440 History of Wake Forest College
English except English grammar was given in the average high
school. One of the best schools in the State, Bingham, offered no
courses in history. Many of the schools offered Greek when called
for. Courses in the sciences were for the most part confined to such
textbook instruction as Steele's Fourteen Weeks in Physics. A school
now and then, getting a teacher of music from the North who knew a
little French and German, had her to teach these subjects.10 However
much they might vary in their offerings of such courses all academies
were expected to offer courses in Latin and Mathematics, from one to
four years according to the demand. And it was these students they
sent up to the colleges, some prepared to enter the college classes but
perhaps the greater number unprepared, while a few could enter a full
year advanced. Very numerous until the close of the century were
those whose preparation was deficient, even though admission to the
freshman class in Latin contemplated only two years of study and
ability to read Caesar, and for admission to freshman mathematics
only knowledge of algebra to quadratic equations. It was to meet this
situation that the higher educational institutions provided in some way
for these students who came unprepared for their classes. At Wake
Forest, as we have seen, the method was the re-institution of the
Preparatory Department, the work of which was described in all the
catalogues until that of 1874-75, and consisted of a two-year course in
Latin, Mathematics, Greek, and English.11 The purpose of the course
was to "prepare young men for the different departments of the
College." With the discontinuance of this department in 1875
unprepared students continued to ask admission to the College, and
they continued to come for the next thirty years. It was to provide for
them that the College continued to offer "instruction in such
preliminary studies as was
10 After its removal to Asheville in 1891 the Bingham School developed a high
school curriculum which included four years in English, Mathematics, and Latin;
three years in Greek; two years in French, German, physics, and Chemistry. No
history, however, is in the list of studies.
11 Students entering the Preparatory Department "must have attained the age of
fourteen years," and "sustain a satisfactory examination in Elementary English
Grammar, Geography and Practical Arithmetic; be able to read correctly and write a
legible hand."
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