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At Princeton, They Call it an Education [Ivy League = bad education]
New York Times ^ | August 15, 1987 | Leonard Koppett

Posted on 04/07/2013 9:27:57 AM PDT by grundle

I recently came upon the July issue of Life magazine, which reproduces, with her permission and comment, the entire four-year academic transcript of Brooke Shields

The record itself reflects nothing but credit on the young lady. She got all A's and B's. None of the criticism that follows is directed at her

What caught my attention was the totality of her program - that is, what it takes to get a Princeton degree these days.

She took four courses in French language and five in French literature. She took eight courses in drama-related subjects: three in acting, three in cinema analysis, one in dance, one in contemporary English drama. These accounted for 59 percent of her classroom hours.

She took three semesters of ceramics (10 percent).

She took three courses in psychology - introduction to, abnormal and ''Theories of Psychotherapy'' (10 percent).

She had two other English courses - ''Women and the Novel'' and ''Victorian Children's Literature'' (7 percent).

The other courses, one semester each, were ''Philosophy and the Modern Mind,'' ''Comparative Family Systems'' (sociology), ''The Self in World Religions'' and ''History of Earth and Life'' (geology).

If that adds up to a liberal arts education from a place like Princeton, there is no longer any danger that our society will ever suffer from elitism in any form.

That education apparently contained no courses in classical studies (history, philosophy, literature of the ancient world), medieval history, modern history or American history; no hard science (physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy) requiring any kind of lab; no math; no anthropology; no economics; no political science or government; no basic sociology; no world literature; no American literature; no geography; not even computer literacy.

That's no fault of hers; by my lights, she got cheated.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ivyleague; princeton

1 posted on 04/07/2013 9:27:57 AM PDT by grundle
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To: grundle

Wow. I got better courses than that at the community college. To get an Associate’s that would transfer to my mid-level university, I had to take 2 years of math, 1 year of lab science, 2 years of History, American Lit, World Lit, and 2 years of foreign language.


2 posted on 04/07/2013 9:35:44 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: grundle

I’m not defending Princeton, but you don’t get a Bachelors without the General Requirements. The author of this piece was probably looking at her courses on her major...she may have just gone there after getting her General Requirements out of the way.

In their general requirements they list Quantitative Reasoning (i.e. math) and Science and the number required in each field for a bachelors.

http://www.princeton.edu/ua/sections/11/


3 posted on 04/07/2013 9:39:41 AM PDT by memyselfandi59
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To: grundle
Gosh, I hadn't seen or heard about Leonard Koppett (a well known sportswriter from yesteryear) in quite some time. Turns out there's a good reason for that: Koppett died in 2003. This is a piece he wrote in 1987. So why post it now?
4 posted on 04/07/2013 9:41:47 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: A_perfect_lady

No college degree: Steve Jobs, Rush Limbaugh.

Ivy League elite degrees: Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Jamie Gorelick, Ben Bernanke.

Any more questions?


5 posted on 04/07/2013 9:46:54 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: grundle

Oh yes.

I was shocked by how little I did to get a BA in English. By my reckoning, a MA in English (Which I earned) is less equivalent to a BA pre 1965 or perhaps earlier.

My Masters in Library Science was even more “BSie” than the other two degrees together, but that got me a job. Go figure.

By this reasoning, I seldom read books on literature or grammar that were written after the 50’s or by anyone educated after the 50’s.

To paraphrase Flava Flav “Education is a joke.”


6 posted on 04/07/2013 9:46:57 AM PDT by rey
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To: C. Edmund Wright

If you go back to the 1880s and look at the general requirement at most eastern state universities...you had to take a fair number of Greek philosophy-related classes, and a couple of math/geometry-related classes, for any degree. I think we ought to go back to the old standards.


7 posted on 04/07/2013 9:49:55 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: C. Edmund Wright
Please add The CroogMeister (Krugman) to your list. ; ) TY
8 posted on 04/07/2013 9:52:59 AM PDT by Chgogal (Obama murdered the SEALs.They "were hung out to dry, basically exposed like a set of dog balls,...")
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To: grundle
My daughter graduated from an "elite" liberal arts college almost 7 years ago. Besides the outrageous tuition bills, what struck me was that her curriculum wasn't required to be awfully broad. She needed to make an effort to go out of her comfort zone -- in her case, she majored in performance arts, and minored in chemistry. But my Jesuit liberal arts education from a bazillion years ago was much more rounded than what was required of her.
9 posted on 04/07/2013 9:53:50 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: A_perfect_lady

I too had a number of required courses. I worked my butt off so I could graduate with two degrees and a minor in 4 years. I was astounded to meet classmates who took only 4 classes per semester (12 credits). My last semester in college I took either 21 or 23 credit hours. Most people just don’t work like that anymore.

I remember being shocked when I heard a senior say, “You know I’m a senior and this is the first time I’ve ever been in the library.” Years later I’m not shocked by how stupid people are today.


10 posted on 04/07/2013 9:57:01 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: grundle

No Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton. No Plato or Aristotle, no Caesar or Cicero. No Keats, Shelly, or Wordsworth. Maybe a little Jane Austen.

On the other hand, it could have been worse. I don’t see any gender bending, colonial oppression, or postmodernist relativism courses—although they could have been worked into some of those mentioned, I suppose.


11 posted on 04/07/2013 10:02:55 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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12 posted on 04/07/2013 10:05:26 AM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: Chgogal

well yes, and in fact, if you were to stop everytime you saw an idiot liberal on TV, in politics, etc, and Google them - you’ll find out that the vast majority are in fact Ivy graduates. The Ivy League now is perhaps the most destructive force in the country....producing economic and social illiterates...but who are well connected and in power.


13 posted on 04/07/2013 10:10:51 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: pepsionice
I hear you.

I'm a licensed professional engineer with a master's degree in my field. I probably wouldn't have even been admitted to engineering school 100 years ago.

14 posted on 04/07/2013 10:27:44 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Alberta's Child

I think you under-appreciate how much engineering has changed in 100 years.

Back then, there might have been more classics and such in an engineering school, but there is a tremendous increase in the knowledge packed into a BS in engineering, much less a MS, in the last 100 years.

100 years ago, EE’s didn’t have to take any coursework in semiconductor physics. MechE’s didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge in their materials classes we see today, and so on.

Unlike the “liberal” arts programs, engineering hasn’t become soft and cushy. There’s a change in the material in the programs, mostly because we have created so much new technology in the last 100 years.

Another example: 100 years ago, we barely had vacuum tubes. We had no such thing as op-amps. Had a circuits course that was mostly op-amps and their applications in control systems and filters. Not exactly a cake-walk, and quoting from said class didn’t exactly impress girls in the campus bar, either. Engineers of 100 years ago would probably wash out of today’s engineering programs. They weren’t adapted to the speed of change in the fields... life was much simpler back then.


15 posted on 04/07/2013 11:10:16 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
All true, but 100 years ago there probably wasn't even a separate field such as "electrical engineering."

I'm a civil engineer by trade, which means I work in what is readily understood as the "original" field of engineering. I agree that the coursework has become more complex, but I also think we've managed to slowly turn engineers into technicians over the last 100 years. I consider an engineering education very incomplete these days, mainly because most of the engineers I've dealt with who have graduated from engineering programs (even the best ones) can barely write coherent sentences in English. And these are the American ones, mind you.

16 posted on 04/07/2013 11:15:23 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Alberta's Child

The problem of which you write (the issue with English composition) was evident when I was in engineering school in 1980 as well. My school instituted a composition pre-exam the first weekend you arrived. You had to pass it to get through your first semester without a mandatory composition course.

I agree that there are more “technicians” who are running these damn computer modeling programs and calling it “engineering” (when you and I know full well that it isn’t - AND the over-reliance on computer modeling s/w is going to get some people killed pretty soon) - but in the fundamental coursework, I think engineering has gotten harder, not easier over the last 100 years. Electrical engineering is to a point where I think the BS should be extended to a five year program.

The issue with the lack of writing/reading/speaking skills I put back on the high schools, because the issue there isn’t specific to engineering students or graduates. It’s ALL of these kids. There are times I have seen notes and assignments from kids with all manner of abbreviations that are made up from their “texting” lingo.... and you wanna light up a cranky old man like me?

Be a kid who hands me a paper filled with gibberish like that. Sit back and watch me come un-freakin’-glued.


17 posted on 04/07/2013 11:21:55 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: memyselfandi59

Though I believe Princeton’s Mathematics department is first rate.


18 posted on 04/07/2013 11:44:41 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: grundle

“[F]our courses in French language” would probably equal two years (four semesters) of French. From my four semesters of struggle with Spanish at the University of Illinois, I’d say that part of her curriculum was definitely not easy.


19 posted on 04/07/2013 11:49:13 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: grundle

Ivy League grads generally do well because they’re naturally intelligent. The schools run their admissions departments very well. It’s the education part that they suck at.


20 posted on 04/07/2013 11:52:22 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: C. Edmund Wright
“The Ivy League now is perhaps the most destructive force in the country....producing economic and social illiterates...but who are well connected and in power.”

Absolutely true. We now have 2-3 generations of the most expensive, ill equipped, undereducated elites in leadership positions for now and the foreseeable future. We are pretty much doomed.

21 posted on 04/07/2013 12:04:52 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama murdered the SEALs.They "were hung out to dry, basically exposed like a set of dog balls,...")
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To: Alberta's Child

I think you under-appreciate how much engineering has changed in 100 years.

Back then, there might have been more classics and such in an engineering school, but there is a tremendous increase in the knowledge packed into a BS in engineering, much less a MS, in the last 100 years.

100 years ago, EE’s didn’t have to take any coursework in semiconductor physics. MechE’s didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge in their materials classes we see today, and so on.

Unlike the “liberal” arts programs, engineering hasn’t become soft and cushy. There’s a change in the material in the programs, mostly because we have created so much new technology in the last 100 years.

Another example: 100 years ago, we barely had vacuum tubes. We had no such thing as op-amps. Had a circuits course that was mostly op-amps and their applications in control systems and filters. Not exactly a cake-walk, and quoting from said class didn’t exactly impress girls in the campus bar, either. Engineers of 100 years ago would probably wash out of today’s engineering programs. They weren’t adapted to the speed of change in the fields... life was much simpler back then.


22 posted on 04/07/2013 12:12:38 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: C. Edmund Wright

No college degree: Rush Limbaugh, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, plus most Hollywood nitwits. One conservative, the rest liberals.


23 posted on 04/07/2013 12:18:44 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: Cicero
No Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton. No Plato or Aristotle, no Caesar or Cicero. No Keats, Shelly, or Wordsworth. Maybe a little Jane Austen.

Five classes in French lit. Conceivably, she read some comparable authors. That might also count for the "world literature" Koppett says she didn't take. Also, we don't know what high school AP classes she might have taken.

24 posted on 04/07/2013 12:28:32 PM PDT by x
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To: x

Well, I figure everyone ought to read Racine and Moliere, and some Victor Hugo. But even the French, German, and Italians get taught Shakespeare in school, or at least they used to.


25 posted on 04/07/2013 2:50:34 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: memyselfandi59

It’s likely that Ms. Shields (and many other Princeton and other Ivy League undergraduates) fulfilled many of their distribution requirements with AP credits or college credits otherwise earned in high school.

The courses listed on my daughter’s Mount Holyoke transcript shows no evidence of the college’s language, freshman comp or math requirements — she took enough college level Russian, a college level writing course and AP calc (getting a high enough score on the AP exam) while in high school to fulfill them before she was even admitted.


26 posted on 04/07/2013 3:12:37 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: The_Reader_David
The courses listed on my daughter’s Mount Holyoke transcript shows no evidence of the college’s language, freshman comp or math requirements — she took enough college level Russian, a college level writing course and AP calc (getting a high enough score on the AP exam) while in high school to fulfill them before she was even admitted.

I had thought about that. Congrats to your daughter. Wow, Russian, that's quite an achievement.

We did a similar thing call Dual Credit, our son took all his high school credits at the community college, actually never set foot in a high school, and received his AA and High School Diploma at the same time.

I know they have more and more programs for kids to get a leg up on their college work. The Dual Credit program was so popular that now they have High Schools on the community college campuses, they call them Collegiate High Schools, plus we have the IB programs and AP classes (my husband and I both wish they would have had similar programs back in our day.)

So on my son's college transcript from his University where he received his BA, you wouldn't see a lot of math, even though he took lots of math.

Also there is the possibility that Ms. Shields CLEPed her general requirements. I knew someone who ClEPed out of 75% of her General Requirements.

27 posted on 04/07/2013 4:01:26 PM PDT by memyselfandi59
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To: Cicero

Might have gotten at some of these in a history course. I TA’d western civ 1 & 2 in grad school and the students read many classic authors.

But no, not with any depth.


28 posted on 04/07/2013 4:20:58 PM PDT by Gefreiter
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To: NVDave; Alberta's Child
I'm a licensed professional engineer with a master's degree in my field. I probably wouldn't have even been admitted to engineering school 100 years ago. 14 posted on 04/07/2013 10:27:44 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
I think you under-appreciate how much engineering has changed in 100 years.
That is an understatement. To become a PE 100 years ago you probably would not even attend college at all. There are two ways to qualify to take Part A of the PE exam in NY - get a degree from an accredited engineering school, or work under a PE for 5 (I think it was) years. To qualify to take Part B of the PE exam, a degree wouldn’t matter - you had to have the engineering experience. So you see, you could become a PE now (or at least 30 years ago when I considered it) without going to engineering school at all. But the only way to get a PE without the engineering experience would be to become a professor in an accredited engineering school.

That traces back to the fact that when MIT was founded, engineering was considered a discipline of experience rather than study, and the idea of an engineering school was a controversial novelty. That changed after WWII, only because of things like radar - new technologies which no amount of experience would be likely to make you competent in. With radar in particular, the engineers moaned among themselves that they were reduced to plumbers for the scientists who had the math background to be able to deal with the behavior of microwaves. Professional engineers came away from that experience with a “never again” determination - and engineering school, with a heavy theoretical and mathematical course load, became the standard way to become an engineer.

That information came from

Up the Infinite Corridor: MIT and the Technical Imagination by Fred Hapgood (Feb 1994)
You would find it fascinating.

29 posted on 04/07/2013 5:51:44 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (“Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: NVDave

It’s amazing to me how incapable these folks are not only of writing coherent English, but of doing any critical thinking at all.


30 posted on 04/07/2013 6:04:19 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Great information there. I know the requirements for licensure in many states have changed considerably over the years. In my state, it’s very difficult to have your application for the exams accepted without a degree at an accredited school.


31 posted on 04/07/2013 6:07:02 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: grundle

Well, she was apparently able to obtain employment post-graduation.


32 posted on 04/07/2013 7:59:17 PM PDT by oincobx
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To: Alberta's Child
Great information there. I know the requirements for licensure in many states have changed considerably over the years. In my state, it’s very difficult to have your application for the exams accepted without a degree at an accredited school.
I shouldn’t wonder that that is now the case (but of course I was writing about the past, the discussion having started with a comment about engineering education circa 1910). A friend of mine decided to go for his PE, but he had graduated from a school which wasn’t accredited, so he had to go the “experience” route in order to even start the application process. I think that would have been about 1990 or so . . . my, how time flies! I haven’t done a lick of engineering in this century!
Wikipedia says that MIT was founded during the 1860s, but my recollection from the book I cited is that the actual engineering curriculum there came later - more in the era of the founding of my school, Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in the 1890s, as I recall. IIRC it was founded independently of MIT and later incorporated into it - something like that.
The “infinite” corridor in the title of that book refers to a corridor in a building at MIT which only seems infinite.

33 posted on 04/08/2013 2:03:16 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (“Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: Alberta's Child
I consider an engineering education very incomplete these days, mainly because most of the engineers I've dealt with who have graduated from engineering programs (even the best ones) can barely write coherent sentences in English. And these are the American ones, mind you.

Your young engineers are not alone.

Very few college students today can compose a coherent (and complete) sentence -- much less a paragraph. And that includes the B-schoolers, the J-schoolers...even the English majors.

And the fault isn't the college's; they're graduating from high school without any language skills or knowledge, whatsoever. They can't even spell!

34 posted on 04/08/2013 2:35:08 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
Ivy League elite degrees: Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Jamie Gorelick, Ben Bernanke.

King Bush I, King Bush II, Bubba and Mrs. Clinton.

35 posted on 04/08/2013 3:01:49 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: memyselfandi59

OK. Thanks.


36 posted on 04/09/2013 5:57:33 AM PDT by grundle
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