The Collegiate Way


I wanted to point your attention to an interesting new addition to the blogroll: The Collegiate Way. This site — it’s not strictly speaking a "blog" although it does have a frequently-updated news section — is dedicated to what it called the "residential college movement". From their About page:

The Collegiate Way website advocates the creation of decentralized residential colleges within large universities as a way of improving higher education for all. Residential colleges are small, permanent, cross-sectional, faculty-led societies of a few hundred members that provide the advantages of a small college in the context of a big institution.

There are lots of articles and information at the site. In the blogroll, you’ll find a link to the "news" portion.

After reading the stuff at this site, I find myself thinking that the vision of decentralized residential colleges is a lot closer to the idea of higher education that I had growing up and going to college and graduate school than is the actual reality of academia in America and a lot closer to what I wanted to do when I decided to be a professor. Even at small liberal arts colleges, academics and learning usually have to compete — usually unsuccessfully — with life outside the classroom, including (and especially) athletics and Greek organizations. It doesn’t have to be so difficult and unnatural to put learning and the life of the mind above all, and I think residential colleges are a step in the right direction. The more I read The Collegiate Way, the more I suspect I’ll be blogging about it. 

(It’s also nice to see that my alma mater is starting up one of these residential colleges.)

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4 Comments

Filed under Education, Higher ed, Life in academia, Student culture

4 responses to “The Collegiate Way

  1. They’ve had those for years at IU. They’re ultra-moonbat hatcheries.

  2. IU

    Are you talking about the thing at IU called “Unit One”?

  3. I’m talking about the Collins LLC, which used to be known as MRC (Men’s Residence Center). The nuttiest of the nutballs at IU.

  4. Thanks for the notice and the good words, Robert. The residential college movement is the most substantive (and least-noticed) reform trend in higher education today. I hope you’ll find a lot of good material to think about on the website.

    I find myself thinking that the vision of decentralized residential colleges is a lot closer to the idea of higher education that I had growing up and going to college and graduate school than is the actual reality of academia in America

    You’re not alone in thinking that. Quite a few students, especially in big state universities, arrive with high hopes of having a rich educational experience, and then encounter the anti-intellectual reality of their campuses. (Among the causes of that anti-intellectual reality, sadly, are a minority of faculty members whose greatest source of pleasure is that which attends the firing of a reflex arc.)