Unusual Programs Bring Attention to Colleges – VOA Learning English

Many colleges in the United States offer unusual learning programs for their students.

Some teach students how to use robots in medical operations. Others let them use million-dollar supercomputers to study data.

A small college within Kansas offers its college students the chance to work with old cars that might one day sell for nearly $1 million. It is McPherson College, and it has a study program, or major, in automotive restoration. Restoration means returning something in order to its original condition.

Automotive restoration system

Students from McPherson College's auto restoration program.


Students from McPherson College’s auto repair program.

The recovery major teaches students who are interested in repairing vehicles a little bit of engineering, history, business, communication and art. The school believes it is the only one in the country with a four-year bachelor’s degree in automotive restoration.

The McPherson study program started in 1976 when a local businessman gave the school part of his classic car collection. At the time, he could not find people who can work on old cars.

In 1988, the college considered dropping the program. But American comedian Jay Leno, who owns many classic cars, changed their mind when he gave some money to the particular program. And last November, McPherson received a monetary gift that could reach $500 mil, the biggest donation within the college’s history.

For the last six years, McPherson learners have been restoring the 1953 Mercedes 300S. They are hoping to enter the car next summer in the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show.

FILE - A classic Bentley at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2019. (Tony Avelar /AP Images for Flexjet)


FILE — A traditional Bentley at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance within 2019. (Tony Avelar /AP Images with regard to Flexjet)

One student at McPherson is Jeremy Porter. He was thinking about studying chemical engineering, including at some of the Ivy League schools. “But there was nothing inherently unique about them, ” this individual said. Visiting the college convinced him that will he wanted to work with his hands in the auto restoration plan.

Victoria Bruno is graduating this year. She already offers a job waiting in Los Angeles. She will be rebuilding Ferrari engines. The girl said the particular students in McPherson are “doing something we love. ”

Michael Schneider, the president associated with McPherson, is also a graduate from the college. He said, “There’s an entire culture around the classic car, and at the center of that world will be McPherson College. ”

This individual said McPherson gets students who want to focus on cars in the same way a school like Massachusetts Institute of Technology brings in students who want to study science.

“Students can’t wait to come to McPherson and study the vehicle, ” he or she said. They work on cars outside of school hours plus travel to car events close to the U. S. These people build their network and get jobs.

At a time when other colleges and universities within the U. S. are struggling for college students, McPherson University now provides 18 percent more learners today than five years ago. Each year, the school which has 851 students, could only accept half associated with those who would like to get into the automotive restoration program.

FILE - Classic cars at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. (Tony Avelar /AP Images for Flexjet)


FILE : Classic vehicles at the 2019 Pebble Seaside Concours d’Elegance. (Tony Avelar /AP Images for Flexjet)

Schneider said the particular money from the large gift will help the college expand. Some students who would not have been able to pay for college will obtain financial aid. He or she noted the restoration system brings college students to the college, but sometimes they decide to do something else when they get there.

Being different

Colin Koproske is a lead researcher from EAB, the company that will studies higher education. He said more schools are getting similar instead of trying to be various. For example , there are now more than 400 study programs in cybersecurity at United states colleges.

McPherson’s interest in growing its auto restoration program is similar to a few colleges about the U. S. Others include writing at the particular University of Iowa, journalism in the University of Missouri, music with Oberlin College, and songwriting at Middle Tennessee State University.

The songwriting plan at Center Tennessee Condition University has in past years attracted more out-of-state students compared to any other department, said Beverly Keel, dean of the University of Media and Entertainment. “People come here just for that. ”

“It’s not enough to be different, ” she added. “You have to be very good on what you do. You have to be the best at it. ”

Koproske said the attention can be helpful. “I don’t know if they’re making money off these things, ” Koproske said from the majors. “But, man, are they on the particular map because of all of them. ”

I’m Dan Friedell. And I’m Faith Pirlo.

Dan Friedell adapted this report for Studying English based on a story by The particular Hechinger Report , a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

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Words in This Story

initial –adj. something that is within the same condition it was when new

bachelor’s degree –n. the degree given after four years associated with advanced schooling

classic –adj. some thing that has been considered excellent for a long time

inherent –n. belonging to the basic nature of something, an internal idea or belief

distinctive –adj. different from others

convince –v. to talk someone into an idea, or to argue regarding something’s value

graduate –v. to finish research program and move on to something else

cybersecurity –n. the field of making data safe on computers

on the particular map –phrase. in order to make the mark, to establish some thing as real or important

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