As part of a strategic plan that will guide Newberry College’s long-term development, the College’s Board of Trustees approved in fall 2011 an educational philosophy for undergraduate programs entitled Education for Life.
Our Education for Life model offers a distinctive undergraduate learning experience for students who want the challenges of outstanding academic programs that will propel their professional careers, along with personalized leadership development and ample opportunities to become engaged on campus, in the local community, and in the broader world beyond. Education for Life integrates five major learning and experiential components.
As a Lutheran-sponsored institution, Newberry College believes that an essential part of the educational experience encourages each student to examine and develop his or her personal character: his or her personal values, ethics, spirituality, civic and community responsibilities and involvement, and world view. Moreover, our Education for Life model emphasizes an individual leadership development path for each student, which helps him or her recognize a personal leadership style and develop the knowledge and skills to be a leader within the chosen profession. Character and leadership development occur across a student's learning experiences--in the classroom, through informal conversations with professors and peers, in student-led organizations, as part of varsity athletics, through internships and co-op experiences, and out in the community through civic and service learning and volunteer opportunities. In this way, leadership becomes part of each student's character and personality and relevant to his or her professional goals, not just a set of abstract theories and disjointed experiences.
In order to succeed professionally and excel as leaders, students must know how to acquire and interpret evidence, conduct and analyze research, think critically and imaginatively, define and solve problems, communicate effectively, and understand the "great ideas" that inform and drive societies and cultures. As a regionally ranked liberal arts college, Newberry College provides its students with an outstanding foundation in these areas of core knowledge, as well as instilling curiosity about the world around us and encouraging intellectual growth and lifelong learning. Moreover, because we recognize that our students and graduates live in an increasingly complex, ever-changing global society, our Educational for Life model fosters an empathetic education, whereby students are introduced to different cultural, civic, historical, and faith perspectives, heighten their awareness of and sensitivity to the social, cultural, and physical environments around them, and develop a personal "world view" that can guide them. Empathetic education happens not only in the classroom, but also in informal encounters with students from other regions and nations, study abroad at one of our international partner colleges or universities, and service learning and volunteer opportunities within the local community, nationally, and internationally.
Newberry College offers a comprehensive range of outstanding professional programs in the sciences, business, the humanities, nursing and allied health, education, communications, music, the visual and performing arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and more. In fact, students can choose from various combinations of some 60 academic majors, minors, and concentrations to customize a program of study specific to their talents, interests, and career goals. Under the Education for Life model, each academic major is structured to take a student through a systematic process of learning, testing, and applying the theory, content, and knowledge, the research principles and techniques, the professional methods, and the skills required for success in a given profession or discipline. In addition, practice and reinforcement of knowledge, research, methods, and skills are encouraged through internships, co-op assignments, clinical experiences, and other hands-on practice appropriate for the profession. Under the expert guidance of faculty-mentors, a student learns to grow over a four-year degree program in his or her capabilities, independence, and confidence to lead as a professional in his or her chosen discipline.
A key element to success in any profession is the capability to collaborate with others. Collaboration can take many forms: Participating in project work groups to achieve operational objectives. Working with persons who are expert in different disciplines on cross-functional teams across an organization. Involvement in clinical, research, or educational settings where leadership roles shift and change. Providing mentorship to guide formally or informally other team participants. Creating common understanding in a global workplace among individuals who might have different cultural backgrounds or traditions. Our Education for Life model fosters collaborative learning and practice by placing students in team-oriented experiences in the classroom through group projects and seminars, in clinical, internship and co-op experiences that develop team skills in the workplace, and in student organizations and athletics that require team play and responsibilities. There are no "lonely" learners at Newberry College.
Look at many college campuses, and they "wall in" their students--literally and figuratively--from the outside world. Our Education for Life model insists that students become engaged in their communities across various dimensions, rather than protected or isolated from them. Engagement takes many forms: Intellectual engagement in classes and seminars that are kept intentionally small so that no student can hide from academic participation or challenge. Engagement in campus life, through participation in student organizations, clubs, athletics, residence life, and on-campus employment or volunteering. Engagement in the local surrounding community, through community-based courses, internships, co-ops, and community service. Engagement in the world beyond Newberry, through study abroad, college-sponsored travel, and international service opportunities. Consistent with our Lutheran values, Education for Life also means Citizenship for Life--in our families, our churches, our local community, our professional communities, our nation, and our global society.
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