FUS needs to get more practical about education

by Peter Cole

Dr. Regis Martin’s article “What liberal educators may not omit” calls for a response. The role of the liberal arts education which is to ground the person in fundamental truths cannot and must not be underrated. Today in corporate America there is a recognition that people must have a background that makes them well-rounded people. This background can only come from some form of liberal arts education.

Precisely what form it should take at this university, however, is often in dispute. While many of our students are in the field of theology and philosophy, the students in other disciplines such as nursing, education, business and the like are involved in programs that do not and cannot give them the time to study at length such things as Dante, Shakespeare, Homer and Dickens. While Homer may be important to make the student well versed in humanities and thus learn how to deal with the person as a whole, the student of Hotel Management has to give priority to those areas such as accounting, business organization, management and finance. This does not mean that the student does not study Homer, but the major part of the two and a half to three hours of study time a student has each day needs to be spent on his area of concentration.

Newman talks of utilitarianism in education, and indeed education should not only be to secure a better job in the work place but also to ground one in fundamental truths. I find it interesting that Dr. Martin’s article makes no mention of computer education and training in such activities as job placement. At the end of the twentieth century no student should receive a BA, BS, MA or MS degree without having enough computer literacy and enough basic training in vocational skills to help them compete with those who do not esteem God or the human person as we do.

Our University provides the liberal arts education quite well. We fall short, however, in preparing our alumni for the reality of life. We should introduce into our English classrooms information on resumes and cover-letters. Our computer labs should be expanded and every student should have at least 3 credits of such a class before graduating. The exit conferences at graduation should be more thorough and cover such areas as job interviews. I wonder how many of our students know of the Career Placement and Planning Office. Do many of our students take part in their services? Personally, I doubt it.

Peter Cole, MS Education program

Peter Cole received a BA in theology from FUS in 1997.

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Same issue

Same topic: core curriculum

I,1 Shouldn’t we have a real core curriculum at Franciscan University?, John F. Crosby I,2 What is a ‘real’ Catholic education?, Kathleen van Schaijik I,2 Core curriculum (1), R.J. Convery I,2 Core curriculum (2), Jim Fox I,3 Core curriculum (3), Katherine Kemmis I,4 Core curriculum and anti-intellectualism, Adam Tate I,5 Core curriculum and critical thinking, Joseph A. Loizzo I,6 Core curriculum (4), Regis Martin I,7 Making ‘the connection’: A Steubenville education, Regina Schmiedicke I,7 A defense of a diversified core, Mark Fischer II,1 In reply to Mark Fischer’s defense of the present core curriculum, John F. Crosby II,2 More on the curriculum debate, Mark Fischer II,3 Last words on the core, John F. Crosby IV,4 What liberal educators may not omit, Regis Martin IV,5 Dr. Martin does it again, Joanna K. M. Bratten IV,5 Why non-liberal majors need a liberal core, Susan C. Fischer IV,6 The real purpose of liberal education, Ben Brown IV,7 The will and the intellect are inseparable, Martha L. Blandford IV,7 Preparing students to compete in the global economy, Peter Cole IV,7 Education not limited to the mind, Susan C. Fischer IV,7 According to the Tradition, education aims beyond the intellect, Matthew Fish V,1 More on the aim of education: Ben Brown replies to his critics, Ben Brown V,2 Preparing FUS graduates for the modern world, Jason Negri V,3 Liberal arts and professional programs: a reply to Jason Negri, Ben Brown V,3 Let’s improve our stats, Sofia Genato V,3 The ideal of perfecting the mind is timeless, Michael Houser V,3 Cultivating the intellect, Anne Schmiesing V,5 The eternally practical liberal arts, Timothy J. Williams V,5 Computers and liberal learning, Ben Brown V,6 Liberal arts with professional training: the best of both worlds, Thomas E. Kelly V,7 Education is not primarily about preparing to evangelize in the workplace, Ben Brown V,7 The God gap in the workplaces of the world, Peter Cole V,8 Arrogant idealism, Jason Negri IV,7 Newman, education and context, Kathleen van Schaijik

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