Survey Indicates Many Freshmen Change Early Concentration Plans
A survey of incoming freshmen taken last fall by the Student Council and released yesterday indicated that many entering students disregard their previous abilities and interest by not planning to concentrate in the Humanities.
The survey also showed that many entrants intending to concentrate in the Social Sciences had previously enjoyed and had been more proficient in other fields. It revealed that 45 percent of those polled would concentrate in the Natural Sciences.
In response to the question, "In what academic area were you most proficient in secondary school,' of the 174 freshmen selected at random, 51 replied the Humanities; 73, the Natural Sciences; and 41, the Social Sciences. To the query, "Which area did you enjoy most," 64 answered the Humanities; 71, the Natural Sciences; and 33, the Social Sciences.
But only 40 of the entering freshmen stated that they would concentrate in the Humanistic, while the Social Sciences showed a rise to 54, corresponding roughly to the decrease in the Humanities. The Natural Sciences remained steady with 75 prospective concentrators.
The questionnaire also requested the freshmen to evaluate a series of qualifications for "the ideal educated man" including attributes quoted from the University's report on General Education, such as "be willing to exchange views in a fresh, clear manner." There were also more specialized intellectual attributes, such as "expect no more exactness than the subject permits," and practical abilities, such as "possess professional competence in some field."
The most highly valued attribute was "be an effective thinker": "be a man of at least moderate means placed lowest.