Kepler College Astrological Education
|Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences|
|Type||Online certificate program, unaccredited|
|Location||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Kepler College (formerly Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences) is an online certificate program for the pseudoscientific study of astrology. Based out of Seattle, Washington, U.S., it is named after the mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630).
Established in 2000, Kepler College was originally founded as an unaccredited institution of higher learning that was authorized to grant degrees from 2000 until 2010 by the Higher Education Coordinating Board of Washington State. Its programs were based in the liberal arts and it offered degrees in astrological studies with a focus on the history of astrology. Since 2010, students have been awarded certificates of completion of a course of study instead of degrees.
In March 2000, Kepler College received provisional authorization from Washington State's Higher Education Coordinating (HEC) Board to grant degrees while the school pursued regional or national accreditation, a requirement for maintaining degree-granting status.
The HEC Board's decision was criticized by many academics due to Kepler's focus on the pseudoscience of astrology. An administrator at the University of Washington called the HEC Board's approval "ludicrous" and compared the study of astrology to "quack medicine". John Silber, chancellor of Boston University, wrote in a Boston Herald editorial that the school's promoters "honored Kepler not for his strength but for his weakness, as if a society advocating drunkenness named a school for Ernest Hemingway". Silber also said, "The fact is that astrology, whether judged by its theory or its practice, is bunkum. In a free society there is no reason to prevent those who wish to learn nonsense from finding teachers who want to make money peddling nonsense. But it is inexcusable for the government to certify teachers of nonsense as competent or to authorize—that is, endorse—the granting of degrees in nonsense."
Kepler College promoted itself as the only institution in the Western Hemisphere to offer bachelor's and master's degrees in astrological studies and 31 students enrolled for the first term in July 2000. The majority of coursework was offered online, allowing students from across the U.S. to enroll with the requirement that they were present in-person for one week of the 11-week term.
Kepler College did not obtain the required accreditation status by 2010 and as a result, the HEC Board revoked Kepler's right to grant degrees. After losing this authority, Kepler became an online certificate program.
- McClure, Robert (22 July 2001). "Astrology school sets off controversy". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- Bird, Maryann (2001), "Pathway to the Stars", Time Europe, 157 (24), p. 67
- Strauss, Valerie (14 Jan 2011), "The Astrology College Story", The Washington Post
- "Kepler College: About Us". Kepler.edu. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Kuzyk, Mark G (2001), "Astrology in Seattle: Kepler College Looks to the Stars, But It Is Not Accredited", Skeptical Inquirer, 25 (6): 5–7, ISSN 0194-6730
- Curry, Dan (2001), "Falling Stars", Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 47 no. 43, p. A8, ISSN 0009-5982
- Derbyshire, John (2001), "Stars Above!", National Review, 53 (13), p. 26, ISSN 0028-0038
- Silber, John (16 May 2001). "Silliness under Seattle Stars". Boston Herald. p. 31. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Sefton, Dru (21 May 2006), "Studies debunking astrology do little to deter followers", Union-Tribune San Diego—Discusses Kepler College and the science/lack of science behind astrology
- Skeptic's Dictionary (20 October 2015), "Astrology", skepdic.com—Discusses Kepler College and astrology from a skeptical perspective