The Teagle Foundation has awarded The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), of which Hampton University is a member, a $150,000 grant for a project that will identify new approaches to build on the core values of a liberal education in a residential setting and prepare students for productive and successful careers. When the project, “Preparing 21st Century Students through New Visions for Faculty Evaluation, Campus Governance and Curriculum,” is completed, NAC&U hopes to have, among other outcomes, a curriculum development map that shows the integration of liberal and professional studies and emphasizes general education and disciplinary learning outcomes.
Sixteen members of the national consortium will participate in this project. They are Arcadia University, Belmont University, Hamline University, Hampton University, John Carroll University, Nazareth College, Pacific Lutheran University, Samford University, The Sage Colleges, The University of Scranton, University of Evansville, University of Redlands, Valparaiso University, Wagner College, Westminster College and Widener University. This current project will implement goals outlined in NAC&U’s previous Teagle-funded project, “Preparing and Evaluating 21st Century Faculty: Aligning Expectations, Competencies, and Rewards.”
“Driven by our collective mission to promote the integration of liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement, NAC&U members are well-positioned to proactively respond to changes in higher education,” said Richard Guarasci, NAC&U board chair and president of Wagner College. “We have always been focused on producing graduates who are prepared for the lives ahead of them, and this grant allows us to examine how we can achieve those outcomes and share them with other institutions.”
Rising concerns about the cost of higher education and the availability of jobs after graduation have led students and parents to focus on degrees geared toward particular professions. But a 2010 survey of employers conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) found that employers are looking for learning outcomes emphasized in a liberal education. More than 75 percent of those surveyed stated that colleges should place more emphasis in the following areas: written and oral communication, critical thinking and analytic reasoning, complex problem solving and ethical decision making.
By successfully integrating liberal education and professional studies, students and families can be assured they are getting the full value of the time and money spent on obtaining a college degree. This integration is a hallmark of NAC&U institutions.
“The Hampton University team worked on the planning grant which was also funding by Teagle and is delighted that the implementation grant has been funded,” said Dr. Mamie E. Locke, dean of the HU School of Liberal Arts. “The team will be focusing its efforts on integrating the liberal arts and professional studies as part of the curriculum development map as outlined in the proposal.”