Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ASU and Disability Studies

Arizona State University regents (via a committee) rejected a disability studies major (while approving a slate of technical and business majors). Majors get rejected all the time, but this one was telling, because the regent quoted clearly didn't get the humanities. Amy Silverman wrote about the decision.

Here's the reporting on the actual decision.
Searle said the degree in disability resources was a combination of arts, humanity, social science and looking at the issues that people with disabilities face.

Regent Larry Penley challenged the report ASU presented, stating that while addressing disability resources was important, he struggled with the learning outcomes presented.

“I struggle with whether those learning outcomes really articulate something students or prospective students can legitimately understand,” Penley said.
The degree was described as a combination of theory and practice to prepare students to address injustices, exclusions and misapprehensions regarding disabilities through advocacy, education, knowledge of the law and historical awareness. Those seeking the degree could pursue careers in business, policy and advocacy, social work, education, government, community and non‐governmental organizations, according to the presented learning outcomes.
“The demand in this space is quite intense in terms of interest and opportunity for students,” Searle said in defense of the program.

Penley said he could not vote for a degree he did not fully understand.
The actual learning outcomes are pretty typical. One could make similar outcomes for similar degrees.
This regent, a former business school dean, needs to take some humanities courses.

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