Liberal Education, Spring 2013

Current Issue


What Do Employers Want from College Graduates?

This issue presents the findings from a new national survey of employer priorities for college learning and student success, along with the text of a new employer-educator compact; additional context for both is supplied by a pair of articles on what graduates need for long-term success in life and work. Also included are articles on how American education must change in order to meet twenty-first-century imperatives, on how students define success in college, on ways to achieve greater transparency in teaching and ways to encourage greater self-examination and reflection among students, and on a contemporary decline of empathy.

Table of Contents
President's Message
From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Debra Humphreys
A college education is expensive. While it is clearly worth the investment—and even worth going into at least some debt to achieve—students need to know that not all college degree programs are equal; not all are designed to prepare them for long-term success.

By Norman R. Augustine
Our higher education system, arguably the mightiest arrow in America’s competitiveness quiver, is facing a perfect storm. Government support is declining, and tuition is rising; international competition for student and faculty talent is intensifying; and a technological revolution in pedagogy is gathering momentum. Academia, government, and business must work together to address these challenges.

By Hart Research Associates
This report provides a detailed analysis of employers’ priorities for the kinds of learning college students need to succeed in today’s economy. It also reports on changes in educational and assessment practices that employers recommend.

Leaders of higher education institutions and of companies and organizations that employ college graduates have come together in a compact to put the quality of college learning at the top of national, regional, state, and institutional agendas—for the benefit of our students, our economy, and our democracy. 


By Paul E. Lingenfelter
Considering the heritage we’ve been given, we have both the resources and the responsibility to meet the challenges we face as the United States struggles to regain—or sustain—its world leadership in postsecondary education. 

By Nancy Jennings, Suzanne Lovett, Lee Cuba, Joe Swingle, and Heather Lindkvist
How do students define success over their four years of college, and how do their definitions compare to the loftier aspirations voiced in college and university mission statements?

By Mary-Ann Winkelmes
The Illinois Initiative on Transparency in Learning and Teaching is a grassroots assessment project designed to promote students’ conscious understanding of how they learn and to enable faculty to gather, share, and promptly benefit from data about students’ learning by coordinating their efforts across disciplines, institutions, and countries.

By Nancy Koppelman
By writing and periodically revising individual academic statements about their college education, students will, by graduation, have created transcript-ready statements that demonstrate how they think about the shape and significance of their college education.

My view

By Nadine Dolby
By nurturing empathy through a liberal education, we can help our students understand their connections to other humans, animals, and the planet—and perhaps, eventually, find their way back to themselves.

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