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Catholic college. By making its mind known in this matter it is within the power of the Catholic Educational Association, although not a legislative body, to bring about this happy issue. The papers which are read and the discussions which follow may have their influence upon individuals, but to reach the institutions which we represent and to beget concerted action for the accomplishment of a definite object, the Association must speak. A resolution determining the concensus of opinion of the Catholic College Department of the Catholic Educational Association, on the number of units for college entrance, and a committee empowered by this body to study the actual entrance requirements of our Catholic colleges and classify them accordingly, would do more to raise the standards of our colleges than anything which has yet been done by Catholic educators.
DISCUSSION. Rev. Matthew SCHUMACHER, C. S. C.: The question we are discussing this morning is perhaps the most important that the College Department has to handle, and one which it will probably take a number of years to solve. We are all familiar with the amount of time that has been given to this question by other educational associations, and we know that it was only after the most careful work of committees and general discussions that any satisfactory view was reached. The suggestion of Fr. O'Mahoney to appoint a committee to take up this matter is, to my mind, the only way by which we can hope to come to any conclusion. It seems to me two committees ought to be appointed, one to concern itself with entrance requirements in general and the subjects that are to be accepted as entrance requirements; a second to consider the amount of work demanded in each subject to meet the entrance requirements; for instance, a committee of English or science would determine just what is required to constitute a unit in English or science.
A great deal of this work, fortunately, has already been done by other educational associations, and we can profit by their findings. These associations are composed of representative men from all parts of the country, men thoroughly competent and intensely interested in coming to a fruitful solution of these problems, and, in the secular branches, we should welcome the results of their efforts. I have been attending the meetings of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools for several years, and I have been impressed by the fact that this question is most important and will take much time and attention to bring it to a working basis. It is worth all the time we can give it and its importance overshadows all other questions the Department has to consider,
There is one difficulty, however, that Catholic schools will meet in handling the question of entrance requirements, and that difficulty arises from the relation between the preparatory department and the college proper of the many Catholic schools in which both departments are found. In taking up the catalogues of State Universities we find that they admit students on fifteen (15) units. Catholic colleges, judged from their catalogues, do the same. But how are we to regard the entrance requirements of students who do their preparatory work in the preparatory department of our colleges? Are we to demand more units of them than we demand of students who come from the high school? We should, at least, demand sixteen units of our own students, if our program of studies is not to be less in amount than that given by the best high schools, for, as a matter of fact, the graduate of a high school has sixteen units, though he only needs fifteen to enter college. This brings up the question of the length of our preparatory course. Should it be three years or four years? Our students are realizing that they can enter college on fifteen units; they are also aware that with the amount of time they have at a boarding school, it is not too difficult to obtain five units a year and thus finish preparatory work in three years. If they take four years of work they will have from sixteen to twenty units. If it is desirable to hold to the four year course, we might make it impossible for a student ordinarily to obtain more than four units a year, though he might carry additional work if he wished. Thus it would take four years to complete the preparatory work. If a student is more mature or well on in years, his case might be handled by a Committee on College Entrance Requirements in the college itself, and such a student could be allowed to obtain more than four units a year. In no case, however, should the amount of work be lessened. This last provision will diminish the number of those anxious to shorten the time of the preparatory course.
The appointment of these two committees is, it seems to me, the most important work before us: one committee to determine the subjects that will be accepted as entrance requirements; another committee to determine the kind and amount of work demanded in each subject accepted as an entrance requirement.
I would urge the College Department of the Association to take up this question and keep at it until we are ready to
minds fully on this vital point. V. Rev. B. P. O'Reilly, S. M.: I would like to ask Father O'Mahoney if in his study of programs he has found a large number of Catholic col
a multiplicity of courses in the high school department. I was under the impression that the majority of Catholic colleges have but one high school course, the college preparatory, which all high school students are required to follow.
In this, it seems to me, we are at variance with the majority of public high schools in which the studies are elective.
Some high schools have several courses of study, each extending over a period of four years, and preparing for college; but in many of the public high schools, at least in southern Ohio, the students may select what studies they please, regardless of college entrance requirements.
Very Rev. J. P. O'MAHONEY, C. S. V.: In answer to this question I would first call your attention to the fact that our high schools may be divided naturally into two classes, the high schools that exist under the same roof and management of certain colleges and are preparatory departments to these colleges, and the ordinary Catholic high schools. Whether the latter have the studies outlined in the catalogues, I do not know. I have not examined them, with the exception, perhaps, of one or two. In the preparatory departments of our colleges, which correspond to high schools, I find that the programs are so arranged that the units may very well be presented according to the grouping system, which I suggested in my paper. Now, whether they would be able to give full units or not I do not know, because in our catalogues it is very difficult to tell how long the periods are, how many periods are in each week, and so on, but in the schedule we find English, Latin, Greek, modern languages, French and German especially; we find elementary science, physiography, geology, zoology, botany, and physics. Now from that I infer, since these courses are taught with a special coordination of studies and regulation of class hours, the students in the preparatory departments of our colleges could be influenced, as I mentioned in my paper, in their selection of studies, and the time given to the branches which lead to the courses which they will ultimately pursue in college. If they are going to take up a scientific course, then, according to the arrangement of the college authorities, they can take studies to prepare them for it. I believe also that in the high school and preparatory departments of colleges there should be fewer elective studies, but in order to take into account the varied talents of the student there should be a grouping of studies in view of some definite course given in the college.
Rev. D. J. McHugh, C. M.: As discussion in reference to courses of study has been invited by the Reverend Chairman, I would say a few words about the courses at De Paul, which, it seems to me, are varied and excellent. The classical course of seven years is made up of three years in the academy and four years in the college. From experience it would seem that we are able to give as much in these three years of academic or high school work as the public schools give in four. Our students can make five credits in a year, and fifteen credits entitle to a high school diploma.
The commercial course is of three years. Some studies, such as English, are taken in common with students of the classical course.
We have also a high school science course and a high school engineering course. Multiplying courses does not necessarily greatly increase the num
ber of classes and professors. For instance, an English class may be composed of students registered under classical, commercial, scientific and engineering courses The same may be said of a physical geography class. In the college proper the work becomes more separate and specific, but even then subjects such as mathematics and English are taken in common.
A question was proposed to this Department as to whether Catholic colleges should adopt the system of units and credits. Now, it seems to me that we Catholics are at liberty to look out over the whole field of education, and if we see anything good we have a right to take it. The system oi units and credits is good, inasmuch as it stands for a definite amount of work of satisfactory quality.
As to the matter of there being opposition between our colleges and the outside institutions, it seems to me there should be none. We aim to give a perfect education which includes the best secular knowledge as well as moral and religious training. Outside institutions cannot well give the religious side of education because there is no unity of belief among the students. We Catholics are a unit in regard to religion, so we can put this essential element into our system of education. In addition to the religious and moral element, it seems to me we should give our young men in the college that secular knowledge which will be useful in life. Formerly our colleges were little more than preparatory seminaries. Young men were educated principally for the priesthood, but nowadays the conditions are such in this country that we should educate our young men in science, engineering, commerce and everything else. We shall lose our boys if we give them only the old classical course. I think it is a pity for young men of scientific bent to be kept four years or more at the study of Latin. The classical course, no doubt, has strong points in its favor, but after a boy has taken two years or so of Latin and, considering it a drudgery, is about to drop out and go to work, I think he might often be saved to education if his mind were turned into scientific channels. He might then become a great discoverer, or inventor, or become an engineer of ability.
Until we educate more Catholic architects and scientists, business men and engineers, we shall not be a great power in the commercial, industrial and scientific world.
Our boys have been well prepared in the parochial schools. Those eight years under the Sisters were, I feel sure, more profitable and substantial than would have been eight years in the public schools. Let the Catholic high schools and colleges keep up the good work and give at least some of our students an education in science and industry.
COOPERATION WITH THE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT BY MEANS OF COLLEGE, STATE
AND PROVINCIAL ORGANIZATIONS
VERY REV. L. A. DELUREY, O. S. A., D. D., VILLANOVA COLLEGE,
The whole system of Catholic education is surely in need of the best cooperation possible. That may be taken for granted. Believing the signs of the times are right, it is neither an exaggeration of facts nor a stretch of the imagination to assert that the whole system of Catholic education is facing a serious crisis. The secularization of education has become the watchword of modern life. In certain European countries, secularization is being accomplished by means of legislation and governmental decrees. Such will never be the case in the United States, but even here our system of education is on trial and the safety of its continuance is by no means established. So that those who are convinced that the secularization of education is detrimental to the individual and nation, may well regard it as their duty to contribute whatever is in their power toward the defence and the establishment of that system of education which receives the approval of their conscience and which they regard as indispensable to the well-being of the family and the State.
Whatever cooperation is necessary for the maintenance of the Catholic system of education in general, is required tenfold in behalf of the defence and maintenance of the college department of that same system. First, because it is being contended that while there may be some plausible excuse for maintaining parochial and high schools in order to guard the child in that age against the evil results of secular education and against the influences which that viewpoint may work in the youthful mind, it is certainly not indispensable to have the same safeguard round about the young man who enters upon a college career. Not entering in any way upon the examination of the merit of this argument, its plausibility is rather dangerous in its influence upon the non-thinking Catholic. Moreover, the apparent induce