Keene State's community is very diverse and authentic.
The Educational Experience At KSC
Both nationally and at Keene State College, the business community is our partner in our academic endeavor. From this group of dedicated colleagues, we have a comprehensive understanding of their needs for an educated, dynamic, and successful workforce. What is most reassuring today is the continued importance that the liberal education plays in this preparedness. Liberal education has long held that there are a number of fundamental skills that are essential to long term success. These include:
- Critical thinking – the ability to consider all challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives and to chart a course through to a successful conclusion.
- Multidisciplinary – solutions to today’s workplace challenges require the input of multiple individuals representing a diverse group of functions. The ability to identify those necessary to contribute to a successful outcome and to convening a high functioning working team is essential.
- Communication – skill in communication in all its forms, written, verbal, and presentation, provides the framework on which all business objectives are carried out and is critical at all levels of an organization.
At Keene State College, students are introduced to the relationship with the business community early in their educational experience and continue to develop their own specialized connections based on their goals for professional work.
- Hands on learning through coursework
- Service projects through clubs and organizations
- Community service events organized by the college
- Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing
- Consulting opportunities through WorkWISE
- Study away programs
Higher education has seen many changes in the past century. As we continue to provide a transformative experience for our students, institutions of higher education have undergone a process of transformation themselves. From the administration and structure of our academic programs, to the buildings, services, and technology that drive our campuses, higher education has sought to remain challenging, relevant, accessible, and affordable to all.
From “liberal arts education” to “liberal education”
The words we use to describe the academic experience have also changed over the years. Recently, the Association of American Colleges and Universities changed the description that they use from “liberal arts education,” to “liberal education.” Although this sounds like a minor distinction, their intention was to refine further the understanding of what students and their families can expect from the experience that is provided at the nation’s colleges, and the qualifications and preparedness that students will have upon completing their degrees.
What does the term “liberal” mean?
From our perspective, liberal implies a broad range of knowledge that covers time-honored skills that are applicable to many disciplines and have been proven to be valuable throughout the course of one’s lifetime, as well as deep expertise in a chosen field or fields.
While much has changed in the academic environment, the underlying concepts and goals of what we know of as public liberal arts education have remained constant. In the past, much attention has been focused on a traditional four-year, on-campus experience. Today, we are able to articulate more clearly the relevance that this experience has on a student’s future and to demonstrate the preparedness that it offers for the workforce and for careers that will span multiple generations and dramatic changes in the world around us.
STEM refers to the fields of study deemed essential to a well-rounded education and success in the global economy. Keene State is a partner in a commitment made in 2012 by the University System of New Hampshire and the Community College System of New Hampshire to increase the number of STEM graduates by 50 percent by 2020 and double that number by 2025.
ISP courses, taken across three to four years, provide the foundation in writing, analysis, and critical thinking that is at the heart of a liberal arts education.
These core skills and habits of mind (writing, critical reading, information literacy, critical and creative thinking, quantitative reasoning, critical dialogue, and media fluency) apply to every major and, eventually, to every job or life choice that our graduates will pursue.