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Are institutions rethinking their STEM emphasis?

By Gary Warth, The San Diego Union-Tribune
October 12th, 2016

University, community colleges partner in an effort to boost humanities--but why?

humanities STEM

While schools at all levels have emphasized science, technology, engineer and mathematics (STEM) in recent years, a new $2.6 million grant being shared by UC San Diego and the San Diego Community College District is intended to spark interesting in the dwindling humanities field.

Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, said the grant is expected to reverse a trend that emphasized STEM over humanities, which had some unintended consequences.

“Community college enrollments have remained steady, but people have become too workforce-oriented at the exclusion of everything else,” she said.

Carroll noted that China is re-thinking its past emphasis on STEM courses after finding that students who didn’t study the humanities were less imaginative and had poor communication and critical thinking skills. Those skills are needed in many different fields and can be developed through the humanities, she said.

(Discover 3 ways technology could help create a critical bridge between stem and the humanities: click here.)

“This is an old lesson that America needs to re-learn, and we’re happy to participate in that,” she said.

(Next page: How new programs will focus on a different curriculum)


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