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Franklin Pierce University Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Sweeping Changes to Curriculum: New General and Liberal Education Program

August 1, 2012

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Franklin Pierce University celebrates the start of its 50th anniversary year with a complete redesign of the heart of its curriculum. This fall, incoming students will be greeted with new general and liberal education classes that closely connect academic learning to their career and life choices. The new, outcomes-based general and liberal education curriculum represents a paradigm shift from a core-based curriculum to a flexible, holistic curricular structure, offering students a unique pathway through the college experience to the practicalities of the world beyond.

Modeled on the nationally prominent Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the newly dubbed Liberal Education and the Pierce Promise plan establishes a broad set of four essential learning outcomes: 1) knowledge and understanding, 2) intellectual and practical skills, 3) personal and social responsibility, and 4) engaged learning and thinking. Within each outcome area are specific, functional goals toward which students and faculty will target their academic efforts, giving students both the best of a traditional liberal arts education and the knowledge, capabilities, and skill sets favored by employers, according to surveys commissioned by the national LEAP initiative.

image textFranklin Pierce’s sweeping redesign has added 14 brand new and 8 revised general and liberal education courses to its undergraduate program, for this year alone. These will meet the needs of the incoming class of 2016, the first to encounter the new curriculum. More course development is expected to follow. While these classes are designed to introduce the learning outcomes, students will achieve many of the outcomes at a more advanced level in their majors, acquiring the in-depth immersion that is another key to their intellectual development and preparation for a career. Dr. Kim Mooney, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University, says, “It’s been an enormous amount of work, but we are proud to now offer our students the very best of a Liberal Arts education – a range of innovative courses that empower students with flexible intellectual tools that arm them with the skills and capabilities they will need in today’s workplace and in all aspects of their lives.” 

The outcomes-based curriculum measures its success on what students actually master and take away from their academic work, encouraging students to become more active participants in the educational process. One of the hallmarks of the newly designed courses is an emphasis on creating student opportunities to put to use their developing knowledge and skills in real-world settings or approximations of them. Professor Gerald Burns, Ph.D., who was instrumental in the program redesign, says, “We are very excited to introduce this innovative general and liberal education program to our students at Franklin Pierce University. We like to think of the program outcomes as a job description for the 21st century, and this is learning that students will also be able to draw upon in their day-to-day lives and their duties as citizens." The new general and liberal education curriculum aptly launches Franklin Pierce University into its next half century.

 Visit Liberal Education and the Pierce Promise for more information about the new General and Liberal Education Curriculum



                 An education that matters.

Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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