Can this professor save the lost art of dating?

Students in Kerry Cronin's philosophy class at Boston College have an unusual way of earning extra credit. They can ask someone out on a date. But it doesn't count if it's a group date or a party hookup. It has to be an honest-to-goodness, real-life date in which neither alcohol nor smartphone apps are used to make things easier. In an era in which kids have grown accustomed to communicating via text and anonymously sharing their feelings via apps, it's no wonder that this assignment is both feared and praised by the students who take her class.

The idea for the “Dating Class” — as it’s often called on campus at Boston College, a private Jesuit Catholic university near downtown Boston — actually came about more than 10 years ago when Cronin was speaking with some of her students about graduation and jobs and what they hoped to accomplish when they left school. In that conversation, Cronin realized that not one of those students had ever been on an actual date. And many were terrified about their prospects for dating once they were out in the real world....more