Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/398

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instruction in all subjects from Greek up or down to kitchen-gardening and dancing, affording great opportunity for cultivating the social side and adding notably to the list of matriculants. Appendages affording side passages to degrees are as welcome as summer schools, as they benefit a worthy class and add to the matriculant list. The correspondence school has not gained full recognition, but the importance of the others justifies the hope of its founders. This type of expansion has been at the expense of efficiency. New schools, new courses, are added, the catalogue becomes more bulky each year, but the number of instructors is increased in small proportion. The instructors become mere lesson-hearers. In one institution, professors offer twenty to thirty-one hours a week of actual class-room work in various schools. How much energy remains for genuine study is not difficult to determine. One need not wonder that college professors no longer lead in investigation and discovery. This anxiety for bigness has led to the prominence of semi-professional athletics, to the lowering of standards that college champions may 'get through,' to the lowering of ideals and even of morals. A student expressed well the general sentiment of his class when Columbia took its stand against certain forms of athletics—"What is Columbia coming to anyway? It's going to be nothing but an educational factory."

Conceding all that is claimed for the present system, the question still remains, Has the gain equalled the cost?

No candid man, who has examined the subject carefully, who has studied many colleges, will answer the question affirmatively. It matters not how firmly he is attached to the present system, he must acknowledge that the results, from an educator's standpoint, are not commensurate with the expenditures—more, that in some directions it has led to positive waste. If one look over a pile of college catalogues from different parts of the country, he will find whole broods of academies masquerading as colleges, even as universities, with one twentieth to one fourth of their pupils taking college studies, with a long list of teachers, with a president traveling over the country, prating on the advantage of the 'small college,' pleading the cause of the 'poor professor' and working on denominational prejudice to make good the annual deficit of which his salary and traveling expenses form a large part. There is something wrong in a system which creates a public sentiment such as permits a half-million dollar gymnasium or an immense stadium for semi-professional intercollegiate contests to be heralded as a gift to education; that receives gifts for scholarships and fellowships with as much acclaim as gifts for endowments; that points to piles of masonry and to mere lists of matriculants as proofs of success, that places the college on the basis of the shop and proves economy of management by showing as many clerks as possible on a