Friday, April 1, 2011

Wait—at college we go to class?

Andrew Ferguson hits the mark with a piece in the Wall Street Journal about how academics barely register when colleges bring admitted students and their parents to campus to visit. The “aren’t college kids so krazy with their queer theory and dental dams” part is always an easy shot to take, and not a particularly interesting one. But his bigger point about the downplaying of academics gets at one of my biggest concerns with the packaging of college. Unfortunately, the pie chart of some students’ brains include only a very small sliver for, you know, class. It’s a bummer when universities facilitate those priorities.


  1. I'm just heading back to the airport (Chicago-Midway) after a 5-day Midwest college tour with my 11th-grader, and I read Ferguson's book on the flight from SFO-Chicago on Monday. I have to admit that we only did two formal, prearranged tours (along with two self-guided ones), but I didn't find his observation borne out by those two (Knox and Lawrence).

    My own child's interest was in how the college's offerings best mesh with her academic/arts interests -- are the academic subjects she wants to study offered in some depth, and is the particular arts program she wants -- jazz performance -- substantial enough and strong enough to keep her growing musically? I personally think those are valid questions, and the colleges' spokespeople -- both admissions officials and student tour guides -- were thoughtful about responding.

  2. I would love to hear what you have to say on the packaging of college. I'm wondering if there are only a few who have even thought about this. I hope not!