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College Offers Degree in Astrology

Reported by Allen Schauffler, KING 5 News
Seattle May 21, 2002 Local News Home

LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Former first lady Nancy Reagan faced some ridicule for consulting an astrologer and with all the "Miss Cleo" ads on the airwaves lately it's no surprise that people who chart horoscopes for a living have a tough time being taken seriously.

"I don't predict the future and I'm out there in the world, fighting that stereotype everyday," says astrologer Laura Gerking.

But Kepler College hopes to restore astrology's reputation.

KING Kepler College offers a degree in astrology. It's the only program in the United States where students can earn a bachelor’s or master's degree in astrological studies.

"I look at it as equal to a liberal arts degree. I'm just learning just to learn," says student Dave Johnson.

Teachers cover all aspects of astrology, from its history to how they believe the cycle of the planets, the moon and the sun influences lives.

"So much of the technique has been lost, which is part of what we're doing here is rediscovering that," says student Karen Hawkwood.

But many mainstream academics say these students are wasting their time.

"It's important not to mistake astrology with for a real scientific subject. It's a subject no doubt but it's a subject on par with fairy tales," says Craig Hogan, Vice Provost of Research, University of Washington.

Many students plan to become personal advisors, helping clients make life decisions based on planetary cycles. But school leaders say many quietly take jobs in the corporate world.

"They can be business consultants for small and large corporations, of timing of product marketing, of advertising," says Gerking.

Students who enroll at Kepler still have to study the basics, like math, language and history. And just like any other college, you have to pay tuition. It runs about $1,800 per term.

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