New Definition for Liberal Education

The [Association of American Colleges and Universities] report outlines curricular goals for all colleges, but they are not of the “two semesters of science, two courses in writing” variety. Instead they are four broad “essential learning outcomes,” with the idea that different kinds of institutions would assure these outcomes in different ways. Generally, the outcomes would encourage rigor of preparation, interdisciplinary and team learning, and links between experiences in and out of the classroom.

The outcomes are:

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, which would include study of traditional arts and sciences disciplines.
  • Intellectual and practical skills, such as critical and creative thinking, written and oral communication, and quantitative literacy.
  • Personal and social responsibility, such as civic knowledge and engagement, “intercultural knowledge and competence,” the ability to reason about ethics, and understanding of lifelong learning.
  • Integrative learning, including the ability to synthesize information and engage in both general and specific study.

New Definition for Liberal Education (Inside Higher Ed)

The report is called College Learning for the New Global Century (PDF). I think SHU’s educational objectives hold up pretty well against this document.