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Putting A Price On Open Curriculum Courses

  • September 22, 2016|
  • 8 months ago

by Kirk Carapezza

npr

Article excerpt

As College Costs Soar, Critics Question Open Curriculum Courses

College students heading back to campus may find some obscure course offerings such as: Zombies in Popular Media. Some argue every class has its merit; others worry they are a waste of time and money.

Our take

Open vs. Core Curriculum: Finding the Right Balance

If you have course offerings in your catalog akin to Zombies in Popular Media, particularly if you’re a public college, you may want to take a step back to rethink the value such courses may provide. Or, maybe not. As concerns about the high costs of higher education continue, some question the wisdom of such esoteric offerings. Others, though, say these offerings have value. Where do you stand?

Amherst College is one example of a school that uses an open, as opposed to core, curriculum. Students can take whatever courses they want and faculty are free to teach courses that align with their interests—however arcane those interests may be. There may be value, but amid growing concerns about student debt and the real value of a college education, it’s important to be think carefully about the merit of all course offerings.

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