1st Edition

The Power of Integrated Learning Higher Education for Success in Life, Work, and Society

By William M. Sullivan Copyright 2016
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    Students and their parents wonder if college is worth the investment. Employers want graduates with the skills they need. The public wonders if higher education is preparing future generations for an era of dynamic change. In his latest book, William Sullivan offers a model of higher education that answers all these questions in the affirmative, through the power of integrated learning. Drawing on examples from the 25 members of the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U) consortium, the book makes the case for an approach that combines the strengths of the liberal arts, professional studies, and civic responsibility in order to give students the combination of skills and experience that will prepare them for success in all aspects of life after graduation.NAC&U campuses place emphasis upon enabling their students to know themselves and their abilities, as well as providing them with opportunities to develop a sophisticated understanding of the world. To achieve these goals, the academic programs focus on developing students’ intellectual and practical skills, such as analytical ability, problem solving, facility in written and spoken communication, and an appreciation for human diversity and creativity. These have traditionally been identified as the goals of a liberal arts education, and are the same ones identified in a national employer survey as giving job-seekers an edge.These institutions also invest a great deal of effort to provide their students with state-of-the-art preparation for professional life and occupational success in diverse fields. These range from the technical – science and technology fields, with disciplines such as engineering and computer science – through business, and across the human service fields, such as education, nursing, pre-medicine, and pre-law, to architecture, and the performing and visual arts. In these courses of study, students begin to shape their future careers.The important third value of a NAC&U education is fostering civic responsibility among students. In programs of study abroad and a range of internship and service opportunities, these colleges support their students in shaping for themselves unique and effective ways to contribute to the larger life of their world.Parents and prospective students may appreciate the chance to learn more about these schools and what they have to offer, while those working in higher education will appreciate the chance to learn more about a model that their own institutions may be motivated to emulate. All readers will take away a picture of a truly vital part of the higher education landscape in this country.

    Introduction 1. The New American Colleges and Universities Experience. Integrating Liberal Arts, Professional Studies, and Civic Responsibility 2. Only Connect 3. Finding Yourself 4. Becoming a Citizen and Engaging the World 5. After the Bachelor’s Degree. Graduate Programs and Civic Professionalism Conclusion Appendix A. Campus Profiles Appendix B. Graduate Programs Offered by New American Colleges and Universities Members Bibliography About the Author Index


    William M. Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. His books include Educating Lawyers; Work and Integrity; Habits of the Heart; The Good Society; and Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education, winner of the 2013 Ness Award from AAC&U.

    “William M. Sullivan positions The Power of Integrated Learning: Higher Education for Success in Life, Work, and Society as a call and a model for higher education administrators and educators to consider how integrating liberal arts, professional studies, and civic responsibility into an institutional curriculum could not only better prepare students for success in work but also in life and society. Most importantly, Sullivan discusses how this type of integration could help higher education leaders rethink ‘the model of American undergraduate education more broadly."

    Sullivan concludes the book by re-sharing a model that can be used to reimagine higher education. The examples throughout the book are engaging insights into what NAC&U ( New American Colleges and Universities consortium) institutions are doing to fulfill their mission.”

    Teachers College Press

    "AAC&U has declared integrative learning the '21st century liberal art.' Working intensively with faculty, students and leaders from the New American Colleges and Universities, Bill Sullivan brings this far-reaching idea brilliantly to life. Through dozens of curricular, pedagogical and student vignettes, he shows liberal education at its finest. Readers will find in these pages compelling evidence that creating connections across disciplines, between the liberal arts and professional studies, and between college and the wider community is the most powerful way to help students chart a course for life and develop their capacities to make a positive difference in the wider world."

    Carol Geary Schneider, President

    Association of American Colleges and Universities

    "This volume tells the story of the first group of colleges in the US to recognize that it is possible for a college to provide high quality education in both the liberal arts and the professions and that this admixture also can increase the exercise of civic responsibility by students and recent graduates. Since those early days, the NAC&U model has been adopted by hundreds of other colleges, while the core NAC&U group continue to prosper. William Sullivan tells an inspiring story that counters the false claims of declining quality in American higher education."

    Richard Ekman, President

    Council of Independent Colleges

    "With his usual grace and clarity, William Sullivan has made a compelling case for integrated learning. His study of twenty-five higher education institutions that comprise the organization of New American Colleges & Universities illustrates the value not only of these institutions, but also of an engaged liberal arts for students and society in general. This is a most useful book for prospective students, parents, teachers, and counselors, as well as anyone interested in learning about the potential of American higher education to contribute to a better world."

    Ira Harkavy, Associate Vice President, Founding Director, Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships

    University of Pennsylvania

    "I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fostering and building a more integrated and coherent college experience."

    Ken Bain, Author: What the Best College Teachers Do and What the Best College Students Do

    “Anyone who wants to see the best that American higher education can offer will find it on display in this fine book. By telling stories from the diverse institutions in the New American Colleges and Universities consortium, William Sullivan shows high ideals at work every day.”

    Edward L. Ayers, President Emeritus

    University of Richmond