Something from Nothing: A Case Study in the Liberal Arts and Employability

By Dennis Leavens.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A brief review of the history of liberal arts shows its continual emphasis on impracticality: knowledge for its own sake, or the cultivation of the self. Paradoxically, the same tradition insists on the practicality of this kind of education. The recent growth in the need to demonstrate employability may present a challenge to liberal arts graduates. But a look at employability skills shows that most are developed in the liberal arts majors. Two questions emerge: how to demonstrate where and how these skills are being developed? how to provide students and employers with evidence that they are being developed. One technique is to chart these skills in the major, and then in each course. This documentation provides both a guide and record of employability skills for students, faculty, administrators, and employers. It also can spur changes in pedagogy and the delivery of instruction.

Keywords: Liberal Arts, Employability Skills, Curriculum Evaluation, Syllabus Design, Delivery of Instruction

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.99-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.393MB).

Dr. Dennis Leavens

Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dennis Leavens is Associate Dean and Professor of English Literature in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University. His research and scholarship has been mostly in the English-language of the last two hundred years, with publications on George Eliot, George Orwell, Ciaran Carson among others. He is currently working on an essay of semiotics in David Copperfield. His administrative work includes stints as College Rector, Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Dean.

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