As a biology major attending a liberal arts school with an extensive core curriculum, I often felt like I was wasting my time -- in the sense that I could have been taking more science classes instead -- with courses like philosophy, music appreciation and British literature. Very quickly after my graduation from Hillsdale College and entrance into the "real world", I began to appreciate having taken these courses.
But one course I never questioned the validity of my sitting in its lectures, even at the time, was U.S. Constitution.
I often told prospective students -- and fellow students -- that taking Constitution rivaled even my favorite science classes during my time at Hillsdale. Now, the college is preparing to launch a 10-week online course about this supreme law of the land for anyone-- for free. That's about a $2,500 value when compared to tuition of the course required by students at the college.
Hillsdale is one of only a handful of higher ed institutions in the country that require its students to take a full course on the heritage of the Constitution, with readings going directly back to primary sources.
I find the fact that the college is offering this course free of charge to the entire country -- world for that matter -- an exceptional opportunity. Earlier today I spoke with Dr. David Bobb, director of the Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. which is affiliated with the college, and he told me that the course doesn't come with a political agenda, only a choice. A choice between viewing the Constitution as a document to be adhered to according to the original intent of the founding fathers or a living document that should progress and change with the country and the times.
The online lectures taught by scholars at the college starting Feb. 20 will present participants with information to help them make this choice.
Taking Constitution at Hillsdale, in addition to being one of the most interesting and useful classes outside of my major, was also one of the hardest. It required hours of reading -- the professor called on students randomly in class so being on top of the readings was a must -- and the conversation was intellectually challenging. Still, I couldn't recommend it more. Plus, the course offered to you now (Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution) is online, so you won't have the anxiety I did about being called upon in class. Do note, there will be quizzes, although I'm sure they'll be painless.
Learn more about the course and/or register here.