Of the working of the new entrance requirements (Report for 1907-8, pp. xxv-xxvii) it is as yet too early to speak with confidence, since they will not become solely operative, to the exclusion of the old requirements, until September, 1910. But present indications are that candidates for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences, at least, will, in general, meet the new requirements in full and without especial difficulty.

The vocational courses adopted last year (Report, 1907-1908, p. xxxi-xxxii) have likewise had, as yet, no sufficient trial. Indeed provision still remains to be made for such instruction in the "Elements of Law” as two of the vocational courses contemplate.


The new system of registration (Report, 1907-1908, pp. xxxiixxxiii), on the other hand, was worked in September, in February, and in May, and some, at least, of its merits are already manifest. Under the old system a teacher might not be certain, until the tenth day of the term, what students planned to take his classes. The new requirement that students file at the Dean's office, two weeks before the end of each term, a list of the studies elected for the term following has now made it possible to furnish each teacher in advance with an official list of his students. He is thus given time to plan his advanced courses with reference to the personnel of his classes and can begin his elementary courses without delay.

During the first ten days of instruction students who obtain the Dean's approval are, indeed, allowed to change their registration, and in fact I approved virtually all the changes asked for in that period. Their number was not excessive in either term. Whether the lists filed last May will need as few changes next October, after a summer's experience and reflection, remains to be seen.

The number of students who withdrew, after the first ten days, from courses for which they had registered, was small. This cannot be due to any stiffness in administering the rule which demands a grave reason, and the Dean's consent, for such withdrawal, since consent was given almost as often as asked for. In some cases, where student and instructor agreed that success in the courses was hopeless, consent was given only with the proviso that withdrawal should be construed as a confession of failure. But in most cases, particularly where ill health was alleged, unconditional cancellation of the registration was approved.

That under these circumstances the number of freshmen changing their registration or dropping courses was notably small is to be attributed, I think, less to the new rules about registering than to the new conditions under which students made choice of their studies. For some years past, to be sure, many members of the Faculty, including the Dean, have kept long office hours during the registration period, and have freely given advice to such students as chose to ask them what courses to elect. But not many students asked. The Administrative Board for Freshmen and Sophomores resolved, therefore, to make advice on that point more easily accessible to all students this year, and especially to freshmen. In the large room opposite the Dean's office a temporary information bureau was established. Some twenty members of the Faculty, representing nearly all subjects taught in the College, were there, ready to give advice. Each student, upon coming to the office for his study card, was told that just across the corridor he could get help in deciding for what courses to register. For three days the bureau was crowded. Consultation was, in many cases, long and earnest, and the opinion seemed to be general, both in the Faculty and among the students, that the device had worked well. It will be used again next September.


The instructions which the Faculty gave a special committee on May 8th, 1908, “to have all rules of this Faculty codified and published for the benefit of both students and Faculty" (Report, 1907-1908, p. xxxv), was carried out with the cooperation of the Administrative Board. During the summer the committee went through the minutes of the old General Faculty from the beginning of the University, and of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences since its organization in 1896, and on the 2d of October, 1908, the following report was made to the Faculty (Minutes ii, 55):

"Your committee, after compiling such rules as they could discover, learned that the Administrative Board in charge of Freshmen and Sophomores was planning to publish a pamphlet for the information of nev students, which should contain most of the rules. Being uncertain whether their compilation was complete and desirous of saving unnecessary expense, your committee turned its material over to the Board, and accordingly the rules, as your committee supposes them to be, are included in the Board's pamphlet, or in the supplement thereto for the information of the Faculty, copies of both of which have been mailed to each member of your body."


In respect of advanced standing for work done in preparatory schools the Faculty went a step beyond their action last year (Report, 1907-1908, pp. xxvii-xxix), and instead of leaving with a committee the decision whether or not "the excess of the student's preparatory work over fifteen units” should count him towards graduation, they voted, 7th May, 1909, that

"Credit towards the degree of Bachelor of Arts for work done in preparatory schools be granted only on the passing of examinations set for that purpose by the departments concerned." Similar action has since been taken by the Faculties of the other Colleges, and beginning in September, 1910, credit examinations upon preparatory school work will be offered at the same times and places as the entrance examinations in the various subjects.

The whole history of surplus entrance credit for the A.B. degree at Cornell is not without its interest as an illustration of the growth and establishment of academic customs. It is clear that the entrance examinations wereworiginally designed as tests of a student's fitness to begin a course in the University, not at all as criteria of his fitness to graduate from it. And so long as the entrance requirements to the Arts course were perfectly specific—the elementary subjects plus Greek and Latin-they served their original and proper purpose only: no candidate could get surplus entrance credit, consequently none could ask to have it counted towards his A.B. degree. The possibility of surplus entrance credit arose, however, as soon as entrance options appeared. For example, the candidate for B.S. was allowed, some twenty-five years ago, to offer either French or German for entrance. A few candidates passed the entrance examinations in both subjects, and to such, "by special arrangement,” credit for the surplus was given towards the 180 hours then required for the degree. In 1900, the opportunity for claiming such credit was vastly enlarged by the consolidation of the various courses in this College. Thenceforward only the A.B. was to be granted. But the course leading to that degree might be entered by any of the various doors which had previously given admission to the several courses then suppressed. And so far has the diversification of entrance requirements since proceeded, that the necessary fifteen units of our "new" entrance requirements may be elected from a list of no less than thirty-four; so that, although no student has in fact ever received more than 30 hours of surplus entrance credit for preparatory school work, such credit is nevertheless theoretically possible at present in nineteen units, equivalent to more than 100 of the 120 required for the degree. This condition of affairs is not the result of deliberate design. It has grown up incidentally, and has overcome us like a summer's dream without our special notice.

Little reflection is required to perceive that preparatory school work differs from college work in several respects: frequently in the capacity of the teachers, generally in the equipment of the school, invariably in the age of the student. These differences, it is clear, are more weighty in some subjects than in others, and are particularly important where, in addition to laboratory practice, a certain variety of experience and maturity of intellect are necessary. Accordingly the Faculty has attempted, at the request of certain departments, to deny surplus entrance credit for preparatory school work in their subjects, the Register declaring explicitly (pp. 184, 197) that entrance credit in Physics and Chemistry does not carry with it credit for the beginning college courses in those subjects, and that such credit can be secured only by passing a special examination. But experience has shown conclusively that under our new entrance requirements, the intent of these provisions is easily defeated so long as surplus entrance credit without examination is allowed in other subjects. Suppose, for example, that a candidate presents a school certificate covering seventeen entrance units, two of them in Physics and Chemistry. If denied credit for these as surplus, he whips the devil around the stump by claiming Physics and Chemistry as two of his five elective units, thus releasing two of German (say, or of Mathematics, or of Latin). For these he is given twelve hours surplus credit towards his A. B. because full entrance German (for example) is considered the equivalent of college German I and 2.

Under these circumstances it seemed necessary either that all effort be abandoned to limit preparatory school credit towards the degree in any subjects whatever, or else that the effort be made effective by requiring a special examination upon all preparatory school work for which credit towards the degree is desired.

Another argument in favor of requiring such examinations from all freshmen who ask surplus entrance credit arises from the fact that we do not exempt from an examination for credit even the students in our own classes, whose daily work we know, unless their class standing is at least 85 per cent. That being our practice, it seemed unfair to the freshmen taking their classes in the College that we should continue to exempt from examination in the same subjects a number of other freshmen, of whose work in classes we knew only that they had been certified by their teachers as passing, and in some cases barely passing, at the end of it.

The Faculty still think it "desirable to encourage the better schools to have their students complete, before coming to Cornell, some of the more elementary work that is now offered and counted towards the degree of Bachelor of Arts," (Report, 1907-08, p. xxviii), and they still see "no good reason why beginning French or German might not be as well taught and as thoroughly mastered in the high school as in college." They do not desire, therefore, to cease allowing credit for surplus work in preparatory schools, but merely to guard against granting such credit ignorantly or improvidently. Whenever the school work is, in fact, equal or superior to college work, its superiority will appear upon the examination. Justice will be meted out to candidates, and the compliment paid to capable preparatory teachers will be rendered indubitable.


In the President's Report for 1906–07 (pp. 57-58), the suggestion was made to the engineering Colleges of “a fifth year of study in the engineering courses, the additional time to be spent wholly on humanistic studies while the student, during the first two years of the five-year course, was also pursuing his work in pure science." The question thus raised had come before the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1907-08, but in such a way that, as Dean Hill reported, "it was not possible for the Committee on Educational Policy to give adequate consideration to the matter before the close of the academic year.” During the winter, however, definite proposals were received from Sibley College and from the College of Civil Engineering, embodying the President's suggestion, and in April a cooperative agreement was reached. Henceforward a five-year course will be offered leading to the degree of Civil Engineer, and a similar course leading to the degree of Mechanical Engineer. A student may begin either course upon satisfying the entrance requirements of this College, in which he will be in residence for his first two years. Passing then to Sibley College, or to the College of Civil Engineering, he will receive his technical degree upon the completion of his fifth year in the University. Detailed outlines of both five-year courses are printed in the Register for 1909-10 and need

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