Freshmen who enter Patrick Henry College in Fall 2001 will have two majors and four career options from which to choose. In addition to careers in government and law, PHC students can now choose career preparation tracks in journalism, creative and professional writing, and classical education.
The State Council on Higher Education of Virginia approved PHC's second major, Classical Liberal Arts, at its December 2000 meeting. The "Classics" major will offer students two distinct paths during the apprenticeship phase for the junior and senior years.
The freshmen and sophomore years at PHC offer essentially the same program for all students regardless of major or apprenticeship track. All students receive a comprehensive classical Christian education with courses in Bible, Constitutional Law, English (literature and writing), Rhetoric, Logic, Latin, Mathematics, Physics, History, Principles of Biblical Reasoning, Freedom's Foundations, and more.
In the junior and senior years, students receive half of their credits in their major from classroom instruction and half from on-the-job-styled activity relevant for their major and career path.
Classics majors will be able to choose two distinct career paths. One is creative and professional writing. The normal expectation is that students who choose this path will write a publishable novel as the main component of their apprenticeship work. Other forms of writing can be chosen as well. The creative/professional writing career path fits perfectly within the core mission of Patrick Henry College. If we want to impact our society with a Christian worldview, then we need to be training some of the storytellers of the next generation.
The other path for Classics majors is classical education. Undoubtedly, PHC will be the only college in the nation which considers "home school mom" a valid career path. Many home schooling mothers would like to offer their families a more classical orientation in their K-12 instruction, but it is very difficult for many who have not been trained in the classics. PHC Classics majors would receive the training which makes this choice quite viable.
Additionally, a number of classical schools have opened in recent years and there is a growing demand for teachers trained in the classics. PHC will not offer the methodology courses that lead to public school certification (and which are often filled with humanism). Rather, we will teach substantive, challenging courses in the broad spectrum of knowledge and will teach instructional methodology through apprenticeship. This will equip those who want to teach or consult in both home schools and many classical curriculum schools.
The idea of using one major to offer two career tracks seemed to be such a good idea that PHC has decided to expand the opportunities for Government majors in a similar fashion. Our existing apprenticeship program is ideal for those who desire to enter government service or go on to law school. However, another key area of influence for our society is journalism. At PHC, we do not intend to offer a journalism major, but a journalism track for Government majors.
Many professional journalists believe that aspiring writers should major in the substantive field that they want to cover rather than in journalism. Those who want to write about politics should major in government or political science, and then learn to write about their subject matter.
This will be the core concept of the journalism track at PHC. Students wanting to become political journalists will major in Government and then complete their apprenticeship program which will offer hands-on, real-life opportunities to write articles and opinion pieces about politics, government, and law. Most home schoolers interested in journalism appear to be interested in political reporting.
PHC is dedicated to training students who will bring a solid Christian worldview into the professions that most affect our society. We trust that we will be able to have even greater impact with these expanded opportunities.