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Welcome to the Monterey Peninsula College Great Books Program homepage!

Currently, ours is the only Great Books program in California’s 113 community colleges which serve over 2,000,000 students. Our Great Books faculty members include three Ph.Ds in English and Philosophy, and all our professors are tenured with at least 10 years teaching experience. Our shared vision is to expose students to central imaginative, philosophical, and historical texts.

In general, the MPC Great Books Program equips students with the concepts, terminology, and vocabulary that will allow them to participate in what Robert Hutchins called “The Great Conversation.” We reject the notion that Great Books are reserved for private schools and Ivy League universities. Our courses are for anyone drawn to depth and complexity rather than superficiality and ideology, to perennial questions rather than aprioristic answers, to reflection and "shared inquiry" rather than reactive or formulaic polemics, to permanent learning rather than terminal degrees.

The MPC Great Books Program awards a “Great Books Scholar” certificate for completion of English 5, Introduction to Great Books, and four other courses from the Great Books list of courses. This designation will aid in transfer and scholarship applications, enhance one's resume or curriculum vitae for future employers, and signify to others such highly-prized qualities as verbal fluency and cultural literacy.

The Great Books Program offers the core course - English 5 - Intro to Great Books - every Fall semester. In this online course, we ask: Why read? Why read Great Books? What is a Great Book? What is the Great Books Movement? What is the Great Conversation? What effect does reading Great Books have on us as citizens, social beings, individuals?  And why is all this relevant today in the age of the internet?  We also read and discuss a Great Book - and therefore experience the Great Conversation.

Sign up for English 5 - Intro to Great Books - at Monterey Peninsula College.

One other notable fact: Enough of our courses are online so that the student may complete the program from anywhere in the world.


Great Books Speaker Event!

elliot event