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Constitution 101: Free Online Course Available Now

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2017 12:00 pm

Constitution 101: Free Online Course Available Now

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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April 27, 2017 12:00 pm

Jon Lewis, Senior Manager of Direct Response Marketing at Hillsdale College, talks about a free opportunity to learn more about the U.S. Constitution and the founding of our nation.

The Christian Perspective
Chris Hughes
Family Policy Matters
NC Family Policy
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Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
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The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD

We really want to change the government and responsibility. The people so were trying to do our part in that teaching the importance of not only the Constitution but the principles that underlie this is family policy with NC family Pres. John Rustin thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.

Our guest today is John Lewis, senior manager of direct response marketing at Hillsdale College in Hillsville, Michigan. Hillsville has a unique history and mission in higher education and is extending that mission. Students of all ages through a series of free online classes, particularly focused on the Constitution and the historical framework of the United States.

John is responsible for managing the online course enrollment and related initiatives for Hillsville and we will be talking with him today about this exciting new offering. John is a 2013 graduate of Hillsdale College and also served in the United States Marine Corps, from 2005 to 2009 John, thank you first of all for your service and welcome to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show. Thanks John strictly with what were excited to talk about the online course offerings from Hillsville, but first of all, jocks just wanted to give you an opportunity to tell our listeners a little bit about Hillsdale College. I know that the college has a rather impressive history dating back to 1844 tell us little bit about that. If you would yell trade it's it's the great colleges got proud history, it's always a story we like to tell on campus you know because you walk up to one of the main building for the first thing you'll see is an impressive monument throughout campus.

A call to liberty walk and something that impressed me one is looking at the school as you see the statues you want to miss a Civil War statue and the college is a proud tradition there. We sent more students to the Civil War. I think than the other. The other college and right next to that in the Lincoln statue Memorial and even the way those are kind of put together this is really impressive. You see this kind of story being told about America and its history and and really be founding principles is made is great and that's really the college was founded to do was to understand this principles help other students understand them in order to preserve and protect them and to have this great, story told through campus and I don't know if that's necessarily uncommon in other hired institutions, especially were founded at that time. But what is what is uncommon is that we have stayed true to that and so is kind of our old dusty statues. These are things that we keep adding today. Even revenue and this can be dedicated soon. Frederick Douglass switches can be put rednecks that Civil War statue and I he was a speaker here several times at Hillsdale and things like that. We found it early on with this idea of equality in preserving this principles and so were the first colleges to not discriminate based on on sex or race or religion. And so is been something that we've been not been carrying ever since our founding, were proud of that, no.

Hillsville is really known for its independent mission to provide a very traditional and robust liberal arts education, but there are some things that really, set Hillsville apart from other liberal arts colleges and universities talk about a little bit if you yeah you know there's there's a lot there some the really exciting thing. Dr. Arnett since he's been here are our president has really kind of invest a lot in the core curriculum which is unique to Hillsville.

I think that were a lot of places and I think of maybe a core curriculum is something that you just trying get through in order to get onto your more specific area study is something that we really invest a lot take splendid time to get through and we've added over time a lot to that and it's something that students really enjoy you end up taking these classes together.

Everyone else is on the same page taking the same classes talking with the same ideas and and really what it is is a call back to really some the greatest authors. The greatest thinkers of of our time of history and having those discussions and asking really the deepest and hardest questions strengthen those answers so you know what greatest we have freedom and that we teach a Constitution 101 course were one of the only colleges that does that is required in the core curriculum, and you notice even the things we teach the way that we teach them. We have total freedom because we don't accept any funding from the government would be federal, state and you know that was a big big fight whether we could do that are not in wind up losing the battle with the court.

But what happened was, instead of just giving up the funding to private donors stepped up and and provided no substitute for that and so while refusing all of that.

That extra funding that a lot of those schools working with a lot of people have joined with us and supported us in that effort. So for students like myself who now is a record veteran coming to Hillsdale I was unable to receive the G.I. bill because technically, that was one of the issues was they still want to count that as federal funding. If I were to use my G.I. Bill.

So again, private donors stepped up and basically provided a kind of substitute to the G.I. Bill. So I was able to come here with the same kind of ride in a full ride.

Basically, I would've had the G.I. Bill. But based on private donors which I just I think it's really great. So yeah there's a lot of things like that you know that the core curriculum that we have a Constitution 101 is a just a great course and really that's what is kind of catapulted the online courses was we released that course really small version of it online and so were taking what we do here on campus and it's really special and now try to get it out to everyone else as well sitting, take part in it to what started that thought process for Hillsville to decide to make some of his courses available for free Oman to anyone who would take them. What were some of the process that the school went through to come to that conclusion and then to decide to be so generous to make these courses available online to the public for free yeah you know Dr. I would say lot that he cannot present the college goes around a dozen events all the time and and people would consistently ask you to come to Hillsdale people just wanted to be in the classroom they wanted to come and have, the full experience. Of course we have a small campus so there's about 1400 students here and and so were just limited in how many we can accept and actually teach here, but there's really just of large appetite out in the nation for this kind of education and it's it's become so rare nowadays that people would would teach things like this, especially Constitution 101, which is really more than just kind of a teaching on the different articles or something like that.

It's really the history of our nation, how we were founded why we were founded outweigh the connection between the declaration and the Constitution, and those principles and how those principles were secured their freedom and equality in and so have a form of government is is a protection on those ideas until it's really this whole story and how that's been challenged over time and that's just just not something that's easy to find anymore and so it was there. The discussion about filming it and putting it out and and you know they did, they thought will should we charge for it to the ideas it's so important. People need to know it it's it's really foundational to the print preservation of our freedom even in our understanding of these things, so we just felt compelled to really give it away and it will be due as we do is ask if if people sign up asked him if they can stand with us and support in an effort of his it's not free to do that and so people do and in the been very generous in supporting that because I think they see the same thing and they want to see that those ideas and those principles preserve as well so been great. We've now had about 1 million little little more 1.3 million people sign up for these online courses over 800,000 people have signed up for Constitution 101 and we keep putting more mountain and nine and were excited to do that. You're listening to policy matters a resource to listen to our radio show online resources that will be a voice of persuasion in US community to our website see that is great in such a wonderful offering to the public, and it would seem John that this is such an important time in our nations history for this information in these opportunities to exist for members of the of the public to really be able to dig deeper into the true meaning of the Constitution. The history of our nation out why this is so important as we look to the drug. The future direction of our nation yeah I agree and I think that the problems that that we face now is what people want. Right do they want big government do they want limited government. They understand these principles and do they fight for them. If you don't understand them and you don't understand the consequences and you're not likely to fight for them. I think you know was Woodrow Wilson who said something to the effect of in education what they're trying to do is arise in early progressive right so what they're trying to do is to get sons to be, unlike their fathers as possible so they want to change the next generation. They want to continue to change how we think about the world and how we approach it and this recent election. Even with some of things we saw with Bernie Sanders and some of things he saw elsewhere where especially the youth. You know the millennial's and and maybe younger are really starting to want a much larger government, maybe even going toward socialism and I think that's a real problem and partly because of the lack of understanding of of those principles and any other view on what it means to have limited government what it means to be free and what it takes to be free and so there does seem to be a real lack especially in education of advancing those principles of teaching those principles and so I think that's why you see things like this happen. Progressives of really kind of made their way into education and have made their way into kind of especially see that in K-12, but much more in higher Ed now and you see everything that's going on there with all these crazy riots and and and speakers being ousted in and just no tolerance for other ideas. So I think that's really had a great effect on on the population and of course our government is a representation of that. So if we really want to change the government the responsibility the people as well so were trying to do our part and that in reaching this people with this kind of message and teaching the importance of not only the Constitution with the principles underlie it.

John, in addition to the course on the Constitution. What other Oman courses. Those who also offer you we got a lot there's there's about 16 courses now were releasing new ones all the time.

We just richly redid a course on the American Heritage just a great history course would go farther back than that to in Western heritage and saying, get the full lease note a big picture that three of the West and that's really great.

We got courses on Shakespeare.

We've got courses on CS Lewis and Winston Churchill courses on great books economics so there's there's a great selection there to go from and and many other ones are are popular as well come to funnel as are most, but not CS Lewis over hundred thousand people have signed up for the really enjoy that course and were filming one right now on theology actually consider looking at the theology of the Westin and doing a survey course on that will be excited to release that you sometime probably in April so John who teaches these courses and what are the determining factors for which classes are made available to the public on lawn now that the teachers are are almost always professors here at Hillsdale.

So it's the same professor that you would see if you were to take class you're on campus and so they teach the classes. What determines it is will really try to do is a couple things to try and put our core curriculum.

What every student hears can require to go through take trying to at least the core of that and put it online so we continue to work in that direction. And we also a surveyor audience and say what interested in what would you like to hear more about and actually the Federalist papers is a great example of that. Where lot of people attending Constitution want to want to constantly heard the Federalist papers you mentioned and referenced in an excited and solicit. We just want to hear more about that so we did no longer course on the Federalist papers, deeper dive into that and people loved it so special to both.

There's there's what we have here on campus were already doing in the near some more of what students ask for, to know more about this conversation certainly has piqued the interest of many of our listeners. How can people sign up for these classes and how the classes work.

Yeah, you know, it's a real easy process. If you go to then you can sign up for some of the more current courses you can also just look at all the courses we have there and go to any one of them and all the lectures are posted on online there so you can just kinda navigate through and watch and even that you want if you want to take quizzes and get certificates of completion and things like that.

You can register for an account there otherwise able to view any of it.

It's all up there for free for anyone to to watch. We try to encourage people, maybe at least once a week or something that a cadence you know it's it's about a 30 minute lecture in somebody's some of them are little shorter. Similar longer and so there's a lecturer and there's a question and answer with Prof. afterwords. It's really it's really where you have time for when your whatever he had appetite for but again it's seek go there and you can see the full course lesson and take your pick. Well John, this is been a great conversation and I do want to look you got website for folks it's again. and just want to encourage our listeners to go explore. This is something that does peak your interest.

Take some time look at the different courses and really consider the investment and how valuable that would be for you and also passing along so important in our current environment as John has talked about that we are educated that we understand the history of our nation build the role of the Constitution and the founding of both the continuation of our government and our nation and without John unfortunately were out of town for the week, but I want to thank you so much for joining us on family policy matters and for your great work at Hillsdale College to promote and preserve liberty and warning in our nation. I greatly thought family policy matters production of NZ family to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina go to our and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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