Inventing VT's Liberal Education Future
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
6:30 - 9:00
Honors Residential College at East Ambler Johnston, Great Room
Register for this event at CIDER Events. Light refreshments provided. Space is limited.
Across higher education, "general" or "liberal" education is undergoing significant re-envisioning, thanks in part to the efforts of the American Association of College and Universities in pooling the collective wisdom of thousands of faculty from hundreds of campuses into the 2007 LEAP report in which the Essential Learning Outcomes of a 21st century liberal education were proposed. As a follow-up to their efforts, AAC&U commissioned a research study examining the importance to over 300 employers of their future employees having attained various liberal educational skills and abilities. They found that the skills and abilities outlined in AAC&Us Essential Learning Outcomes are, in essence, absolutely essential to the vast majority of employers surveyed. Many, if not most, of these skills are fostered through forward-looking liberal education programming. As the current governor of Virginia and the Commission on Higher Education charge universities to graduate students with economically relevant skills, providing learners with an effective liberal education is beyond essential; it has become critical.
In this second "Diggs Forum and Discussion" Barbara Bekken (Director, Earth Sustainability Liberal Education Program; Geosciences), Shelli Fowler (Exec Director, GEDI, Learning Technologies; English), Kathryne McConnell (Assistant Director, Academic Assessment), and Dan Thorp (Director, UCCLE; History) will facilitate a discussion of VT's vision for and strategies to create effective liberal educational programming for all undergraduate students, which will ultimately enable them to meet the expectations and challenges of a rapidly changing world.
To support an informed discussion, we encourage participants to peruse the following readings and website. The 2005 editorials in the first bullet point outline the issues while the 2007 report by AAC&U, College Learning for the New Global Century, provides a visionary response. Documents in the second point present research findings commissioned by AAC&U from Hart Research Associates who investigated the value to employers of a 21st century liberal education. The third and fourth points reflect our current thinking at VT. The discussion will center on these two VT documents, both of which present ideas and strategies for re-envisioning liberal education at Virginia Tech.
- Tossing the Liberal Education Gauntlet: Two 2005 editorials by Derek Bok (PDF) and Stanley Katz (PDF) and AAC&U's 2007 LEAP Report: College Learning for the New Global Century (PDF)
- Responding to the Challenge with Data: Hart Research Associates' studies commissioned by AAC&U (2009)
- Creating a Vision for Liberal Education at VT: A Vision for Undergraduate Education at Virginia Tech (4/12/2011) PDF
- Creating Strategies for Liberal Education at VT: Invent the Future: VT 2020
Register for this event at CIDER Events.