Paragraphs to Ponder

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

“Two years after alumnae filed a lawsuit and raised $12 million in a matter of weeks to keep the tiny institution from closing, Sweet Briar College’s faculty and its new president unveiled ambitious plans Wednesday morning to overhaul the curriculum, calendar, and pricing model. Their hope is to turn what has been a genteel women’s college with horses and lakes into a 21st-century liberal-arts institution that attracts young women by promising them leadership skills — and that appeals to their families by costing about the same as Virginia’s flagship public universities.

The curriculum changes, hammered out in just three months by the college’s faculty, will abolish traditional academic departments and instead align professors in three groups, one focusing on engineering, science, and technology, another on the environment and sustainability, and the third on creativity and the arts. A core curriculum highlighting leadership will include 10 to 12 “integrated courses” and be in place for 2018-19 academic year, and the college will drop some of its current majors. Accompanying the curricular changes will be a new calendar replacing two 15-week semesters with a three-week term, a pair of 12-week terms, and a final three-week term.

Meanwhile, the college will “reset” its prices by moving away from a steep sticker price and high discounts. The total for tuition, room and board, and fees will drop from over $50,000 in 2017-18 to $34,000 the following year — just about what an in-state student would pay at the University of Virginia.”

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