Despite the nearly laughable price tags, there are many terrific reasons to attend a private undergraduate school. Classes are often smaller; the atmosphere is usually more intimate and exclusive; professors frequently know students by their first names; even the campuses seem somehow more collegiate.
For many of the same reasons, though, private schools seem to have an easier time indoctrinating students. Agendas vary quite a bit, of course. At Westmont College in Southern California, for example, where students must attend chapel three times a week, it’s fair to say that the school actively promotes Christianity.
At many of the most prestigious American colleges, the agenda is heaping helpings of stereotypically left-liberal thought.
Course descriptions are reprinted verbatim from the schools’ websites.
Georgetown University, Sociology: Sociology of the 1 Percent
Hardly a day passes when the 1 percent is not in the news arousing political and moral passions. Today, less than 1 percent of Americans own nearly 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. The wealthiest 400 Americans are worth roughly $1.37 trillion. This amazing concentration of wealth at the top has been accompanied by a falling middle class and a growing number of Americans living in poverty. All of us have strong feelings about social justice and fairness and it is easy to grasp at simple solutions to complex problems. In this course, however, we move beyond moral and political posturing by examining the sociology of the 1 percent in order to understand the long-term significance of this concentration of wealth, its effect on our commonwealth, and our common destiny as a people.
Vanderbilt University, American Studies: Music as Social Protest
What do Woody Guthrie, James Brown, and Dead Kennedys have in common? Besides being great musicians, they all have used music as a way to challenge cultural, social, political, and economic conditions in the United States. In this class we will learn how different artists have brought music into social movements from the 1930s through the 1980s, and determine how they influenced the movements themselves and larger sociocultural trends in the process. By tracing the evolution of genres of music including folk, rock, funk, singer-songwriters, punk, and early hip-hop, we will also look at how styles of performance and the relationships between performers and audiences have shaped the ways in which music has been used as a tool for reform.