ERIC Number: ED273345
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Humanities and the "New Student": Some Possibilities for Social Transformation.
Zwerling, L. Steven
Traditionally, an immersion in the humanities has been available to the children of the elite at selective colleges and universities. The lower classes, if they studied at all, studied vocational subjects, taking few courses in the liberal arts. The community colleges, through their humanities course offerings, can play a democratizing role in higher education. The current socioeconomic opportunity structure is such that the competencies best engendered via the humanities are those required for entry-level positions and ultimate career success. Thus, if the students who begin their higher education at the community college level are to receive both a liberating and a practical education, the humanities must develop an agenda that gives students a realistic chance to begin and develop their careers. Despite a history of low expectations of community college students held by both the students and the college, despite the reputation of community colleges as cooling out tanks or overflow reservoirs for four-year institutions, and despite low faculty enthusiasm about their own dead-end careers, there exists within the community college the potential for a more progressive, inclusive agenda for the humanities. This agenda would focus on multiple forms of humanistic curricular structures appropriate to the "new" students; i.e., full-time, traditional students in career or transfer programs, young adult part-time students seeking degrees or career advancement opportunities, and older students taking courses for personal growth. Humanities curricula must consider the specific needs of these groups and market directly to each. (EJV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at "The Social Role of the Community College," a Conference sponsored by Broome Community College and the University Center at Binghamton, State University of New York (Binghamton, NY, October 10-11, 1986).