Claflin University has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to update the School of Humanities and Social Sciences general education curriculum.
The grant supports Claflin’s goal of addressing the needs of the 21st century workforce by re-engineering the general education curriculum.
The primary focus is to prepare graduates for career opportunities through classroom and internship experiences.
It also aligns with Claflin University’s strategic plan, “Claflin LEADS: A Shared Vision for the 21st Century,” which lists academic excellence and student success among its priorities.
The new general education program was approved by the faculty in October 2017. It will be designed to provide Claflin students with an intellectually challenging curriculum with a coherent structure and connection between courses and employment opportunities.
The new program will require 39 credits. The current program requires 46 credits.
Credits are being reduced to give students flexibility. Students will be able to customize their courses based on their career goals.
“By re-engineering the general education curriculum, we are expanding major programs of study to align with workforce needs,” Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said.
“We will allow students to add minors and certificate programs that help prepare them for specific career opportunities. This initiative will create experiential learning opportunities and transformative academic programs — elements that are consistent with the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., which allows participating institutions to develop programs to support curricular enhancements, co-curricular activities via experiential learning programs and guided pathways,” he said.
Business and industry leaders have identified critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration; applying knowledge to real world issues and other “soft” skills as the critical workforce skills required by today’s employers, according Dr. Angela Peters.
“The faculty tasked with general education reform will create new courses within the general education curricula that will enhance our students’ skills in those priority areas,” Peters said.