April 16th, 2012
Energizing, enriching, enlightening — these are three words attendees used to describe the Rethinking Success conference. Others included: inspirational, thought-provoking, disruptive, and challenging.
In closing, President Hatch said he was encouraged by the discussions on the value of a liberal arts education in the world of work and the creative and innovative ideas presented during the conference. Finding the language to clearly explain what a liberal arts education is and why it’s valuable and then “proclaiming” it is critical, he said. By thinking in integrative ways and combining academics, student affairs and career services, for example, schools can broaden and deepen students’ experiences.
Dean of Wake Forest College Jacque Fetrow emphasized that any effort in higher ed to make changes to an institution’s culture and goals must engage faculty. “If faculty don’t come to the table, we won’t succeed,” she said.
Two other take-aways from the conference Fetrow noted are:
- A liberal education is relevant to the 21st century. It provides an edge. But we must learn to tell that story loudly, often and effectively.
- We must help students to learn to tell their stories. Faculty should articulate for students the competencies and skills they are teaching so that students can explain to employers how what they have learned will provide value to the organization.
— Guest post by Kim McGrath,
Wake Forest Communication and External Relations,
from the “Rethinking Success” conference