At UW-Green Bay, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences includes the interdisciplinary and disciplinary programs in the visual and performing arts, communications and information sciences, humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, natural sciences, including mathematics, and international education.
Mission for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is critical to the instructional, research and service components of UW-Green Bay’s select mission and guiding principles. The core emphasis for all activities is high quality programs that embody the educational philosophy of the Green Bay Idea. Administrators, faculty and staff provide challenging learning environments based on learning outcomes defined for general education, for 38 undergraduate interdisciplinary and disciplinary programs in the fine arts, humanities, information sciences, sciences, social sciences, and international studies, and for selected graduate programs. Faculty engage in scholarly and creative work to generate knowledge, solve problems and contribute to the betterment of society. They contribute professional service to enhance the quality of life in the region and the state. A strong commitment to integrity, effective resource management, and collaboration with other divisions of the University is integral to achieving the mission of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Value of a Liberal Education
Liberal Education and America’s Promise
In 2005, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) started a 10-year initiative to promote liberal education. This initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), provides a series of learning outcomes and goals that all colleges and universities should be promoting. Many of us feel it is fitting that, we promote the ideals discussed in the LEAP report. I believe the value of a liberal education is critical to every student’s education and represents the central component of any undergraduate degree.
"Liberal education" unfortunately is a loaded term that often is misconstrued to mean ideologically to the left, rather than its actual meaning referring to the idea of liberating one's mind. A liberal education encourages an individual to think and be creative, to make decisions based on reasoned analysis. It continues to be one of the best ways to educate our students and ensure their success in an ever-changing world.
Learning Outcomes of a Liberal Arts Education
These desired learning outcomes include:
- knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world
- intellectual and practical skills
- personal and social responsibility
- integrative learning
A more in-depth discussion of these outcomes is online at liberaleducation.uwsa.edu. These are not controversial and, in fact, are strong testaments to what we all believe is necessary to succeed in life. Business leaders know this. Surveyed by AAC&U, they indicated strong consensus that a liberal education foundation is important for the people they hire, and what they would recommend to anyone pursuing a college education.
In addition to these learning outcomes, the AAC&U provides “Principles of Excellence” that institutions should strive for when educating students. Principle One discusses the idea of making excellence inclusive and connecting school, work and life (and, I’ll add, community). At UW-Green Bay, faculty, staff and students are working on a number of efforts to bring their considerable expertise to address local, national and global concerns. Our history students and faculty are working with the National Railroad Museum to develop outreach programs including a new exhibit on the Pullman Porters. Our Urban and Regional Studies program has helped in a number of efforts with the downtown On Broadway, Inc., including current redevelopment of the Larsen site. Students in our Biology of Women class have conducted a service learning project with a community agency of their choice on aspects of women’s health.