Curriculum: Wonderful Wednesday

One of the biggest challenges facing undergraduate education, says Dean John Stephens of Atlanta's Emory University, is to give students "an incentive to educate themselves." Emory thinks it has an answer to the challenge: "Creative Wednesday," during which there are no classes or student activities, leaving the school's 2,187 undergraduates free to unwind, read, study, take up hobbies, or just catch up on their sleep.

Instituted last January, the midweek free day has caught on so well at Emory that both students and faculty refer to it as "Wonderful Wednesday." Initially puzzled by what to do with their unexpected leisure,...

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