E/M faculty strengthen majors

Posted on February 14th, 2015 by

Probably nowhere else on the Gustavus campus does the tension between liberal learning and those traditions, and job readiness and “training” bubble up. That means that Economics and Management department has to be especially alert to how to walk that balance with student learning. We held a day-long curriculum retreat to assess where we needed to tweak current curricula among the three majors in the department. [Thanks to the Kendall Center for accepting Marta‘s proposal for an off-site event.]

That conversation– how to retain the best of liberal arts educational outcomes in an age of massive student debt, soaring college costs, and parents’ (right) insistence that their graduate be able to be gainfully employed after college– keeps popping up in all kinds of outlets. In the February 11th New York Times, Frank Bruni wrote eloquently about the power of learning for learning’s sake, and how the tradeoff between traditional liberal coursework (in his example, a Shakespeare course) and job readiness is overstated.

We agree, and continue to think holistically about how to serve students in a liberal arts way while helping them make connections among other aspects of their college experiences, like sports, community-based learning, and other projects like entrepreneurial ventures. While we await formal faculty approval, the changes we propose should add flexibility to students in our majors to pursue a broader ranges of learning experiences and courses.

We know it’s out there. We know the challenges that higher education as a whole faces. E/M students will continue to have a unique blend of learning experiences and it was terrific to spend a day really diving in.

 

 

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