|Harvard takes a few tips from Centre
RELEASED: May 20, 2004
DANVILLE, KYIn 1921, Centre gave Harvard a few football lessons in what's been described as the sports upset of the century. Now it would seem, Harvard has also been taking a few academic lessons from Centre, based on the recommendations of the Massachusetts school's new curriculum review.
Harvard recently released the findings of its first comprehensive curriculum review since 1978. Among the suggestions:
Centre, of course, has for many years had one of the strongest international studies programs in the country, and students say that the chance to live and learn in a foreign country is a life-changing event.
The Centre Commitment guarantees students a chance to study abroad, and 75 percent of Centre students take advantage of this opportunity. Semester-long study trips are offered in England (London or Reading), France (Strasbourg), and Latin America (Merida, Mexico), with exchange programs in Japan and Northern Ireland. Three-week options during Centre's short term include varying destinations such as Italy, Vietnam, Barbados, Morocco and New Zealand. Centre is ranked 10th in "most students studying abroad" by U.S. News and World Report in the 2003-04 rankings (http://www.centre.edu/web/news/2003/usnews03.html).
The report states, "many students [currently] take large lecture classes in which they have few opportunities to talk to a professor."
At Centre the average class size is 18 and no class has more than 30 students. And for several years the College has required that freshmen take a small-group seminar that engages them in an intensive, personal intellectual experience. In addition, Centre students have great access to all their professors. In fact, many students visit their professors' homes for class discussions and dinner. And many Centre students participate in collaborative research with their teachers (http://www.centre.edu/web/news/2003/meet03.html).
Centre already has CentreTerm, which is an innovative three-week term in January during which students take one class designed by a faculty member. Centre students can also engage in joint research with their professors, self-design a course, complete an internship or take part in one of Centre's short-term study abroad trips.
Recent CentreTerm classes include the "Art of Walking" and "Basketball as Religion," which garnered national media attention on National Public Radio and Paul Harvey's "News and Comment" with the Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://www.centre.edu/web/news/2004/hoops04.html).
So if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Centre should be flattered indeed. And since promoting outstanding educationno matter where it takes placeis one of the College's primary goals, there are, of course, no hard feelings. Why, if Harvard wanted an opportunity to avenge its 1921 defeatsay, in 2006 on the 85th anniversary of the game there's a very good chance that something could be worked out.
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