Reflections On Attending "The Worst College In America"
Shimer College was founded in 1853 and has existed in several different incarnations and locations around Illinois. It's now on the south side of Chicago, in a space it rents from the Illinois Institute of Technology. About 100 students attend, and they take courses that center around what's called the great-books curriculum. Students are expected to come to class ready to discuss, and the teachers are called facilitators, simply there to help move the discussion along. Classes never have more than 12 people.
Shimer has been ridiculed for its lack of diversity when it comes to coursework, as well as its graduation rates of minority students. Last year, Washington Monthly put it on a list of one of the worst colleges in the country. But the college says it is making great strides to include more students of color. The school's president, Susan Henking, tells WUIS in an email that: "We are currently 63% euroamerican/white/Caucasian, are the most diverse great books college, (and in the past few years) have undertaken significant diversity training for faculty and all community members ..."
Jo Becker is a current student. Her article titled 'I Go To The Worst College in America' recently appeared in Vice magazine. She doesn't really believe that headline is true, though. Becker joined me to discuss:
To read Jo Becker's article in Vice, click here.