Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

Are Research Universities Necessary for STEM Careers? | Office Hours with Jeremy Tate

May 14, 2024 Classic Learning Test
Are Research Universities Necessary for STEM Careers? | Office Hours with Jeremy Tate
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
More Info
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
Are Research Universities Necessary for STEM Careers? | Office Hours with Jeremy Tate
May 14, 2024
Classic Learning Test

On Office Hours with Jeremy Tate, Jeremy and Soren dive into the most recent, need-to-know news surrounding the education renewal movement. Tune in to hear about the correlation between classical higher education institutions and their comparative lack of riots. Soren and Jeremy also discuss the richness and success of classical school STEM programs and why liberal arts students do not need to fear the future of AI. 

Show Notes Transcript

On Office Hours with Jeremy Tate, Jeremy and Soren dive into the most recent, need-to-know news surrounding the education renewal movement. Tune in to hear about the correlation between classical higher education institutions and their comparative lack of riots. Soren and Jeremy also discuss the richness and success of classical school STEM programs and why liberal arts students do not need to fear the future of AI. 

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:02.457)
There's an increased number of riots on college campuses these days. Why is there such a stark difference between the UCLAs and the TACs? Students don't have to attend big research universities to pursue a STEM degree, and CLT has some data to back it up. And is AI coming for your job? Well, not if you have a liberal arts degree. I am Sorin Schwab, and this is Office Hours with Jeremy Tate.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:30.969)
Welcome back to the Anchored Podcast and thank you for joining us for another episode of Office Hours with Jeremy Tait. I'm here at CLT in Annapolis with none other than our founder and CEO. Jeremy, how are you today?

Jeremy (00:44.285)
So we're doing great. How are you, sir?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:47.001)
Doing well, you know, I'm actually working from home today. I'm not in the office, but you know, this is almost like news, right? We're getting a new office. So who knows how many more of these recordings we have in the old office.

Jeremy (00:57.565)
That's right. Which means we've stopped fixing things in the current office. So, Soren, the AC is still broken. Stay at home today, sir.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (01:04.697)
Man, but that also means it's finally it's finally spring out here. Well, we got we got three really really interesting topics and I'm gonna Up front say this is not a political podcast, right? We talk about education We talk about obviously some cultural issues as they pertain to so this first topic We're not going to go into the political details of why there are riots But you had a couple of really interesting tweets and kind of contrasting what's going on at some of the

college campuses like UCLA, and then down the road, you have a college like TAC, Thomas Aquinas College, right? Or we're just down the road from St. John's, a liberal arts college, and you're not seeing the same extent of these violent protests. And so without focusing on the political undercurrents there, what's kind of your observation on these campus cultures?

Jeremy (01:54.941)
Yeah, so a great question. I think of a conversation with our mutual friend, Pano Canoles, who's now down at UATX. He was the president of St. John's just before that. And remember Pano said one time, St. John's students don't protest. And you think about what they're doing there. You go to St. John's and they've got students from across the entire kind of ideological perspective, right, left, center, you name it. They've got atheists and Catholics and Jews and Hindus and kind of everyone else. And they're bringing them together and they're

learning to think deeply about the things that matter most. And they also don't protest, right? I think there's an obvious connection there, right? That these students are learning a different, more constructive way to have dialogue than being the loudest, right? Which is what social media and what the culture at large is teaching them to do.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (02:46.585)
Yeah, yeah, and I too had a conversation with someone the other day and we were necessarily not in agreement, let's put it that way. But the argument that person made is, well, you know, people at UCLA or MIT or Harvard, they just have strong opinions, right? They just really care deeply about a lot of things. Well, I've met folks from TAC, I'm a Hillstall grad, right? St. John's. It's not like those people don't have strong opinions, right? So it's not like they're not convicted themselves.

You're saying it's more the way they engage with these cultural issues. Is that more accurate?

Jeremy (03:21.053)
I think that that's a big part of it. I think what we're seeing in terms of the teaching approach at a place like Thomas Aquinas or St. John's College, I think it fosters civil dialogue. It fosters the ability to listen well and to not be afraid of ideas. And I know we started off here, Soren, by saying we wouldn't get political, but I do want to read this part of a tweet from Governor DeSantis here.

This is just yesterday. He says, it's sad and pathetic that Columbia University canceled their university wide commencement because of the out of control pro -Humas protest. He says, last week I directed Florida's colleges and universities to ensure that commencements were not canceled or disputed. Our students deserve that and we champion law and order. I think that we were just not seeing adults acting like adults. And regardless of which side of a debate, we need to see grownups acting like grownups.

I think of Ben Sasse at the University of Florida. I know that we both read, what is it, The Vanishing American Adult, such a great read. We need adults to just act like adults and show younger people, the next generation, how you have a conversation with people you disagree with.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:19.765)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:28.921)
Yeah, well, actually, the statistics, I think I read an article this morning, just how small of a percentage of people actually agree with these protests of students, right at these colleges that actually agree with them. So like you said earlier, it's the loudest, but truly, my heart hurts for this particular group of students, because think back, the seniors now four years ago, were seniors in high school in 2020. So they did not have a graduation due to COVID.

And many of these seniors are now not having a graduation due to some of these protests. And so that is just heartbreaking. And so, I mean, kudos to Governor DeSantis, at least, to stand up and say, we're not going to deprive our students of that while we can still engage with difficult conversations. So it's fascinating.

Jeremy (05:14.301)
Yeah, sorry, that's a great point. I had not thought of that. But yeah, these poor students and in some ways it sets a precedent of like, look, if you act like this, you can kind of get your way. And it's so important for every other college that administrators step it up and act like the adults in the room.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:32.249)
Act like adults. Yeah. For our second topic, really, really exciting. One of our former interns, and now she's kind of part -time working on us a little bit, her name is Faith. She wrote a piece on our CLT blog about the symbiosis of STEM with the liberal arts. And it's really kind of addressing some of the, what I would consider the misconceptions about the liberal arts. That is, well, if you want to pursue STEM, so science,

what is it science, technology, engineering, math, right? Anything in those fields. You shouldn't go to liberal arts college, right? You have to go to a big public research university. Why do you think we still, I mean, it's 2024, there's so much kind of that perception of liberal arts being almost antithetical to STEM.

Jeremy (06:23.101)
Yeah, I think, Soren, this keeps coming up in some of our conversations, but one of our new partner colleges, the Catholic Institute of Technology, we just had Alexis and Bill Heahaw on the CLT Anchored podcast, but they launched to solve this exact question, right? Is there actually a disconnect? Or, you know, I think of the Steve Jobs quote, right? And that these things married together is where you actually get a fuller expression of both, right? I think STEM divorce,

from the humanities, you get something that's an impoverished vision. We forget why we're doing it even in the first place when it's divorced from the liberal arts and the humanities. It's only put in the full context and I think we've got so many awesome examples of CLT partner colleges, Grove City, Hillsdale, Montreat, that are doing exactly this.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:14.425)
Yeah, yeah. And we actually turned this into kind of a social media sequence too, so that parents can and students can learn more about all the wonderful things that are happening. And so you mentioned Grove City, one of the top computer engineering programs in the nation, in the nation, you know, and they easily go, you know, bat for bat with, you know, Ohio State or Penn State or any of the other schools in their vicinity. Hillsdale biology, their placement,

and their scores on the MCAT to go into medical school is unheard of. Montreat College, and I didn't know that, so I'm so glad for this. Cybersecurity, they have a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education, and it's actually NSA and Homeland Security approved. I mean, those are programs that, you know, again, you would expect at some of the big research universities, not necessarily at smaller private Christian schools.

But they exist, Benedictine College also one of the top biology and STEM programs in the country. And so there are options out there, but I guess you have several kiddos yourself. I mean, is that still even where they go to school? Like sometimes that perception and that, don't look at those schools. You really want to go to the big whatever, R1 kind of schools.

Jeremy (08:24.541)

Jeremy (08:38.141)

You know, it's funny, I actually didn't know as much as we know and love Grove City College, you know, of course, our beloved Noah Tyler, our CFO here is a graduate of Grove City. We know Grove City. We know it well. So Kimberly Farley, our new vice president of operations, as the Farley's do, they do their homework when they pick out of college. And what do they want for their son? They wanted the very, very, very, very best computer engineering program they could possibly find. Where do they end up? Grove City College. I think many of these

programs, they have the very, very best of the best. But in some ways, because it doesn't have the name of Virginia Tech or something like that, they can get overlooked. But yeah, it's encouraging. And I think more and more of these programs are going to be launching.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:16.569)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:23.129)
Yeah, so hopefully our listeners are going to check out that blog post, the symbiosis of STEM with the liberal arts, and then also look out for some of these these blog posts. And of course, look at all of our CLT partner colleges and all the different things that they offer on top of a rigorous core curriculum, and obviously a strong mission and still great books focused.

Jeremy (09:40.285)
Yeah. And how about to Faith as well? I mean, a high school student, right? A high school senior? You read this blog post and you're like, what? Like what high school senior? She's at a graduate level, you know? She would be showing up most graduate students. It's incredible.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:47.777)
Yep. Yep.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:52.249)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:56.409)
Yeah, right and yeah, she her number and she's actually she lives in canada and her number one like top school choice And I promise I had nothing to do with that. hillstale college. she had that before I even met her She was already thinking about going to hillstale. So, not that I wouldn't have sold her on try to sell her on it Anyways, and then for our last topic and darrym. That's a topic that i've heard you speak on on quite a bit So I thought it would be really interesting for our audience to hear kind of your thoughts on that. I mean we're

Jeremy (10:06.941)
ha ha ha.


Soren Schwab (CLT) (10:25.721)
I remember a couple of years ago was the first, I guess we as laymen heard about this whole Chad GPT AI. I mean, we've seen some movies in the past about this, what could happen, but now it's such a reality. And I think there's generally some anxiety of people that are going to enter the job market or even folks that are currently obviously working that is AI coming from my job, right? Am I replaceable?

Jeremy (10:43.741)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (10:54.489)
What would kind of be your response to that be maybe even in light of, you know, the liberal arts philosophy and all that.

Jeremy (11:02.941)
Yeah, love that. I know we've got a number of folks at CLT listen to the T -boy podcast is the UK, the pre -fonte and brought that to CLT. They were saying just last week how I think it was Goldman Sachs. Maybe they did some research and they're looking for philosophy majors as kind of uniquely gifted to navigate and to think outside. And so it's precisely the things that cannot be replicated, which is kind of getting harder and harder to imagine with the more sophisticated versions of AI and chat GPT and all this.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:10.297)

Jeremy (11:32.847)
I think as well though, this is where classically educated students I think have such an advantage of like, you know, when I heard this just this morning as well saying podcast that T -boy podcast with Duolingo, you know, we can kind of fight this technology or we can think about how this can help us to solve, you know, some of the greatest challenges as well. So, you know, it's an exciting time, you know, but it's a kind of a scary time for many understandably as well.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (12:03.129)
Yeah, but I guess, you know, for students that are classically educated, for students that are pursuing the liberal arts, there's going to be a lot of change, but it's precisely that. And I know you've talked before about...

that there's almost like this paradox, right? Where an education that actually looks backwards so much, right? For its wisdom is actually the best education that can prepare you for the future. You've said it much more eloquently, but do you think that that still holds in this ever -changing kind of world with technology?

Jeremy (12:34.557)
Yeah, I love that and I'll quote who Pano Canales told me he thinks is the best college university president in the country and that's our friend Ben Sasse over at the University of Florida. So, you know, Dr. Sasse is a PhD in history and he loves classical education. But when you hear him speak, he'll say, I actually spend way more time thinking about the future and I'm excited about the future, you know, as well. But I think what this movement allows people to do is to see some of the patterns, some of the same problems that have

fronted previous generations and to take the very, very best, and in some ways, soaring, of course, there's nothing new under the sun, right? The same problems that plague society right now are problems fundamentally of the human heart, problems that can't be solved with tech. So I think there's an ability for classically educated students to, again, kind of think outside the box about ways these new technologies can be helpful in solving some of the biggest problems today.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (13:34.297)
Wonderful, thank you sir. As always, I'm gonna ask you at the end here, what are you currently reading or any kind of article or book recommendation for our listeners?

Jeremy (13:43.965)
You know, currently in a writing phase and not reading, been thinking about this, Zorn, and I think first things, hopefully when this comes out, is gonna be dropping an article.

I believe next week that we're titling From Basements to Beauty. And I've been reading just a little bit on these websites, schools like the Oaks and Washington, Spokane, Heritage Classical. What I think it was kind of like a 2 .0 of the classical ed movement where you've had this beautiful vision. And in some ways, it's been like incubating in church basements for decades. And now these schools are well established. They've been around for 30 years and they're building buildings, but they're doing it in a way.

that reflects this beautifully rich education that their students are receiving. And now people are driving by and they're like, what's that? They drive through downtown Richmond. What is that school? It's the Veritas School of Richmond. I think this way that architecture can reflect, and it's always been this way, right? We see a beautiful, when theology was the queen of the sciences, that's reflected in the architecture of Cambridge and Oxford. And it's being reflected again as these schools are breaking.

ground, which I think is so exciting.

Ahead of school a founder who has poured 15 years of their life into this dream It has gone through one impossible barrier after another to launch a school You know when you pick up that symbolic shovel and you break ground for the new building That is going to be you know, a new home to your students is an incredible moment. So I've been thinking about that a lot Yourself every time I ask you you you you list a new like Les Mis or another 1200 page book that you're often reading in a different language than English

Jeremy (15:25.887)
What are you reading right now, Soren?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (15:27.897)
No, I actually went from reading a few novels to now I'm in my nonfiction phase. I don't know, I kind of fluctuate quite a bit. But two books that I highly recommend, actually two authors that wrote a book together, so Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, they wrote The Coddling of the American Mind, which of course is kind of the...

a play on words on the closing of the American mind, Harold Bloom, 86 maybe, I think it was written in 86. So they wrote the Coddling of the American Mind and they each wrote a book about certain chapters in the coddling of the American mind. And Lukianov wrote, it's called The Cancelling of the American Mind. And it does focus quite a bit on kind of the canceling of speakers on college campuses, but also in publishing, in...

Jeremy (16:11.613)
I've been hearing about this, okay.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:20.793)
movies and everything. All right. and so that was really, really, really interesting. and i'm currently almost through, a highly anticipated book by jonathan hight called the anxious generation. and it's it's I i'm not a parent myself, but if I were, that's one of those books you you know, you want to read and and really deeply think about it talks a lot about the mental health crisis and as it pertains to social media and an increased

Jeremy (16:33.053)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:48.345)
phone usage. And so, you know, and he makes some, he makes some some bold claims, I actually think, didn't, didn't your wife, did she take a class? Was Jonathan Hyde at UVA when she was there?

Jeremy (16:58.493)
She did, she had Jonathan Haidt in 2002 at the University of Virginia. He was a big deal then, but not the Jonathan Haidt he is today. But if you sort of you had to pick between the two, between the anxious generation and the other one you mentioned by the other author of The Coddling in the American Mime, which of those two would you recommend for us?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:07.449)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:14.617)
Greg Luganov. Yeah, probably and no offense to Greg, but probably anxious generation. I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's eye opening. It's a little scary. But but but he starts with this, this analogy, and I'm imperfectly gonna gonna share it. But he talks about, you know, that, think about this, this, this fictitious, fictitious scenario. Well, if you ask Elon Musk, it's not as fictitious, you know, and we're, we're, we're packing things up and we need we need to start.

colonizing Mars, right? And we're going to send people to Mars. And so the decision was made that the first people that are going to be sent to Mars are, are children and teenagers. Because, you know, when you think about it, they're, they're the most adaptable, right? That you can mold them, you can really make them into something new as they probably need to be when they, when they go to Mars, right? And so he kind of expounds on it. He's like, we would all think you think you're crazy. Why would you, why would you send kids as the first ones to Mars? And yet,

When it comes to some of this new technology, social media, TikTok, all these things, we are completely fine, given this completely unfettered, uncontrolled to children and think it's the most normal thing, right? And don't think about how that's gonna just fundamentally change them, right? And he calls it the great rewiring. And so, but he also has, I mean, that's the bad news. He also has a lot of solutions. And like I said, I'm about three quarters through. It's a profound book. And...

Jeremy (18:17.981)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (18:42.329)
know, he's a center left atheist, right? So it's not necessarily a conservative book. And it's really, I think, you know, can get a lot of bipartisan support.

Jeremy (18:46.717)

Jeremy (18:51.997)
Soren, I saw on Twitter for the promotion for this, they were on the mall in DC with 10 foot tall milk cartons with a missing sign. What is missing is childhood. Really profound kind of way to raise awareness for this as well. So, okay, so it's on the list, the anxious generation.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (19:05.529)
Yeah. Yeah. It is. Yeah. And one thing you'll really, really like anxious generation. One of the things that you'll really, really appreciate is also he advocates for free play that we're we've robbed kids of just playing. And I remember you're talking about your boys and the one thing you have to let your boys do is wrestle. And I've seen it. They wrestle. But that it's such from a

formative perspective, right? It is so important to let kids play, to let kids wrestle. And Jonathan Hyde is saying we've kind of...

Jeremy (19:40.189)
I love that you say that. We were golfing together the other day and you had the chance of watching my son jump into the fountain as if it were a swimming pool. So we're certainly trying to do that rearranging hands off a bit, you know. But I think I was the tail end of that generation. Like mom and dad would say, you know, lights come on, you got to come home. But that was kind of it. I was like seven.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (19:50.265)
Yeah, I did see that. Yeah. Yeah.

Free, yeah.

Jeremy (20:04.733)
And like streetlights came on and that was time to come home. But besides that, you can kind of go wherever you want in the neighborhood. And a lot, it's so regulated, it's so over scheduled right now with sports and everything else. I think so much has been taken away from children.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:06.169)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:18.777)
well, you're gonna like the book because that's one of the arguments that he's been making is that we have put so many guardrails and so much structure and protection, or reality, right? Like, even letting kids walk a couple of blocks with their friends, right? Like, you can't do that. What if they get abducted, right? Like, we're so overprotective in real life. And yet, we're allowing these very same kids without any restrictions to go on social media.

Jeremy (20:45.693)
It's so true, yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:47.609)
you know, go access porn, access violence, all these things that we would never let them in the real world, but in the virtual world, it's fine because they're in their bedroom, right? And so he really kind of constantly reminds us like what we're doing right now to this next generation is completely asinine. And like we need to call it out for what it is, right? So great read.

Jeremy (20:56.445)

Jeremy (21:04.125)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:10.105)
All right, my brother, this has been delightful as always. I already look forward to the next episode, maybe in the new office here soon. I think we got... I appreciate you. I appreciate you. Hope you have a good rest of your day.

Jeremy (21:16.573)
Yeah, Soaring 12, favorite part of my week, sir.