Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Humanities Programs in Community Colleges

Humanities Programs in Community Colleges
Etta Marie Kallis

Currently across the United States, there are increasing rates of students enrolling in Community Colleges everywhere. Everyone from adults with career changes to high school students starting out are found within the confines of Macomb Community College, Michigan. Humanities courses are still a common course subject, either as a pre-requisite, or by choice, that almost all students take. As costs of college rise, along with the need for more specialized students, do the Humanities courses taught at Macomb Community College have justification?

During the winter semester in 2009, a pilot study was conducted using students enrolled in 1210 Introduction to the Humanities. They were asked a question, “As students, do you feel there is a need for the Humanities program at Macomb Community College, or do you feel otherwise?” The students responded in one to one and half page summaries of their thoughts about this topic. The papers were then coded for certain text phrases, categorized, and placed in an appendix for review. Not just these papers were considered when reviewing this question. The use of cultural transmission (Spindler and Spindler), transmitting the values of diverse cultures through education was also considered.

In conclusion, it appears that the majority of students at Macomb Community College, during the winter 2009 semester, overall have an appreciation for the Humanities, indicating a justification for a Humanities program. Although a pilot study, towards linguistic and possibly educational anthropology, this study may help provide one linguistic method that an anthropologist might use in future field work. Obviously more ethnographic data and field work is needed; however, this technique could be replicated into a bigger framework.

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April 17, 2009 - Posted by | abstract

1 Comment »

  1. I’m curious – is the focus of your paper on the question of the perceived value of humanities courses by these students, or on the methodological approach used in the data collection for the project? Either way it could be interesting! I’m also curious as to why student appreciation is considered a valid justification for continuing the courses.

    Comment by Elanya | April 20, 2009 | Reply


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