The actual answer lies in a trend that transcends any single college and that predates the culture wars of the 1980s: There has been a massive shift in student attitudes since the 1960s toward vocationalism. As student goals shift, so do their choices of majors. . . .
Simply put, college students today are less likely to say that they are attending school for the sake of knowledge. Instead, they are more likely to say that they want a college education to get a job.
We know about this increased concern for jobs from the annual College Freshmen Survey, conducted annually by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. The survey began asking a sample of American college freshmen what they valued in an education. In 1970, approximately 50 percent of respondents said that they were attending college to make more money. By 1994, that jumped to over 80 percent. The survey also asked respondents to choose which idea they valued—“develop a meaningful philosophy of life” or “be very well off financially.” In 1966, “meaningful philosophy” beat “well off financially” 95 percent to 45 percent. By 1996, the situation was reversed—“meaningful philosophy” had dropped to about 45 percent while “well off financially” jumped to 80 percent. Recent surveys show that things haven’t changed much in the early 21st century.
Friday, September 21, 2018
Why Humanities are Declining in Universities
According to Fabio Rojas, the decline in humanities enrollments has nothing to do with campus politics or corporate-style management by administrators: