Liberal studies

New College of California — only in San Francisco — will offer degrees in “activism and social change”, reports the Chronicle. Tuition runs $5,500 to $6,000 a semester for one weekend of classes per month. Instructors include tree-sitter Julia “Butterfly” Hill and “ecofeminist witch” and author Starhawk. There are no conservatives on the faculty, college officials conceded.

Students will study everything from anarchist theory to the civil rights movement. The master’s program has a course on globalization, the hot topic in progressive circles.

“We want people to learn how they can be activist and not just someone who is angry and against the system,” said Peter Gabel, president emeritus of New College, who plans to teach in the activist program. He is now director of the Institute for Spirituality and Politics.

For applicants a little light on the prerequisites — a high school degree and at least 45 units of college credit — New College will consider their “life experience.” And no, school officials said, being arrested four times for blocking an intersection isn’t what they mean. Admission officials want to see a portfolio of community work, not a rap sheet.

Call me cynical. I think they want to see that $6,000 check.

New College also offers a master’s degree in women’s spirituality.

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