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TABLE 37.- Attendance in the regular courses of the colleges and scientific schools of the States of the North Atlantic division, fc.-Continued.
Schools of Civil and Me
chanical Engineering, Mining, and Metallurgy.
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa
18 Agricultural and Mechan.
ical College. 114
68 82 78 21 69 43 135 152 86
63 65 43 63 15
102 79 13 47 11 18
67 112 147
19 118 82
26 18 102 96
95 93 98 58
93 62 46
Colleges of Agriculture,
Mechanics,&c. d All departments.
* Not reporting for the year.
a Includes scientiflo students.
b Included in number of classical students.
Comparing the total attendance for the first and for the last year of the semi-decen. nial period covered by the table, and excluding the statistics of the institutions that report for only one of these years, or have included students pursuing scientific studies for one year but not for the other, it appears that, for the North Atlantic division the decrease in attendance on classical courses has been 2.7 per cent. Computing, under the first limitation and for the same years, the attendance on scientific courses and departments of colleges and scientific institutions, it appears that the increase of attendance on scientific courses has been 48.8 per cent.
Turning now to inquire as to the ratio of the attendance on classical courses to the combined reported attendance on classical and scientific courses, and excluding the statistics of institutions not reporting the scientific students separately, it appears that for the year 1881–82, 70.3 per cent of the students were receiving instruction in elassical courses, and for 1885–26, 64.4 per cent.
The greater completeness of the statistics from the New England States permits the Office to present ratios for this section less approximate than the foregoing. Rejecting the inadequate statistics as already explained, the increase of attendance on classical departments for the semi-decade has been 5.5 per cent., and on scientific courses and institutions 58.2 per cent of the combined attendance on classical and scientifie courses and scientific institutions, 79 per cent. were receiving instruction in classical conrses in 1881–82 and 70.9 per cent. in 1885–86.
The high rate of increase of attendance in scientific courses has mostly been conn tributed to by the growth of the attendance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and by that at the Sheffield Scientific School. Outside of New England thseientific departments of Lehigh Upiversity and the Towne Scientific School of the University of Pennsylvania bave also greatly increased their attendance, while the School of Mines of Columbia College has maintained quite evenly the large attende ance that it had in 1881–82.
EXTRACTS FROM REPORTS OF COLLEGE PRESIDENTS. The reports of college presidents and other officials for the current year present, as usual, discussions of the chief questions of interest respecting studies and discipline.
Their practical familiarity with the subject gives to their views and opinions greater value than attaches to any other atterances upon the subject. The following extracts from several of these reports relate to questions of wide interest at the present time:
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS. Report of Dr. O. W. Eliot, President of Harvard University, for 1885–186, pp. 7-9. The three-years discussion of the requirements for admission to Harvard College was brought to a fortunate conclusion in May last by the adoption, in the Corporation and Board of Overseers, after a thorough examination of the subject by committees, of the compromise measure which had been recommended to them almost unanimonsly by the college faculty in March, 1885. The practical results of the measure adopted may be summarized as follows:
In the first place, from the point of view of the candidate, three ways are open: (1) The foriner method of entering the college remains practically unaltered so far as the selection of the candidate's studies is concerned. (2) A candidate who has mastered the elements of both Latin (translation at sight of simple prose) and Greek (transIation at sight of simple Attie prose) is given a wide range of choice for his advanced studies at school. He may devote himself thereafter chiefly to the classics, or to French and German, or to mathematics, or to physical science, or he may make combinations of the four principal subjects in various proportions. (3) A candidate may substitute mathematics or mathematics and physical science for all the Greek. Secondly, from the point of view of secondary schools, the measure also permits three varieties of school policy: (1) The present programme in the prevailing kind of classical sehool need not be modified except in what may be fairly called details. (2) A sehool programme which retains the elements only of Greek may develop modern languages, physical science, or mathematics much more effectively than was possible under the former reqnirements, because advanced study in any one of these directions will count towards admission to Harvard College. (3) A preparatory school may teach thoroughly English, French, or German, mathematics, chemistry, and physies, with the elements of Latin and of the history of England and of the United States, and therewith secure the admission of its pupils at Harvard College on a level with any other candidates.
The most considerable immediate effects of the changes inade in the requirements will probably fall under the second of these three heads, the
most important altimate results under the third. Under the second provision schools which now prepare boys for college can gradually bring their programmes into better harmony with modern needs; bat under the third a new kind of school-a kind into which the public high school may advantageously be developed-can fit boys for college, to the common ad
vantage of the schools, the colleges, and the community. With the present sharp division of secondary schools into those which prepara boys for college and those which do not, the important decision for or against a college education must generally be made for a boy as early as his fourteenth year. If there existed a large class of schools haviog a programme of studies which on the one wand sufliced to admit their graduates credibly to college, and on the other farnished an appropriate training for Loys who at eighteen are to go into business or technical pursuits, this all-important decision might be postponed to a more suitable age.
Besides increasing the number and variety of schools which fit boys for college, the new requirements will, it is hoped, have some influence to improve the methods of teaching history and science in all schools. The previous efforts of the faculty to get science introduced into the preparatory schools have had but little success, because the former requirements could be met by committing small manuals to memory. The new requirements are also expected to assist in bringing down the average age of admission to eighteen or thereabouts. At present about two-fifths of the freshmen are over nineteen at entrance-a condition of things which the faculty views with concern.
Report of Dr. William Pepper, Procost of the University of Pennsylvania. It is, indeed, a matter of great importance that there should be some general agreement between the leading colleges of America as to the requirements for admission. As schools which prepare students for college are constantly increasing in nnmber and in the area over which they are distributed, it becomes all the more urgent that a certain stability on this point should be attained. It takes several years for the work in a large school to become thoroughly adapted to the requirements for admission to the colleges for which its students are preparing; it may be assumed that the frequent and extensive changes of recent years must have severely taxed the resources of these schools and interfered with the efficiency of their instruction. There is reason to hope, however, that less change and less variety will occur in the future. Unless the conditions of life in America become greatly altered, it would seem that the requirements for admission to our colleges have now reached a standard as high as it is desirable for them to be carried.
What seems to be needed, therefore, is not any further advance of the standard for admission to college but a fuller development of the system of residence after graduation, for the prosecution of advanced studies, or of original investigation. This demands the establishment of scholarships, tenable for one, two, or even three years. Some of them may be unendowed, bearing merely the title, and the free access to academic privileges, but for the most part they should be endowed, so as to yield not less than $500 per annum, a sum barely sufficient for the support of the scholar, in addi. tion to the necessary outlay for books, &c.
INCENTIVES TO STUDY. Report of the President of Harvard University for 1885–88, pp. 8–10. The natural working of the elective system has always been interfered with by the marking system of the college, a system which made too fine distinctions and undertook to compare results which were in reality pot comparable. The facnlty last year did away with the minute percentage system of marking and substituted a classification of the students in each course of stndy in five groups, the lowest of which includes those who have failed on the course. It is hoped that this grouping system will afford sufficient criteria for the judicious award of scholarships, honorable mention, and the grades of the bachelor's degree, while it diminishes the competition for marks and the importance attached by students to college rank in comparison with the remoter objects of faithful work. Three measures, intended
to increase the amount of personal supervision exercised over the less diligent or less thoughtful students, were discussed and adopted by the faculty in the course of the year 1885–86. The first provides that every student shall satisfy his instructor in each of his courses of study, in such way as the instructor may determine, that he is performing the work of the course in a systematio man. ner; and that any instructor may, with the approval of the dean, exclude from bis course, at any time, any student who has neglected the work of the course. The sec. ond measure was intended to prevent careless choice of studies by restricting the liberty of changing from one course to another after the work of the year has began. To this end no change of elective courses is to be allowed after November 1, except by leave of a committee of the faculty, to whom application must be made in writing with a full statement of reasons. Both these new measures are working well in the year now current. The third measure was adopted at the instigation of the Board of Overseers. It provides a committee of the faculty on special students, which is to supervise their admission, their plans of study, and their work with their chosen instructors. The committee is essentially a committee on advice to a class of students who especially need advice. It has worked so well that the faculty is inclined to con.
sider the expediency of extending the method, with some modifications, to the freshman class. A committee of fourteou or fifteen members could divide the freshman class among themselves, each member supervising the plans and the work of about twenty students, the great majority of whom would need very little attention from him.
Report of Dr. F. d. P. Barnard, President of Columbia College, for 1883–'86, pp. 13, 20. To the undersigned it would seem to be preferable to abolish graded scales altogether and to make public no other scholastic distinctions than proficient and deficient. This need not prevent the aftixing a numerical valuation to the performances of each student in each particular study, in a record kept for the consultation of the faculty, in case any question should arise affecting such student individually. This is the plan which has been followed in the School of Mines ever since it was opened, more than twenty years ago, with results entirely satisfactory. It was not imposed by authority, bat grew up naturally as the simplest test for tbe accomplishment of the object for which the school was instituted, viz, to make well-qualified engineers. If we should, in like manner, in the school of arts, limit our endeavors to the effort to make well-educated young men and cease to trouble ourselves with questions of their relative merit, then there can be no doubt that the results would be equally satisfactory. An incidental advantage, moreover, would be derived from the cbange, viz, that we should hear no more of the frauds in examination, concerning which recently so much has been said, and concerning which statements have been published of absurd and disgraceful exaggeration.
There is no doubt that there is a great deal of effort made in all colleges to deceive examiners by the use of fraudnlent devices in the filling out of examination papers ; but any sensible man who will study the nature of the problem will easily perceive that success to any important degree in such an undertaking is a moral impossibility; and even though it should be strictly true, as bas been confidently asserted, that such attempts are made by three out of four, or, as others say, nine out of ten, of the entire body of the students, this fact is only evidence of the general prevalence of a hope and not by any means a proof of an accomplished result. But it is further evidence of a sad degree of demoralization, among young men pursuing together a courso of liberal education, which it is desirable to eradicate at any cost.
CONDUCT OF STUDIES.
Report of E. S. Holden, A. M., President of the University of California, for 1886, p. 19. A committee of the faculties at Berkeley has been in sessiot twice weekly during the past 6 months, with the object of recommending for the adoption of the various faculties some changes in the present scheme of lectures and tuition. These will be subunitted at the proper time to the faculties, and, if approved by them, will be recommended to the Board of Regents. I, however, consider these changes to be so important that I desire to introduce here a scheme exhibiting their general nature, although the faculties may make important alterations. This scheme, together with the principles which have guided the committee in its action, are given below.
In proposing the following scheme of studies for the various courses for the consideration of the faculties, the committee endeavored to work to the following principles: 1. The formation of a justly-balanced whole in the curriculum of each course is the vital matter. The total time assigned to each department should be determined by its relative importance in such a whole. 2. The claims of the various departments to the time of the student are estimated by means of the number of hours per week laid down in the curriculum. 3. The plan of 3-hour courses has been adopted as the one which adjusts itself best to the time schedule of recitations and loctures.
4. The particular way in which the time so assigned is to be used is, in general, Jeft to the heads of the departments. 5. For each hour per week laid down in the curriculum the officer of instruction may require 2 hours of preparation from the student, but no more. 6. But the hours laid down for work in the laboratories and for field practice do not imply any time for preparation. 7. It is regarded as essential that physics shall bo prescribed and that it shall be studied as early as possible, both in the form of lecture-room exercises and with experimental work by the students themselves.
Report of the President of Columbia College for 1885–86, pp. 33, 34. The conclusion is justified, on all grounds on which the qnestion can be placed, that after the age of about 19 years it is the most judicious educational policy tó adapt the studies of the individual to his clearly-ascertained mental characteristics. This may be done either by prescribing to him such a course of study as his instructors may judge, as the result of observation, to be best adapted to his capacities, and therefore most likely to be profitable to him, and requiring him to pursue it, or
by giving to himself the liberty to choose such as are inost in barmony with his tastes. Either course will naturally lead to results substantially similar; but better than either would be a combination of the two-that is to say, to permit the student to choose, but to reqnire bim to submit his choice to his instructors for ratitication.
The plan of elective study adopted in this college in 1880 was in accordauce, in the main, with this theory. An almost unlimited freedom in the choice of studies was permitted to the junior and the senior classes-history, political economs, and the English language and literature only being obligatory, these being regarded not as disciplinary studies, but as being a part of that knowledge which should be possessed by every well-educated man. From the reports of the nodersigned for the years 182 to 1°85, inclusive, it appears that the consequences following the introduction of this system, in the improvement of the scholarship of the junior and senior classes, were strikirg and palpable. In November, 1884, however, the freedom of vlection in the junior class was largely restrieted, being reduced from 11 hours per week to 5. As this change was directed after the academic year 1884-85 was considerably advanced, and, therefore, after the elections for the year had already beenmade, it could not be carried into effect until October, 1885; and it is as yet too early to draw any inferences as to the consequences of the change as regards scholarship, the rocords which have been gathered ander the new system covering a period of only 4 months. One result, however, which was not anticipated, and was certainly not intended, bas been to reduce considerably the pumber of persons electing the modern languages, especially the Gernian, after the sophomore year.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE B. A. DEGREE. Report of the Provost and Treasurer of the University of Pennsylvania, pp. 10, 11. It may be observed here that the question of the position of the study of the classics in American colleges is no longer as to whether a nniversity degree shall be given at
the close of any course which does not include both Latin and Greek, for this is settled in the affirmative; but it is now limited to the particular point whether the degree of bachelor of arts (B. A.) shall be given for such a course.
It is difficult to show why this should not be done, in theory at least, but the practical difficulty lies in the fact that the study of English, French, and German, as now conducted in the preparatory schools, cannot replace, for the purposes of mental discipline, the traditional thorough drill in Greek. The advocates of the modern languages, as an elective substitute for the classics, should see to it that the method of studying the former acquires equal vigor, uniformity, and thoroughness with that which has been developed in the case of the classics by centuries of continued application.
The experience of all professors of English in American colleges is that students do not come to college adequately prepared for profitable instruction in advanced studies of English. In French and German the case is usually even worse. In many instances the student who elects one or both of these languages as substitutes for the classics bas scarcely advanced beyond the rudiments of either tongue. It is needless to say that before the proposition to permit an election between Greek and modern languages in the requirements for admission to the course leading to the degree of B. X. can be discussed fairly it must be shown that the preparatory study of French or German has been as honest, thorough, and systematic as that devoted to Greek. Wb this becomes the case in the best preparatory schools it will be possible to determine practically the relative merits of the two studies as means of mental training. The university has been making progress in this direction.
SYSTEM OF FELLOWSHIPS AT JOHNS HOPKINS.
Report of President Gilman for 1886, pp. 15, 16. Much of the success of the institution is due to the system of fellowships. Every year 20 young men who have given evidence of their attainments and of intelleciual promise are selected by the authorities as fellows, and are encouraged to devote all their
time to the study of some branch of knowledge in which they have already shown proficiency. During the first 10 years this honor has been bestowed upon 134 individuals. The subjects to which they have been devoted are these :