ERIC Number: ED195480
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Coping with Vocationalism: Careerism vs. Humanism in the Undergraduate Curriculum.
Green, Charles S., III; And Others
This paper examines how 402 randomly selected sociology departments in colleges and universities in the United States are attempting to cope with problems in higher education. A survey instrument was developed in which questions focused on two basic issues: (1) how have problems such as enrollment declines, shifting academic interests among students, and shrinking revenues been defined and approached? and (2) what strategies are being employed to confront and cope with these and other problems? Specific questions included "Has your sociology department sought to make undergraduate courses more relevant to employment?""To what extent have your undergraduate students become more vocationally oriented?""Have declining enrollments in sociology courses corresponded with increasing enrollments in vocational programs?" and "Has the sociology faculty changed the standards of work demanded of students?" Findings indicated that sociology departments have responded to problems in two general ways--by vocationalizing the curriculum (adding courses in social work and applied sociology, hiring vocationally-oriented faculty, and making courses relevant to employment) and by adding vocational supplements to academic curricula (developing career information packets for prospective students, creating a career information center, and combining career advising with academic counseling). The author arrives at the conclusion that sociology departments will serve students best if they teach sociology as a humanistic, liberating discipline. At the same time, instructors should supplement the curriculum in ways that meet the career concerns of students. (DB)
Descriptors: Career Education, Declining Enrollment, Departments, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Educational Trends, Higher Education, Humanism, Humanistic Education, National Surveys, Relevance (Education), Socioeconomic Influences, Sociology, Student Interests, Values, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for presentation at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (New York, NY, August, 1980).