Why go to college?
There are nearly as many reasons as there are undergraduate students, but high on most people’s list is to prepare for professional school, graduate school, and a successful career—in other words to get a job.
The BSC Explorations program in general education fosters the exact skills, abilities, and knowledge sets that employers and professional schools are looking for. Our curriculum is designed around what you will be able to do when you graduate, what skills you will have—and the knowledge and experience you will have to put those skills to good use.
We focus on communication, creative problem solving, community engagement, making connections among disciplines, and initiative in self-directed learning. These are just the outcomes to be looking for as you prepare yourself for the complex world of careers and social living of the 21st century.
How do we know?
We know that these abilities, skills, and values will support you after graduation because our graduates have been so successful in the past. And because we, too, have done our research. For example, a recent study done for the American Association of Colleges and Universities identified several intellectual and practical skills highly desired by employers. Those skills were almost exactly the same ones listed by The Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association as key skills and values desired in those seeking admission in law school. Held in common are
written and oral communication,
critical thinking and reasoning,
research and organizations skills,
the ability to work with diverse groups.
But there is also a demand for those who can work with numbers, especially statistics, and those who engage in public service.
Medical Schools value these abilities as well. The Association of American Medical Colleges, wants those interested in health related careers to know and be able to apply concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics, but they also want students to understand a variety of research methods and to be able to analyze a wide range of material in the behavioral and social sciences and in the humanities
And how does it all match up?
So, how does all of what you should be able to do after college match up with what BSC will guide you through in college?
The BSC Explorations general education program is designed to foster the learning outcomes below—outcomes that correspond perfectly with what the graduate schools, professional schools, and employers are looking for.
- Communicate Effectively. Students should be able to communicate effectively in written, oral, and artistic forms to a variety of audiences.
- Connectivity. Creative insight and generative problem solving frequently occur by connecting previously disconnected areas of thought.
- Creative Problem Solving. We expect students to be able to identify and solve problems using a variety of methods.
- Civic Engagement. The fully engaged citizen articulates his or her place in the world by attending to historical, social, economic, and geographical differences; such a citizen is equally capable of attending to competing interests by weighing the costs of privileging one perspective over another.
- Self-Directed Teaching and Learning. In any exploration, unplanned, unscripted, or non-routine events frequently provide the most memorable experience.
You will be guided in taking courses especially designed and approved by the faculty to achieve these outcomes. Those courses have the same rich disciplinary material in them expected of a nationally ranked liberal arts college; they are taught by the same talented faculty that BSC is known for. Plus, they highlight methods and assignments that assure that our graduates are ready to apply the knowledge that they gain in a complex, rapidly changing social and professional world.
- If you want to be a person who can communicate effectively with a diverse range of people,
- if you want to be a person who can understand and solve problems from quantitative, scientific, and interpretative and analytical perspectives,
- if you want to be a person engaged in the world around you, one who appreciates the intricate complexities of local and global communities,
- if you want to be a person of initiative and curiosity, then Explorations is a match for you, too.
Explore—your passions, your potential, your future
Besides providing students with opportunities to develop the capabilities necessary for successful careers, Explorations opens up a world of experiences in engaged learning the January Exploration Term What does that mean? It means getting out into the local or global community and taking part in research, service, internships, travel, and practical experience. It means studying with a faculty member on a special topic. It means taking part in a theater production. It means doing something out of the ordinary, but well worth the experience.
There are other special programs worth exploring at BSC as well. Some, but certainly not all of them are
- The Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action
- The Donald C. Harrison Honors Program
- The Entrepreneurial Scholars Program
- The Hess Center for Leadership and Service
- The Sklenar Center for International Programs
- The Vail College Fellows for Teaching and Research
The Explorations general education program at BSC encourages just that—exploration. Study what interests and moves you, discover some new things that open up unexpected vistas for you, find out what you are a natural for, find out where your challenges lie, learn what you need to be successful in and out of the classroom.
With your general education experiences, one of the top notch disciplinary or interdisciplinary majors BSC is known for, and any in a range of other campus activities, your time at Birmingham-Southern College can be not just an exploration but a great discovery as well.