For many, the idea of attending a liberal arts college may seem like a waste of time and money. These same people believe that, in order to achieve success in today’s ever-changing job market, it is imperative to earn a so-called “useful” degree, one that is narrowly focused and job specific. And then there are others who believe that earning a liberal arts degree—one that gives a student a broad education in a variety of areas—is, in fact, the answer to today’s problems, and that’s the mindset of those involved with Christendom College.
In an effort to alleviate some of the many fears that parents and prospective students may have about earning a liberal arts degree and then their ability to land a decent job upon graduation, last year, Christendom introduced its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Education for a Lifetime: Christendom’s Academic and Professional Integration Program” (ELP). The goal of the “Education for a Lifetime” program is to enhance the students’ learning environment by integrating their career discernment into their liberal arts education. The program will achieve this through a series of courses set to launch in the fall of 2012.
The courses, CCOL 101 and 301, worth one credit each and earned over a two-year period, will consist of both classroom sessions and mandatory workshops.
Director of Career Development Mike Mochel believes that, through these courses, students will not only demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of a liberal arts education, but also gain leadership skills and become more aware of their personality preferences.
“All these will be incorporated into their plans for their personal growth here at Christendom,” Mochel says. “In the end, students will develop a personalized career portfolio through a program that fully respects Christendom’s mission and strong liberal arts tradition.”
The program will establish a commitment to do more as a college in instilling a greater confidence in the students’ ability to take their next steps following graduation, whatever those next steps may be.
The first of the courses, CCOL 101, is designed for freshman and sophomores. The course covers topics such as the value of a liberal arts education, concepts of leadership and service, basic library research skills, the functions and attitudes of their personality, and how their interests may influence their future choice of major and career.
Structured similarly to CCOL 101, CCOL 301 will begin to focus juniors and seniors more specifically on preparing for the transition from college into whatever comes next. Students will learn how to carry their liberal arts education into the world beyond college; how to apply what they’ve learned about leadership and service during their time at Christendom into their lives as members of Christ’s Church and society after graduation; and how to translate their personality preferences and interests into careers in which they can thrive, both personally and professionally. Students will also participate in workshops on writing effective resumes and interviewing skills.
This program has come through a long and very thoughtful process to get to this point, and it forms the right blend of respect for Christendom’s mission and tradition with the desire to do more for its students in preparing them for success after graduation.