative action. Reverse discrimination in admissions, grading, and employment for groups that proclaim their status as “victims” is not only mandatory, it is non-debatable.
(6) Having sex with anybody, anytime, is OK and may not be criticized. The social acceptance of homosexual behavior and activism is non-debatable.
(7) Tolerance. That’s a code word meaning tolerance for Politically Correct views, but not for the Politically Incorrect. Christianity is, of course, Incorrect. In some colleges, students are not permitted to turn in papers that identify historic dates as B.C. (Before Christ). Students must use B.C.E. (Before the Common Era).