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Liberal Arts

OPINION
February 4, 2012
Jonathan Zimmerman's Jan. 31 Op-Ed article on colleges' inability to measure student learning prompted Viggo P. Hansen, a professor emeritus at Cal State Northridge, to write: "The question should not be whether students are learning but rather what they are learning. "Any dedicated student who has struggled and passed calculus, biology or computer engineering has achieved something highly demonstrative and measurable by all standards, including better heart transplants and more efficient machines: They have learned.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2012 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Claremont McKenna College took another blow Friday as a result of the scandal involving its admissions office exaggerating freshman classes' SAT scores. Kiplinger, the finance magazine, announced that it had dropped the Southern California campus from its list of best values in liberal arts colleges. "Kiplinger's has learned that Claremont McKenna College unfairly earned its place as 18th-ranked private liberal arts college in our college rankings by reporting inflated SAT scores," the magazine announced in an online statement.
OPINION
August 17, 2011 | By Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus
If recent trends hold true, most of the 3 million freshmen starting at U.S. colleges this fall will choose majors that prepare them for careers rather than majors in the liberal arts. Department of Education data show that students are opting for engineering, education or criminology instead of more traditional majors such as history, philosophy or even mathematics. Part of the trend can be explained by students seeking degrees that will allow them to step into jobs upon graduating. But that is only part of the reason for the eclipse of the liberal arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Ten Thousand Saints A Novel Eleanor Henderson Ecco: 400 pp., $26.99 "Ten Thousand Saints" is a whirling dervish of a first novel — a planet, a universe, a trip. As wild as that may sound, wonder of wonders, the book is also carefully and lovingly created, taking the reader far into the lives and souls of its characters and bringing them back out again, blinking in the bright light. It helps if you know the territory — New York's East Village and small-town Vermont, 1987 to 2006, but anyone can recognize the disorientation of the generation raised by hippies.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The Secret Knowledge On the Dismantling of American Culture David Mamet Sentinel: 242 pp., $27.95 David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture" comes with a built-in get-out-of-jail-free card: Dispute it and you're part of the problem, a defender of the liberal orthodoxy. Such is the case, I suppose, with any polemic, but here the author is especially adamant. "The struggle of the Left to rationalize its positions is an intolerable, Sisyphean burden.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 2010 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
Sandwiched between a time of squirming under parental control and the tethers of a career, college often means freedom for young people to begin a search for who they are and what they believe. For some, that may be just a quest for the nearest party. Yet for many students, college is a time to develop spiritually in ways that can endure after they've finished school, a new long-term study has found. "It kind of opens the student's mind," Alexander Astin, one of the study's authors and a professor emeritus of higher education at UCLA, said of the college experience.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2010 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Twenty years ago, they made educational history. The students at Mills College in Oakland revolted against the administration's decision to go coed. The women chanted, they blockaded buildings, they argued their case on television talk shows and they helped produce financial plans for the school's future. And then, surprising even themselves, they won. Sixteen days after the students' strike began, Mills officials reversed course and declared that the undergraduate program would remain just for women — a decision that went against a national trend but is now being commemorated as a wise, if risky, move.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2010 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Sharon L. Sievers, a history professor who helped pioneer women's studies at Cal State Long Beach in the early 1970s and with others later sued the university to preserve the program, has died. She was 71. Sievers, who also was a noted scholar of Japanese history, died April 5 at her Long Beach home after a long illness, said Nancy Quam-Wickham, who followed her as chairwoman of the university's history department. After joining Cal State Long Beach in 1968, Sievers spent her entire 40-year academic career there.
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