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Modern Education

It has been a long time since I disagreed with Hugh Hewitt, but Monday was such a day. Hugh had Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College on his radio show. Much of what Dr. Arnn said I agreed with, until at Hugh's urging he produced his list of what he called "serious old-fashioned" schools. In short, Dr. Arnn divided schools into four groups by two qualities: Serious versus Unserious schools, and Old-fashioned versus Modern. Dr. Arnn went on to state that a school was "serious" only if it instilled character and values into a student, and that Old-fashioned meant holding, even defending traditional Christian values. Again, so far no problem. But from there Dr. Arnn turned into a blatant propagandist, claiming that only about ten schools would meet the standard for Serious Old-Fashioned school. I found serious problems with his arrogance on that point. The sheer fact that none of the military academies met Dr. Arnn's cut should tell you how short-sighted his list was. Perhaps he was merely being polite, but Mr. Hewitt made no attempt at all to correct any of Dr. Arnn's misstatements or omissions. I certainly noticed that Dr. Arnn favored schools on the east and west coasts, so it surprised me that Hewitt did not point out how much of the country Dr., Arnn was - however inadvertently - insulting. For example, here in Texas any serious college evaluation must include Baylor University in Waco, Texas A&M in College Station, and while Dr. Arnn mentioned the University of Dallas he somehow missed the University of Texas at Dallas, a fast rising star in many reviews. Dr. Arnn had not a word of mention about Houston Baptist University, or Lady of the Lake University, or Trinity College in San Antonio. And that is limiting the field to the Christian perspective, which would frown on things like coed dorms or an agnostic/atheistic worldview, which would exclude some otherwise fine universities.

The reader will note that I have not yet mentioned online studies, which I consider an equal if not superior option to the nominal experience for many students. So far as I know, Hillsdale does not offer even a single online course, so it is poor indeed on that matter of addressing student needs, but in the main it is obvious that many people who consider themselves experts simply prefer to promote the schools they know, which brings me to my question for the day:

In terms of building a young person into an intelligent and responsible adult, what three colleges or universities would you consider the best? Please share your reasons.

Comments (14)

The motto of Roberts Wesley... (Below threshold)

The motto of Roberts Wesleyan College is "Education for Character". It is the #3 Best Value College in America and as has been said, is also a "Best Values" College. It offers education of the highest quality within the context of a Christian world view. The master's graduates consistently outscore their counterparts from elite universities on professional licensing exams and are widely sought for their professional competence since employers can be assured of their ethical training.

I can't answer that, honest... (Below threshold)

I can't answer that, honestly. I've only experienced a couple universities in my life. And even then, I only experienced one program at each school.


Johnny cant read becuase jo... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Johnny cant read becuase johnny is too busy saving the rainforests or protesting the war its time to get the NEA out of our schools

The answer is: None. And ... (Below threshold)

The answer is: None. And Any.

If your child doesn't know the difference between right and wrong by the time they enter college, they are nothing but fresh meat, ready to be gobbled up by whatever gets to them first.

Colleges are places where carrion eaters seek out prey. If you're centered and stable, you can get a great education just about anywhere, even Harvard or Yale. If you're not, you'll be sucked into a maelstrom of bad political philosophy, drugs, sex, or all of the above.

This is why military vets from Iraq do so well in college. They aren't easy prey.

As a Baylor alum and Housto... (Below threshold)
Jay C.:

As a Baylor alum and Houston native, I wholeheartedly agree with you, DJ. Baylor, Texas A&M, and Houston Baptist University are definitely on my list.

Bonnie makes an excellent p... (Below threshold)

Bonnie makes an excellent point. The business of building an intelligent and responsible adult had better be concluded before one enters College.

As far as getting an education that gives one the skills and knowledge base to be an ethical, productive and competitive member of society:

some schools have horrendous programs for their undergrads (often the ones with shining Graduate Programs), and others offer excellent undergraduate programs with paltry offerings in the Graduate realm. From what I've seen, they all offer plenty of examples of the corruption of ethics by money and power for their students to see. Whether they decide to adopt or reject and battle against such influences is largely determined by upbringing, not college training.

I too wondered where the se... (Below threshold)

I too wondered where the service academies were when I was listening to Hugh. I thought they would be mentioned.

Intelligence and responsibi... (Below threshold)

Intelligence and responsibility is a slogan. The closest to the ideal is the Naval Academy or Hillsdale itself among the well-known schools. Unfortunately, the service schools which should be bulwarks against fashionable "crusades" in pedogogy, long ago became friendly with political internationalism and its ideals; i.e. "democracy" is no longer "mobocracy" as was taught prior to WWII, but is in fact "what we are", which explains this REPUBLIC's rudderless state since 1945. (THX, NEA and progressive education!) The BEST thing is to READ good history books (Tuchman, for example) and historical reference books which are accessible to the pop market. These provide handy reference points in the mind to hang subsequent information on. The main thing is to READ and to encourage your children to READ, and unless it's a formal dinner with full service of 11 forks and 6 spoons, let 'em READ at the table. Take your pick: spagetti sauce on page 298 of vol.3 of your Encyclopedia Americana, or a 1 1\2 star movie-addicted idiot. (Full disclosure: I'm a high school drop-out so I know whereof I speak, though only 3 1/2 stars and sub-titles can tempt me.) SO: Colleges are diploma mills; choose one that is NOT TOO CRAPPY, and get your TICKET PUNCHED. Period. "Intelligence and Responsibility"? Sloganeering. (Hell, W went to Yale and STILL can't pronounce "nuclear"!)

Oxford, Harvard, and either... (Below threshold)

Oxford, Harvard, and either M.I.T. or NYU, in that order. Why? Because the most important value is critical thought, and the "values" schools mentioned above do not teach that, but rather train "individuals" to adopt a certain mindset as opposed to encouraging the development of the rational faculty that allows one to ascertain the nature of the good and just life for oneself.

And you can probably always find really fucking good marijuana at those places.

Auburn University:... (Below threshold)

Auburn University:

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports to develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

-George Petrie (1945)

As a Trinity alumna, I have... (Below threshold)

As a Trinity alumna, I have to say it: We're Trinity University-- Trinity College is in Connecticut, not San Antonio!

Good one, earl! Of course,... (Below threshold)
Jay C.:

Good one, earl! Of course, by your rationale, Western Civilization would have never progressed past the medieval era when such universities merely "trained" student to be automatons much more than any of the "serious" universities of today. They (probably) didn't even have pot back then and still we've progressed as a society! Amazing.

um Larry P Arnn probably me... (Below threshold)

um Larry P Arnn probably mentioned U of Dallas because his daughter goes there, and for no other reason. He's not the sharpest tool in the box and is a poor representation of Hillsdale College

UConn., my oldest son went ... (Below threshold)
Bill Duffy:

UConn., my oldest son went there. Penn State, my daughter went there. Boston College my other son went there. These Colleges provided a great education and the realities to acheive the goals you set. All participated in full campus/college life which broarden your horizions. All are doing extremely well in work and life today. God Bless their education.






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