Stars align in favor of astrological degree

The planetary alignments of Mars and Saturn were the impetus for the violent protests at the G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy, reported NewsScope.

Specifically, the violence was caused by the fact that Mars "turned direct (switched from retrograde to forward motion, thereby allowing a freer expression of its energy) in the midst of heavy-duty Saturn-Pluto opposition." The resulting violence should have surprised no astrologer worth their charts.

If this sounds like quackery, don’t worry. These people have degrees.

At least, Jeff Jawer does. He’s one of the co-founders of the Web site that publishes NewsScope. According to the Seattle Weekly, he designed and graduated with a degree in the "History and Science of Astrology" at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1970. Soon, many more astrologers-to-be will be pursuing bachelor’s degrees in astrological studies, but they won’t have to design their own majors. Instead, they can attend Kepler College, based in Lynnwood.

Kepler was recently authorized to issue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Astrological Studies from the state Higher Education Coordinating Board. Authorization status means that the HEC Board recognizes it as a legitimate organization, but does not specifically condone its coursework. Once it has been open and offering degrees for a minimum of two years, Kepler may apply to become an accredited college, on par with most other colleges and universities.

Barbara Dunn, director of communications for the HEC Board, wants to make it clear that the board merely assesses a school’s institutional integrity, but does not attempt to dictate what citizens should study or think. She makes the very good point that the test of a school’s curriculum is whether students will invest the money necessary to receive a degree, and whether employers will hire students with those degrees.

Tuition at Kepler is $5,000 per year. Its Web site tells prospective students that after graduation they may go on to careers in human resources, counseling or advising businesses. It proclaims enthusiastically, "Some students might choose to intern in a non-astrological setting, not only to add greater breadth to their own learning experience but to bring astrology into a new community, providing it with an opportunity to discover astrology and understand its possibilities. It’s a win-win combination!"

Woe the poor recent graduate who enters the workforce, having paid out their $20,000 and ready to enlighten their future employer to the benefits of astrology. Perhaps in the boom-time of "new-thinking" dot-com businesses, graduates of Kepler could have stood a chance of finding gainful employment using their degrees. But in today’s more conservative business climate, the chances seem slim that a degree in astrological studies would be anything but a hindrance to potential employees.

Potential Kepler students would do well to consult the Dow, not the stars, before enrolling.

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