Liberal Education and Effective Practice

LEEP Learning Outcomes

In December of 2009, the Clark faculty unanimously adopted the following statement of Clark's learning goals. It sets out the five characteristics that all Clark graduates should possess and be able to demonstrate.

Clark is a small research university that values liberal education. We aspire to engender in our students a love of learning, a respect for inquiry and imagination, and a spirit of engagement with the world in all its diversity and complexity. At Clark, a student's pursuit of liberal education is understood as a developmental and socially situated process that engages students actively in the discovery and creation of knowledge. Clark graduates will be liberally educated people who possess and can demonstrate the following five characteristics:

Foundational Liberal Education Skills and Capacities

  1. Knowledge of the Natural World and Human Cultures and Societies—including foundational disciplinary knowledge and the ability to employ different ways of knowing the world in its many dimensions.
    The acquisition of this knowledge will be focused by rigorous engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
  2. Intellectual and Practical skills—including inquiry and analysis, the generation and evaluation of evidence and argument, critical and creative thinking, written and oral communication, quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork and problem solving.
    These skills will be practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.
  3. Personal and Social Responsibility—including ethical reasoning and action, the intercultural understanding and competence to participate in a global society, civic knowledge and engagement locally as well as globally, and the lifelong habits of critical self-reflection and learning.
    These abilities will be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges, taking particular advantage of Clark’s urban location and global connections.
  4. Ability to Integrate Knowledge and Skills—including synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies, bridging disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking, and connecting the classroom and the world.
    This will be experienced through progressively more advanced knowledge creation, contextual reasoning, and the construction of shared meaning and opportunities for reflection.

Clark's Defining Contribution: The Capacity for Effective Practice

  1. Capacities of Effective Practice— including creativity and imagination, self-directedness, resilience and persistence, and the abilities to collaborate with others across differences and to manage complexity and uncertainty.
    These will be demonstrated by application of knowledge and skills to issues of consequence and by emerging membership in larger communities of scholarship or practice.