Last week I paid a visit to Wesleyan University (CT) one of a small number of colleges that offers an Open Curriculum. An Open Curriculum is one where there are:
Most of the schools that are known to offer an Open Curriculum are, like Wesleyan, quite selective. These schools include Amherst College (MA), Brown University (RI) and Smith College (MA). Those who attend Wake Forest University (NC) can apply to tackle an Open Curriculum instead of the university’s distribution requirements. NYU’s Gallatin Division offers this option, though it is a very small (around 1,200 students) unit within a very large (over 21,000 students) university. Hamilton College, Vassar College and the University of Rochester, all in New York State, also offer some variations on the Open Curriculum. Perhaps the least selective school where the Open Curriculum rules is Hampshire College (MA). But Hampshire’s office works really hard at reviewing applications.
What are the issues to an Open Curriculum?
It takes a very motivated student to succeed at a school that operates an Open Curriculum. While the lack of structure makes it supposedly easier to earn a degree and empowers a student to manage their education, greater empowerment also comes with a greater amount of responsibility.
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