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Response to a Native American Studies program

| Thursday, April 4, 2019

I read your Viewpoint column in Monday’s Observer, “It’s time for a Native American Studies program.”
I am sure that if there is enough interest and a need for any program, most colleges would create and offer any program. The problem, unfortunately, is what the possibilities are for those that participate in the program. What is the possibility that participating in the program will allow the participants the ability for financial success?
There are many of these “study” programs that, while educational and deserving of study, have little or no market in the employment world. You read about individuals that have gotten degrees in many of these “study” areas that are unable to earn sufficient income to support themselves. The especially high tuition at Notre Dame this is even more of a problem, especially for those that must take out loans.
Additionally, since I was in school in the ‘60s students have continually complained, “Why are these courses necessary when they don’t relate to my major?” Many of those classes relate to the general education of an individual where we should know more that just our individual field of study.
I continually have heard “I could finish sooner with my degree if I didn’t have to take these non-related classes.” So why are we interested in creating another “studies program” when many already want to eliminate courses that they don’t feel are essential? On the other hand, as I said to begin with, if there were a need and a function for a program I have confidence it would exist.
Jim Murray
April 2

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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