The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 01, 1970, Page PAGE 6, Image 6

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Nebrnkan Stall Writer
Some call it the liveliest night spot on campus. Others
call it the most exciting educational innovation at the
University in years.
Sounds paradoxical? However, "it" happens to be the
Centennial College the University's only residential col
lege. The Centennial College with its 180 students will be
completing its first year of operation at the end of this
semester. The main purpose of the College is to combine
the student's academic and non-academic life into one ex
perience. The curriculum includes much independent study
and the student is given a wide choice of what he wants
to study.
The faculty of the Centennial College Is claiming that
the residential college has been a great success in its
first year.
"The College Is so much better than the regular
University that it is ridiculous to compare them," remarked
Phillip Scribner, one of the College's teaching fellows.
Centennial College Director Robert Knoll described the
success of the College by saying, "It seems to be totally
obvious that Centennial students are more open, more
critical, more involved, more alert, more awake to different
possibilities and more committed than our special control
group of non-Centennial students."
Knoll said that the residential college idea should be
expanded at the University since it has been so highly
successful in the Centennial College.
One of the Integral parts of the College has been lis
coed lounge which is open 24 hours a day. However, Knoll
noted, the College hasn't had any more trouble with its
coed lounge than any other dorm.
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exciting and
Knoll warned that the College is not a panacea to
all the problems of education. lie admitted that the program
has not been beneficial to all the participating students.
Scribner noted that some students have not benefited
from the college because they could not become accustomed
to the College's loose structure which demands that the
student take the initiative in his education.
"We could force students to read books, write papers,
and attend meetings," Scribner said. "But that is a waste
of time. Students aren't going to learn unless they take
the initiative."
Jerry Petr, another teacher in the College, agreed with
Scribner. "I have become convinced that for effective learn
ing to take place there has to be internal motivation on
the part of the student," I'etr said. "Very little intellectual
growth can occur when the student is driven only by external
The Centennial College next semester will be expanded
to 250 students. Next September, 125 new freshmen and
25 upperclassmen will be admit led, and 100 former Centennial
scholars will return.
Knoll explained that the curriculum and structure of
the College wjll be modified for next semester after consulting
with the current Centennial students. .
The work during this year's Centennial College has
been divided into four major divisions with the students
choosing a topic within each of the divisions.
Students this year have been studying social change,
stasl, nvironmental change and Utopias. However, Knoll
said that the Centennial course next year will not b
arbitrarily divided as was done this year.
1, 1970
6I really like
the atmosphere'
How do the students who have lived with it for its
first year feel about Centennial College?
"There's really nothing I dislike here," said Steve Timmons,
a freshman. "I really like the atmosphere."
He commented that the Centennial College experience will
probably be most beneficial to liberal arts majors, because
It teaches constructive thinking rather than facts.
Timmons defended the college of criticism that It Is too
instructured and is actually no more than a 24-hour coed lounge.
"The structure of the college is loose because this year's
students have wanted it that way," he said. "I think the
academic structure may become tighter next year, but the
social structure probably won't change."
Junior Ken Wald said he enjoys the general diversity in
the college. "It's beautiful in contrast with the straight universi
ty," he Said.
"Critics say the College is subverting the University," Wald
said. "I wish this were true, but it is not. The fact is that
tf Centennial College were not here, there would be a lot
more people out working for educational reform."
One commuter student, who is not electing to return to
the college next year, said it is necessary to live-in to get
the full benefit of the program. "The residence part of the
college has been one of the best things about it," he said.
"It's hard to commute and get much good out of the program."
Freshman Diane Wanek said Centennial courses are easier
than regular University courses in the sense they are easier
to enjoy. But, she added, they are much harder in that it
takes a lot of self-discipline to learn from them.
She added that the Centennial concept of learning should
really be used in grade schools. "Then there would be a
much better chance that students coming to college would
know what they should specialize in," she said.
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