FL college is helping 'students think for themselves'

Flagler College, located in St. Augustine, Florida, is creating the Institute for Classical Education.

A university representative told Campus Reform that the program is 'committed to helping students think for themselves.'

Flagler College, located in St. Augustine, Florida, is creating the Institute for Classical Education. 

Flagler College Interim Dean of Academic Life and Associate Professor of English Craig Woelfel told Campus Reform that the institute will teach "quantitative reasoning, writing, and historical literacy."

Funding comes from the Freedom First Budget, which Governor Ron DeSantis signed on June 2.

In March, The St. Augustine Record record reported that $5 million for the new institute had been included in the budget. 

Leftist academics are opposed to this move. 

[RELATED: DeSantis says 'Florida is standing with students and parents' as he signs new higher ed accountability measures into law]

Brooklyn College lecturer Kathryn Joyce argues in Salon that Flagler's institute is an example of "Republican-led legislatures...using taxpayers dollars to implant conservative ideology in public institutions." 

Flagler is a private institution. 

Joyce quotes University of Florida professor Malini Johar Schueller, who says that "American exceptionalism" and "Western civilization" are "code" for erasing minority voices.

Schueller told Campus Reform that she stands by her accusations. 

"In a word, yes," she stated.

"I understand the worries," Woelfel said to Campus Reform, referencing the Institute for Classical Education's critics. 

"But what we see the program doing is being committed to helping students think for themselves," Woelfel said. 

[RELATED: Florida Governor DeSantis signs two bills to curb Chinese influence on American higher ed]

Campus Reform reached out to every person and university mentioned; this article will be updated accordingly. 

Similarly, Campus Reform reported in April that the University of Florida is creating the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education. 

DeSantis signed SB 2524 earlier this year, which granted $3 million to the university to create a center to "support teaching and research concerning the ideas, traditions, and texts that form the foundations of western and American civilization."

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