George Bush and Bill Clinton both want to direct more federal funding to college students. But if the money is spent on worthless courses and political indoctrination, everyone will be the worse off.
The majority of college students today take five years to get through college, not four. This adds an additional 25 percent to the already horrendous cost of a college education, something that is not mentioned in all those newspaper stories about “tuition going up 10 percent this year.”
A few students take five years for legitimate reasons, such as working a fulltime job. But the majority are slowed down because, as they tell me, “it takes that, long to get the courses we need to graduate.”
Only a limited number of sections of the really substantive college courses are available at most colleges, so students must participate in a lottery to get into them. When a student “wins” access to only a couple of courses in a year that advance him toward his degree, he is forced to take some of the many courses that are worthless, trivial, or propaganda.
At a well-known northeastern private college, one of the dozens of campuses I lectured on during the current year, I asked the students to give me details on these worthless courses. I’m not going to name the college because it is not unique; most colleges have the same problem.
The 300-level courses necessary for graduation with a major in English are scarce, and many courses that are available have been changed to permit the professor to turn the course into political propaganda, For example, the course called “studies in Poetry” was this year devoted to “erotic poetry,” with the professor projecting base sexual innuendoes onto the classic works of everybody from Shakespeare to C. S. Lewis.
The Economics department offers courses on Marxism, Third World development, imperialism, health care, and urban resource allocation, but ho course devoted to the study of Adam Smith, Milton Friedman or Joseph Schumpeter. A course is offered on “Money in American Culture.” but on the first day of class, the professor tells the students that he has never taken a course in economics.
The Education department features courses such as “sexism, Racism, Ageism in the Curriculum,” “Comparative Migration Experiences of the Caribbean, Latin American and Asian People,” “Multi-Ethnic Literature for Young Children,” and “Multicultural Education Theory and Practice.”
See if you can guess which department offers a course in “Sport and Society.” The answer is the Geography department, which also offers “Race Relations in America” and “The Geography of Gender.”
History majors can acquire history credits by taking such courses as “Private Life in Pre-Industrial Europe” (which focuses on medieval hetero- and homosexuality) or “Reformation Europe” (which excludes dead white males such as Luther and Calvin, and instead studies 16th century lesbian nuns and transvestites). The college has a course j-n Africana studies called “Great Books and Classics of the Non-Western World: Africa and the Black Diaspora,” but not a single course on the great books of Western civilization.
In Political Science, many of the introductory courses are dominated by the race-gender-class approach. other courses in this department include “seminar in Feminist Theory, Political Thought and Policy Issues,” “Gender and Development,” and “seminar in Feminist Theories/Education.”
Religion courses include “Feminism and Theology,” “Mysticism and Techniques of Spiritual Liberation (which includes the study of “symbolism of experiences of ecstasy and autonomy such ae shamanism, Yoga, and Zen”), and “Ethical Issues” (described as “a study of ethical issues involved in politics, war and violence, economics, ecology, abortion, and advances in medical science”).
Sociology course titles include “Sex, Gender, and Society,” “Race and Ethnicity,” and “Sociology of Sociability” (described as an exploration of “motivations, rituals, dynamics, and functions of non-task-oriented groupings, such as dinner parties, dances, fiestas, cocktail parties, and similar gatherings”).
Even Biology is not immune. The Catalogue lists “Perspectives in Human Biology” (which explores such questions as “Can we preserve the species-diversity of the planet?” and “Will human beings bring about their own extinction?”).
Qualifying courses for Latin American studies include “Work and Gender,” “Introduction to Marxian Economics,” “Seminar in Political Economy,” and “Social Change and Revolution.”
The most politicized department is Women’s Studies. It offers courses in “Construction of Gender,” “Seminar in Women’s Studies” (devoted in the current year to the “History and Politics of the Body,” which is described as “the site of diverse inscriptions and contestations both historically and cross-culturally”).
After spending tens of thousands of education dollars, generously provided by their parents or the taxpayers, or both, students wonder why they find it hard to find a good job after graduation. Students, parents and taxpayers have all been cheated.