ERIC Number: EJ1072089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Employability and the Liberal Arts: A Career Readiness Initiative
Brown, Katherine E.
Thought & Action, p49-56 Sum 2015
When discussing the role of higher education as it applies to students, responses often devolve into two opposing camps: one for people who advocate for and defend the role of liberal arts education as basic to the preservation of democracy and freedom, and the other for people who care about the connection between what students learn in classrooms today and how well prepared they are to enter and succeed in their desired careers. Concerns with the employability of graduates need not be read as an invitation to erode the liberal arts values underpinning public higher education. What purpose is served by serious, committed teachers and scholars adopting a defensive posture in conversations about the employability of students? Important opportunities are missed to make the case for liberal arts, humanities, and public higher education in new ways when we approach the employability conversation defensively. This essay offers some possibilities, rewards, and challenges associated with developing assignments, activities, and programs for faculty seeking to showcase and expand the ways educators prepare students for post-college life. It begins with reclaiming or discovering the everyday opportunities to help students articulate what they can bring to the table as members of any organization. This essay connects the employability conversation to a tenet of the National Education Association (NEA) mission "to help students succeed in a diverse and interdependent world." Among the challenges are these: How and where may educators play a role in helping students talk about their ideas, goals, and abilities to people who are not their teachers, peers or others inside the discourse of an academic discipline and campus environment? What does such a role require of faculty in terms of thought and action?
Descriptors: Employment Qualifications, Liberal Arts, Readiness, Career Development, Role of Education, Higher Education, College Graduates, Outcomes of Education, Teacher Role, College Faculty, College Students, Job Skills, Teaching Methods, Public Colleges
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site: http://www.nea.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California