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ious professor, or to the suspension of some popular student.

(1) It does away with the practice of hazing and most of the other disgraceful customs of students in educational institutions; it renders the student more manly, and in a professional school allows a man to attend to athletics and his studies, without that demoralizing sacrifice of truth so fearfully prevalent.

(i) It proclaims to the public, and with perfect truthfulness, that not only has the student “gone through” certain studies to obtain a degree, but that each of those studies has “gone through” him; in other words, that no student has been allowed to slide through some studies in which he was weak, because there were others in which he was proficient; nor has he been graduated simply because of his excellence in athletics.

(j) It unites into one harmonious whole the studies that are usually classed as undergraduate with those that are called graduate, and leads the student to consider them all as desiderata for his work. It broadens his field of view, inclines him to pursue further study, and diminishes his tendency to contract the megacephalous disease.


SYSTEM AT THE MICHIGAN MINING SCHOOL. When the writer assumed the position of Director of the Michigan Mining School, nine years ago, the institution was in its infancy, and no systematic course of instruction had been laid out. The rigid system usual in engineering schools was the only one then

available, and it was accordingly introduced. The rapid development of the school soon pushed this system to its ultimate results, namely, the wishes of each member of the faculty as to the work he thought should be given in his department were gratified. There resulted, in consequence, an engineering course which could be successfully coped with, only by one exceptionably able both mentally and bodily. Seven to nine hours daily were needed in the class-room and laboratory, and all preparation for this work had to be done in outside hours.

Every instructor realized that the system was crushing under its own weight, and that prompt relief was imperatively necessary. When casting about for a solution of the long foreseen difficulty, the Director, among other things, interviewed each member of the faculty, separately, as to his views on the desirability and practicability of an elective system. He properly considered that such views would be more than usually valuable, since the faculty then contained men who were not only experienced in the methods and systems used in schools in Germany and in the Universities of Harvard, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Georgetown; Colby and Bowdoin Colleges; and the Michigan Agricultural College; but they were also familiar with the methods employed in Columbia, the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in most of the other leading schools of the country. The consensus of opinion was that such a system, while advantageous in a literary institution, presented insurmountable obstacles to its introduction in a technical institution like the Michi


gan Mining School. The Director, however, saw no other solution for the difficulties then encompassing the course of study, and, notwithstanding the discouraging outlook, determined to test the practicability of laying out a suitable scheme; from time to time he consulted each instructor as to his wishes in all mat ters relating to his department. After several months labor the details of the plan were finally worked out, obstacles surmounted, conflicting interests harmonized, and the completed work submitted to the faculty and the board. It was promptly and unanimously adopted by both bodies, and has proven to be the greatest single advance the Michigan Mining School has ever made.

The faculty meetings have been reduced from one or more weekly to five in forty-five weeks, and, unless some emergency arises, one or two meetings a year will in the future be all that will be necessary to transact the business that is required of the faculty as a body.

The system has also brought about a simplification of the other work and enables it to be rapidly done, because the Director is charged with the duties that usually devolve upon a faculty, and because each professor has absolute control over his department and the students in his classes. The professors in charge of departments are responsible to the Director, while each of the other instructors is directly responsible to the head of the department with which he is connected.

The regulations of the school have been greatly reduced in number, and so arranged that the student himself is specially interested in seeing that they are observed, since if they are not, his own act takes him out of the institution and closes the door behind him, in most cases without the intervention of the faculty or Director. Everyone who has debated long hours over the case of some student, whether it was “to be or not to be," can realize what a relief such automatic action is for a long suffering faculty. These changes have all grown naturally out of the elective system, with the result that the Michigan Mining School has had one of the pleasantest, most profitable and harmonious years it has ever experienced, although it has never developed enough disturbance in its history for the newspapers to take up its discussion. Not a single professor or student desires to, or would go back to the old system and while further experience will undoubtedly indicate various modifications of details, it can certainly be considered at this time that the elective system is an unqualified success.

DISCUSSION. PROFESSOR DE VOLSON Wood wrote that he thought elective studies in engineering courses are, as a rule, demoralizing, that they lower the standard of mental discipline, are costly to the institution, and are unnecessary. This is no reflection upon an institution which can equip and maintain different courses, which courses, it is presumed, are elective. As there are exceptions to all rules, so in this case the Michigan Mining School may have found advantages even if it has not yet discovered disadvantages.

A graduate, after years of professional practice, said, “A student should understand at the outset that he is to pursue any study that is required of him ; for he may find that the first thing he will have to use when he leaves college is that which he most despised when in it.” Lay greater emphasis on the “how" and on the "what" is studied. One straight, solid, thorough course without electives will make stronger men than one weakened by electives.

PROFESSOR J. GALBRAITH said that he had listened with great interest to the paper. The difficulties mentioned in connection with the ordinary system are more or less acknowledged by all. The great amount of work required of a student under this system, and the undue proportion which the dry and apparently useless work bears to that which is interesting, make the curriculum to some extent repulsive. The desire of individual professors to aggrandize their own departments and to arrange the curriculum to suit their special requirements may in some cases produce a bad effect. The speaker had hoped that the paper would make clear a method of avoiding some of these difficulties, but was obliged to confess that he did not see the solution in what had been said. It appeared to him that the only persons who are qualified to lay down a curriculum in the professional courses of a technical college are the members of the faculty, and they require to bring their combined experience and knowledge to bear upon the problem. The student certainly is not in a fit position to select the various subjects leading to a professional degree, and decide the order in which they are to be taken. Of course, if an institution decides to give its degree in one subject of study as distinguished from a professional department, it would be quite a proper course for the student to




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