An Associated Press article by Greg Bluestein discusses several universities’ attempts to get more undergraduates enrolled in computer science courses:
“At risk, professors say, is nothing less than U.S. technology supremacy. As interest in computer science drops in the U.S., India and China are emerging as engineering hubs with cheap labor and a skilled work force.”
So let’s make it fun, and hip, and entertaining so more students will enroll. Who knows what the students will actually learn in these new courses, or how applicable it will be after graduation, but let’s worry about that later.
Is this what India and China are doing? I believe their emergence has more to do with high school students being better prepared to tackle college courses in the first place. U.S. schools rank comparatively low globally in math and science.
So, what’s next? Low attendance in English? Let’s switch to reading comic books, graphic novels and porn magazines. No one wants to take math? We’ll skip the boring stuff and focus on analyzing web site page-hits and ad revenue statistics instead.
I’m certainly not suggesting curriculums cannot or should not change with the times. But this is normally a natural, evolving process based on various factors, not something done in a knee-jerk attempt to get more people enrolled. The primary concern should be the quality of people graduating, not simply the number of people enrolling.
(Image courtesy of the University of Waterloo.)