With all the craziness happening on university campuses, how do we prepare future collegians before they get there?
For many students and their parents, the pressure is on: college application time. Essays, recommendations, SAT scores, etc.
And if you're a parent or grandparent, there's even a bigger worry: the insane developments on campuses across the country may have you re-thinking the whole college thing. If not, you should.
At the University of Missouri, an anti-racism protest turned into an anti-first amendment protest, with students — and even university professors! — prohibiting a student journalist from photographing the event and then shoving him around for good measure.
At Cal State Northridge, one professor is being investigated because he hosted an event at the Ronald Reagan Library.
As reported by David French in the National Review, "The conference, called 'Bonds That Matter,' was focused on family relationships and the rights of children. The conference featured speakers from a range of viewpoints, and several of the speakers were traditional conservatives, a fact that infuriated a number of students."
So the professor's career is now on the line for an event that students were not even required to attend!
But this last one takes the cake.
As Kevin Williamson recently described, again at National Review, "I was honored to be a guest of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale, where I participated in a panel on freedom of speech with the wonderful writer Harry Stein and Professor Bradley A. Smith, a noted law scholar. The Yale kids [that is, student protesters] did their screaming best to prevent us from having a conversation about free speech — the Yale kids are utterly immune to irony."
All of this and more has left parents and grandparents around the country wondering a) What ARE they teaching kids in college these days? b) Why should I plunk down many thousands of dollars for my son or daughter to be caught up in this nonsense? And c) Is there anything I can do to prepare my kid for this anti-intellectual, even anti-Christian environment?
That last question is especially important for moms and dads not able to afford a private Christian college (though, by the way, as I've seen at Christian colleges that I love, they aren't immune to serious problems either).
Well, parent or grandparent, there is something you can do: It's called Free Think University. It's not a full university, but it's an outstanding online resource to prepare students for the ideological challenges they will face at college.
Here's how it works. Students can, free of charge, participate in one of 50 multi-media online mini-courses dealing with what FreeThink U calls "the Big Questions."
Each mini-course is framed around a key question, such as "Is the Bible historically accurate?" "Does Your Vote Count?" "Has Science Buried God," and "Are you colorblind?" The subject areas include, among others, American Citizenship, Economics and Enterprise, History and Tradition, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Logic, Religion, and Theology. Your students will learn from the likes of Os Guinness and Rod Dreher, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein. And their points of view will be challenged by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin.
And here's something that will really interest parents of soon-to-be collegians. Free Think U also in the process administers scholarships for students that are active in their community. Scholarships can be established by parents, grandparents, foundations or mentors for students to access as they complete designated courses at Free Think! My course on worldview is there, as is Eric Metaxas' course.
As someone who has taught students for years, I can tell you Free Think University is a one of the best resources to prepare your children — and yourselves — for what's ahead. Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and I'll link you to Free Think University.
This article was originally posted here.