UCLA today: Students take ‘diversity’ and skip history

The faculty of University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) College of Letters and Sciences voted Friday a close 332 to 303, with 24 blank ballots, in a move toward forcing students to take a diversity course as part of their undergraduate requirements. (Michelle Moons column, Nov 1 link)

This is an interesting development when you consider that UCLA does not require general education classes such as mathematics, literature, and history.  Sadly the university is not alone; many colleges don’t require core subjects and instead, they have replaced the general education curriculum with a “study what you want” philosophy, also known as a cafeteria style course load.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) conducted the first survey of its kind to grade colleges on what students actually learn. The grading is simple.  The study evaluates colleges based on the general subjects required: an A for 6 to 7 subjects, B for 4 to 5, C for 3, D for 2, and an F for 0 to 1 subjects.

By comparison, other systems like U.S. News and World Report, use selectivity, reputation, and alumni donations. UCLA gets a “D” with details below. (Read full letter,  Why Colleges are Failing our Students, Harvard gets a “D” and Brown gets an “F”)

UCLA_Bruins2

Quoted in the campus paper the Daily Bruin, Victoria Robinson, Director of the American Cultures Center at UCLA said, “The goal of these classes should not (be) to settle debates (of diversity) but to debate.”

This touches on the heart of the issue: just what is college and what are the goals of a liberal arts education? Students need a core curriculum that will provide them the opportunity for success in not just their careers, but in their communities and in life.  The ACTA survey showed that 63% of employers don’t believe college graduates have the skills to succeed, and this makes the case for a strong general education requirement. Schools like UCLA are drifting further and further away from this, consumed instead with the divisiveness of diversity.

If the move passes, UCLA students will spend an academic quarter debating diversity, navel gazing,  and examining and exploring their differences, yet they won’t ‘settle’ these debates. And many won’t know the length of congressional terms or what document establishes the separation of powers.  (Only 18.3% of colleges require government or history! Source American Council of Trustees and Alumni, What They Will Learn survey).

Almost 62% of college graduates do not know the length of congressional terms and 40% don’t realize the U.S. Constitution establishes separation of powers. One third of grads don’t know which president spearheaded the New Deal and over half don’t know which president played a major role in the Panama Canal. (Source American Council of Trustees and Alumni, GfK surveys)

 

UCLA Grade report

What They Will Learn Survey, 2014-15 (Click for full report)

 

From the What Will They Learn survey,  UCLA  gets a “D” , full link to survey results here.

University of California – Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA                                                             

University of California – Los Angeles says, “General education (GE) is more than a checklist of required courses. It is a program of study that (1) reveals to students the ways that research scholars in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences create and evaluate new knowledge, (2) introduces students to the important ideas and themes of human cultures, (3) fosters appreciation for the many perspectives and the diverse voices that may be heard in a democratic society, and (4) develops the intellectual skills that give students the dexterity they need to function in a rapidly changing world.” [Source]

  • Website:http://www.ucla.edu/
  • Undergraduate Enrollment:28,674
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate:69%
  • Tuition & Fees (In State):$12,697 annually
  • Tuition & Fees (Out of State):$35,575 annually

General Education Requirements

  • 1. Composition

    YES

  • 2. Literature

    NOHide Note

    No credit given for Literature because the “Literary and Cultural Analysis” section of the “Foundations of the Arts and Humanities” requirement may be satisfied by courses that are not literature surveys.

  • 3. Foreign Language

    NOHide Note

    No credit given for Foreign Language because students may fulfill the requirement with elementary-level study.

  • 4. U.S. Government or History

    NOHide Note

    No credit given for U.S. Government or History because the “American History and Institutions” requirement may be satisfied by high school coursework.

  • 5. Economics

    NO

  • 6. Mathematics

    NOHide Note

    No credit given for Mathematics because students may test out of the “Quantitative Reasoning” requirement through SAT or ACT scores.

  • 7. Science

    YES

 

Nov 7, 2014

0 Comments

About the Author

Mylinh Shattan is a writer who has lived on three continents, served in the Army, worked in corporate America, and taught in college. She loves adventures, in the world and in the mind. Literature is relevant and learning is a lifelong pursuit, so you might as well have a bit of fun along the way.

Stay Up to Date

Rise above the tedium with the TreeHouseLetter. Always learning with a bit of fun.

Latest Posts

Dirtman and Dillard on Signs of the Apocalypse

5 Min read Earthquake Eclipse 1 Essay rec AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” Revelation 6:12 * Earthquake...

The Blue Hour

3 Min read Phases of twilight 2 Book recs 5 Regrets of the Dying * It is the darkness which gives that first burst of light its brilliance. * This weekend my daughter returned from spring break. Sitting in the TreeHouse very early that day, I read with a booklight on...

Deez Nuts*

5 Min read Nuts Nonsense Homage to a classic film Wordnerd alert Contronym AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Anne Lamott * I was organizing the pantry...

Who Does Not Prefer Civility to Barbarism?*

6 Min read 2 Book recs Average of five people you know Affection, love between parent and child Mrs. Fidget, a character trope AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify Every Action done in Company ought to be with Some Sign of Respect to those that are Present. George...

What Men Live By*

8 Min read 1 Short Story 1 Lecture series, The Four Loves On Providence A sacred oath * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * Friday was a cold, sunny day. The alarm was set for 6:15 AM and that would give me enough time to make it across the Hudson River before rush hour. I...

How to Improve Your Writing – Part 1: from Tolstoy to Grohl

9 min read 1 English textbook 1 Book rec 1 Style Guide 4 Writers: Tolstoy to Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters) Improve writing immediately, ages 9 to 99 Toolbox AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of...

Topics

Inoculate yourself against the absurdity of life with a dose of the best ideas and writing. Always learning with a bit of fun.

TreeHouseLetter

Always learning with a bit of fun

 

 

Readers receive one to two letters a week, with 2 to 10 minute read time. Includes regular features:

 

The Music in Prose
Poetry for Emergencies
Toolbox

 

 

Be inspired by the best writing and ideas, and become better readers and writers in the process.

Thank you for joining! Please check your email for a confirmation.