Opinion: Navy Needs Intellectual Diversity

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Vista123, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    interesting article with regards to service academy acceptances & NROTC scholarships first to Tier 1, then Tier 2, and lastly to Tier 3 majors.

    "A high school senior’s best chance of obtaining an appointment to USNA or a Navy ROTC scholarship is to apply for a Tier 1 and 2 academic majors, since Chief of Naval Operations guidance states that not less than 85 percent of incoming scholarship offers will come from this restricted pool. In fact, an algorithm decides the fate of hopeful midshipmen, weighed in large part to their proposed major selection annotated in their respective application.


    Does the tier system produce better submariners or more proficient naval officers?...These are questions to consider when discerning the benefits and disadvantages of STEM graduates. We should not forget the value of future officers developing a keen interest of foreign affairs, history or language."




    http://news.usni.org/2014/01/20/opinion-navy-needs-intellectual-diversity



    http://news.usni.org/2014/01/20/opinion-navy-needs-intellectual-diversity
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    An interesting article. I thought this statement was rather obtuse though...

    The author seems to think that STEM majors are incapable of critical reading, reflection, or of developing an interest in subjects outside their major. I hardly think this is the case.
     
  3. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I agree with you completely in general!!! On a more personal level though, my Poly Sci/Econ major son is far better at critical reading, reflection, and of developing an interest in subjects outside his major than my MechE son. (but that is probably just reflective of our family)
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Sadly, based on my experience, many are not. In my day, there were quite a few brilliant STEM majors who could not put together paragraphs, could not state their positions clearly and convincingly, etc. I'm not saying they weren't bright enough to do it; rather, their focus had been so heavily on STEM that they had paid little attention to developing writing and reasoning skills -- as those skills are demonstrated through writing (vs. mathematical/engineering problem solving).

    That is supposed to be solved through distribution requirements for STEM majors in the humanities. But (at least in my day) STEM majors tried to find the courses that required little writing (e.g., language, economics) -- both b/c it wasn't a strength and b/c it took a lot of time when they were already socked with tough courses.

    I would say that reverse is likely true of humanities majors (outside of USNA with its strict requirements). They tend to take their STEM distribution courses in the "softer" sciences rather than taking courses like statics, dynamics, etc. Thus, they don't get a true balanced education with rigorous STEM.

    The above said, the Navy (and the business world in general) need technical majors. If distribution is done well, you end up with both. However, if often is not and you end up with STEM majors who are then unable to express themselves well or humanities majors with minimal exposure to hard core STEM. The Navy has decided the former approach is preferable.
     
  5. time2

    time2 Member

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    The statement from the initially quoted article does NOT mention anything about USNA appointments (at least not in what I saw)........The exact statement from the article reads .................

    "A high school senior’s best chance of obtaining a Navy scholarship is to apply for a Tier 1 and 2 academic majors.................."

    Which refers to NROTC.

    You don't officially declare your major at USNA until your second year.

    Also good to remember that article is an editorial opinion or that person's view primarily on NROTC scholarships.
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Member

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    USNA aimes for roughly 65% STEM. But the difference for a POLY SCI and other non-STEM majors at USNA versus many other college is they will receive a BS degree. Basically, they take a pre-engineering curriculum the first two year. It is a nice balance.
     
  7. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    while you dont officially declare your major you ARE indeed asked your intended major on your application.

    Additionally Components Used to Calculate the "Whole Man Multiple" specifically include:

    SII Engineering Score + Strong Inventory Interest (SII) Engineering Science Weight


    they do NOT specifically include: Strong Inventory Interest (SII) Humanities (History, public policy, economics, literature, writing etc) Weight.
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    You are correct Craig. that mids take a variety of classes once there.

    The subtle nuance or distinction I was calling attention to was initial admissions and/or initial awarding of the scholarship.
     
  9. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    the very first word on the post is the word "opinion". but thanks for further clarification :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  10. Craig

    Craig Member

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    I understand. NROTC wants to know now. This was always an interesting discussion back in the early 80's. They would push you be engineering majors in ROTC. I don't even recall if they used the Tier 1, 2 or 3 classification for us back then.
     
  11. mdn18

    mdn18 Member

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    Yeah, I'm a MechE (not at a SA) and I can see some of the stereotypes of engineers. Just this week we were presenting a chem research project and one of the kids just was really awkward when it came to communicating. There are a variety of factors that could contribute to that, but the stereotypes are there for a reason. I'd consider my communication and interaction skills pretty good - sometimes I wonder if I'm more geared towards the humanities majors. And, by the way, everyone here must take humanities classes each year. I actually really like them. :smile:
     
  12. trini1066

    trini1066 Member

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    you know what they say, "Poli-sci Flys" :smile:
     

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