Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The life-cycle of an occupational program:

  1. “Gee, we're seeing a lot of employer and student demand for a program in x.”

  2. Several years pass

  3. “Maybe we should have a program leading to a degree in x, so students can get those jobs.”

  4. “Don't we already have something sorta like that in department z?”

  5. “Let's have the chair of department z put it together.”

The scene shifts to department z.

  1. “How can students possibly jump right into that? They need a solid foundation in the courses we happen to teach.”

  2. “Let's make x a subset of z, so students can major in z with a concentration in x.”

  3. “Good idea. And let's construct the Gen Eds so as not to offend the other chairs.”

Curriculum committee:

  1. “Great job! I'm glad you've made certain the students will get a solid foundation in z.”

  2. “Thanks. It's all about academic integrity, you know.”

At in-person registration:

  1. “Why do I have to take z? I only want x!”

  2. “These prereqs are bullshit. I'll just take what I want.”

Years later:

  1. “Why don't we have a program in x? Students and employers are clamoring for it.”

  2. “Can't be done. We tried it a few years ago, and the numbers were terrible.”