"Citizenship first; scholarship and culture second" appears to be the new slogan of most American colleges and universities in their post war reconstruction. Broad and sweeping changes in the entrance requirements and in the curricula is the form which this new movement has taken.
In some cases both Greek and Latin have been abolished as entrance requirements. General interest was aroused when Yale and Princeton announced that change, but subsequently Yale decided not to confer the arts degree without Latin.
Changes in curricula are numerous. In many institutions new emphasis is being placed on foreign trade courses, and Spanish has come into wider favor. Some are teaching navigation for the first time. In nearly all stress is being laid on the courses which make for better citizenship and service to the State rather than for academic scholarship. These changes are more markedly a result of the war than the changes in entrance requirements. An acute shortage of teachers is apparent in some quarters. In practically all the institutions special preparations are being made to admit returned soldiers.
Dr. Hidden Explains Princeton Change.
Dr. John Grier Hidden, President of Princeton, thus explains the necessity for a change in entrance requirements:
The new plan of granting degrees at Princeton according to which Greek is no longer an absolute requirement for the Bachelor of Arts, is based upon the belief that the student's work in preparatory school and college should be considered as a unit and that the degree of Bachelor of Arts is essentially a degree in liberal studies, just as the Bachelor of Science is a degree in scientific studies. Our Faculty in general is predisposed in favor of Greek, and is doing all it can to encourage the study of this subject as one of the most important elements in a liberal education. For a long time it has, however, been increasingly difficult and indeed often impossible for men who wished to pursue liberal studies to prepare themselves to meet Princeton's entrance requirements in Greek. To such students a course in beginning Greek will be offered, though it is not required. Certain subjects are to be demanded of all students in the first two years, though we plan to allow freshmen to select one or two of the newer university studies like biology and modern history, to which they have previously not had access in the early years of their college course.
French and Spanish Popular.
At Cornell College courses on business administration and courses which are valuable in international relations were established in the Department of Economics and Sociology. During the war and since the war changes have been made also in the Department of Mathematics. It is now enlarged into the departments of both pure and applied mathematics, the latter including some of the fundamentals of engineering that are closely allied with mathematics. There has been a large increase in enrollment in French and Spanish, with a corresponding decrease in German, and all three languages are still offered and will be offered.
Dr. Adam Leroy Jones, Director of Columbia University, explains the new emphasis there on the social sciences as follows.
The most important change in the curriculum is the substitution of a new course which will take the place of the introductory courses in modern history and in philosophy formerly required of all candidates for the degree. This new course will serve as an introduction to history, philosophy, economics, and government, and will be taught by a state of instructors drawn from those departments.
"Our whole new curriculum is focused on the idea, not of personal success, but of service to the nation," said W. H. P. France, President of Brown University recently.
The first essential change made at the Carnegie Institute of Technology as a result of the war was the introduction in the Division of Science and Engineering of a course that will include a general history of science and engineering, principles of economics, corporations and finance, labor problems, civics and citizenship, international relations, and English literature. Increased attention will be given to practice in public speaking.
Navigation at South Dakota and Virginia.
At South Dakota a course in navigation, added last fall for aviators, will be continued. A special course dealing with the diplomatic and factual history of the world war will be given. Compulsory military drill for all male students during the freshman and sophomore years has been added.
The University of Virginia also is teaching navigation. Dr. Edwin O. Alderman, President, writes:
In the general educational scheme, courses in navigation, agricultural botany, and zoology have been added since the war began. There have also been created new courses in business organization, statistics, and accounting, and steps taken for the completer development of a definite School of Commerce and Finance.
The subject of universal, as against specialized and spectacular physical training, has been erected into a definite department, with special courses in physical training and hygiene added, so that the care of the body shall become an integral part of the university's care and thought.
The social sciences, by which I particularly mean economics and sociology, are to be strengthened by new professorships, and the sort of work known generally under the term of university extension, by which the strength of the university is given to the technical guidance of the community and the state, will be developed on a departmental basis.
New Courses at North Dakota.
At the University of North Dakota a few new courses are being offered by various departments, such as the history of the great war by the History Department, trade of Latin America and trade of the Orient by the Department of Economics, and American ideals as expressed in American writings by the Department of English.
At Wisconsin a twelve-week course in auto mechanics, open to grammar school graduates over 18 years of age, has been developed as a result of the auto course given to about 700 soldiers in the Students' Army Training Corps. It is now beginning its second session. A semi-weekly lecture course in the problems of peace, a course in which about 600 are enrolled, has succeeded the war lecture course which was given during the war.