Quote of the Day

Monday, June 1, 2009

Deseret News puff piece

I was waiting for a follow-up article on the actual Glenn Beck gala, but as that hasn't appeared, here's a link to the Deseret News article on GWU, complete with sidebars!

UPDATE: Here is an indirect report on the gala.


James F. said...

Darn it it. Beck plugged the school again today on the radio. I really thought that he would have learned the "truth" as you folks put it after spending some time with those mischievous George Wythers.

I'm sorry folks...but it seems that Beck is not your ally on this crusade. But don't worry, I sincerely believe that if this blog is any indication of things to be, there will be people in high places that come out against GWU. But it isn't going to be Beck, that's for sure.

J.L.L said...

I was just looking over the "academics" section of gw.edu (I don't know why, I thought I was done with all this), and I was interested to see their "GWC Catalog" which is a pdf linked on the academics page.

A few things that were interesting:

"Ancient Hebrew is the core foreign language at GWC, because ancient Hebrew is the language of freedom...Many languages spoken throughout the world, including English, are of ancient Hebrew origin."

Huh? The "language of freedom?" And I don't think English is of "ancient Hebrew origin." Students are required to be "fluent" in Hebrew. A worthy goal in my book, but I sure would like to see how they measure that and what their success rates are.

The Math and Science block:

"The second block of the semester is a two-week Mathematics, Arts & Science block where students focus their full attention on an in-depth analysis of a limited range of classical and cutting-edge
math, art and science."

Two weeks on "classical and cutting-edge math and science" huh. Hmm. Yeah, all they need for accreditation is a couple million in a bank account. Sure.

When I looked to see exactly what texts they use for this "cutting-edge" math and science, I find:

"AS210: Math Classics I (1 credit)
Introduction to Arithmetic, Nicomachus
The Harmonies of the World, Kepler
The Syntopicon, chapter 52, including readings from The Great
Books of the Western World

AS103: Applied Mathematics I Block (2 credits)
Arithmetic and Number Theory
Texts change year to year"

Text change year to year? So? List the current year's text. But the pattern continues:

AS211: Math Classics II (1 credit)
The Two New Sciences, Galileo
An Introduction to Mathematics, Whitehead
The Syntopicon, chapter 5, including readings from The Great
Books of the Western World

AS104: Applied Mathematics II Block (2 credits)
Texts change year to year

AS203: Biology I Block (2 credits)
Basic Biology (texts change year to year)

AS204: Biology II Block (2 credits)
Modern Biology
Texts change year to year

AS303: Applied Mathematics III Block (2 credits)
Texts change year to year

AS304: Applied Mathematics III Block (2 credits)
Algebra II
Texts change year to year

AS403: Chemistry/Physics I Block (2 credits)
Inorganic Chemistry
Classic and Newtonian Physics
Advanced Mathematics I (Calculus and Statistics)
Texts change year to year

AS404: Chemistry/Physics II Block (2 credits)
Organic Chemistry
Quantum Physics
Advanced Mathematics II (Calculus and Statistics)
Texts change year to year

So two weeks a semester, and the texts "change from year to year." Plus they just list topics, like "Quantum Physics" and Trigonometry, but they don't list any readings for them. You can't gain any proficiency by reading for two weeks, and the fact that they don't specify the books they read leads to me to think that the Math and Sciences education is extremely poor.

I realize that GWC is a "liberal arts" education, but still, let's not pretend that there's any proficiency at all in math and science. Math and science proficiency is one of the easier things to measure. Let's see some test scores to see how well the students have learned.

Anonymous said...

I know of people that have attended St. John's (which is a first-rate liberal arts college) and they read Euclid and other classical texts for their math. However, if they are planning on medical or graduate school then they have to do their prerequisites at a university that teaches the real subjects.

John said...

As a tenured Professor in Nevada's largest institution of higher learning, I have attended 4 different graduate schools- one private and 2 state, including George Wythe University where I have completed about half of the PhD program there in Constitutional Law. Of the 4 graduate schools I have attended, GWU is definitely the most rigorous and demanding by far. I have elevated the experience of my students considerably by borrowing pedagogical techniques and procedures from GWU. Most of my graduate colleagues at GWU are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, engineers, politicians and businessmen and women who will likely not be advantaged in any way financially through their degree, but who have caught the vision that original writings give them and the excitement that simulations, oral exams and constitutional conventions provide in understanding the world from the mouths of those whose ideas have built it.

The best way to get an idea of what it is like to be a professor attending this demanding curriculum would be to read my article titled, "A Professor Experiences George Wythe College: A Contrast' which can be found in the the GW website under the Newsletter Archive link near the bottom.

The Real George Wythe said...

John -

I read your article. You say here that you are "a tenured Professor in Nevada's largest institution of higher learning." You mean the College of Southern Nevada, which until 2007 (you arrived in 1995) was called Community College of Southern Nevada? I didn't realize this 2-year college was technically larger than UNLV or UNR, but I guess with all of the satellite campuses technically you are correct. But it's a little like a teacher at the University of Phoenix saying he is "a Professor at the largest private university in the world." Technically true, but not really telling the whole story.

That being said, I agree that interdisciplinary cooperation, personal mission statements, and self-directed learning are wonderful things. This is why I keep learning and improving even though my university education is behind me. When all is said and done, if a university hasn't taught a student HOW to learn, it has failed. It will take constant, continual learning to succeed in the 21st Century. Luckily, several of my professors understood this concept and wouldn't let me forget it. As a result, I still learn, research, grow etc. This blog is a perfect example, although like I say in the profile, I don't want it to define me -- I'm providing it as a service to prospective students so they will avoid the unseen pitfalls of this school.

In no way does GWU have a monopoly on these concepts. They want to build their organization of right-wing thought; fine. But they don't have a monopoly on principles of good learning, and you could have had your epiphany on these principles elsewhere and it would have done you just as much good -- or more.

T.R. said...


I have attended 3 graduate school (USU, Utah, and University of Kansas). I can honestly say that I have read the classics and textbooks at all of them. I can say that I have had mentors and professors at all of them. I have had practica and internships at all of them. And I have had access to LDS institutes of religion at all of them. So please tell me how my experience differs from GWU?

In some ways, I think I have had a more robust experience than GWU could possibly provide. For instance, my experience at Utah was excellent because my mentor is a national expert in his field and we are publishing a few articles together. My mentors at Kansas are brilliant scholars in their fields not to mention that they are internationally known experts as well. I am publishing some papers with them as well.

I just don't think that a non-traditional school is the way to go. In the end, I will have a job in higher education - hopefully at a research 1 university. A GWU graduate may get some elightenment in history of political science, but that is not as important as being employed, particularly in a tough economy. Sure, they can be entrepreneurs, but so can anyone else. What they need are skills and abilities to reason. No doubt they can do that, but people also need degrees that are acredited.

In addition, I wouldn't pay a dime of tuition for a Ph.D. In viable fields and for intelligent people, tuition should be payed in full from grants and fellowships. It is very unfortunate that students at GWU have to pay tuition for their Ph.D.s. Don't get me wrong, J.D.s and M.D.s have to slave away through school. I had to pay for my master's degree because I only worked with my professor for 1 summer.

If I were an employer and I had two equally intelligent employees in front of me. I would be forced to pick 1 based on something. An accredited degree is way more important to employers than non-accredited degrees. In fact, in some fields it is illegal to use non-accredited degrees to gain access to pay increases.

I know that GWU students want to be self-employed. Ok. But, I know of nobody who has never worked for anyone else. I think this mindset is based too often on Robert Kiyosaki (who, if I understand correctly is read as a classic at GWU).