Berkshire Community College (BCC) announces the creation of Introduction to Liberal Arts, a first-semester course available this fall for all students declaring liberal arts majors without concentrations.
With a focus on career and educational planning, the course engages students in thinking critically about their academic and/or career plans. Faculty involved in developing course content represent a range of liberal arts disciplines, including communications, biology, music, psychology, English and math.
Liberal Arts Program Advisor Matthew Müller said, “This interdisciplinary approach ensures that students get the best possible introduction to a liberal arts education and build the diverse skills employers value.” Because the introductory class is offered in the first semester of enrollment, it may help guide “undecided” students into various concentrations earlier, he explained. In turn, students will be able to take more specialized courses within their selected concentration. Charles Park, a professor of English who developed the course, added, “The course will define what ‘liberal arts’ means, how liberal arts skills translate to their lives, and how students can effectively market themselves with these skills.”
Research shows that liberal arts skills, like communication, critical thinking, collaboration, analytical skills and creativity, are in demand from employers, yet few applicants highlight such strengths on their resumes,” she said. “Not only are these qualities in demand, but jobs requiring these skills are also expected to grow and are not easily replaced by machines. This class will help students hone these in-demand skills."
The Introduction to Liberal Arts course culminates in the creation of an online portfolio, which students can build on as they progress in their careers or continue their education.