Two linked Minnesota Roman Catholic institutions are reducing language and other humanities offerings, including nixing all its ancient Greek and Chinese classes.

The provost of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University has cited overall enrollment decreases and specifically low enrollments in these courses.

In its fall newsletter, the Modern Language Association noted combined undergraduate and graduate course enrollments in languages other than English declined 15.4 percent from 2016 to 2020—the largest drop since it began its survey in 1958.

Source: Minnesota Catholic colleges cut languages, other humanities

Combination of things here –

  • Young cohort decline in population, fewer overall entering students
  • Low unemployment rate reducing perceived need for college
  • High tuition costs with poor return on investment
  • Desire to pursue degrees tied to specific, required job skills

And they are aware of the reasons: ““These schools are in danger of demographic decline, regional decline and various factors beyond their control, really,” Henderson said.”

Students are migrating to where there is market demand:

The linked institutions say they have added seven programs in recent years: graduate-level nursing, an exercise and health science major and minor, and minors in climate studies, data analytics, global health, narrative practice and neuroscience. Ice said it’s hiring nine tenure-track positions next year.