Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP)

Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) is the ongoing undergraduate education renewal based on the Final Report of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education, approved by Clark faculty in April of 2009. LEEP is modeled from the national initiative Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP). Through LEEP, Clark will make the link between knowledge and action more explicit, thereby preparing students to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world. LEEP implementation began with the class of 2014. Faculty development in support of LEEP has been provided by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation.

LEEP espouses a developmental perspective in which the undergraduate experience is organized around three phases: transition, growth and exploration, and synthesis and demonstration.

Each successive phase in the cycle marks:

  1. more extensive practice at intellectual and practical skills,
  2. increased social responsibility and agency, with students growing to organize and direct their own learning; and
  3. additional opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge.

Transition phase

The transition phase marks the initiation of the new student into the community and provides initial support for student success. In this phase, students will sharpen the fundamental skills (especially verbal literacy and formal analysis) that will assist them in making the most of the distinctive features of a Clark education. All first-year students will choose and complete a First Year Intensive course designed to support their transition.

For more information about the Transition Phase, including useful resources for faculty, see here.

Growth and exploration phase

The growth and exploration phase allows students to explore knowledge of human cultures and of the natural world. During this phase students will balance breadth and depth of learning, and will be given opportunities to integrate learning from various disciplines. (More information about Clark's Program of Liberal Studies) They will be provided with opportunities to apply knowledge with agility and creativity to new contexts, and ideally they will be provided with opportunities to stretch their learning in ways that provide global and international experiences.

Synthesis and demonstration phase

The synthesis and demonstration phase provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate the capacity to take on responsibility for organizing learning and constructing new knowledge. Students will demonstrate their ability to synthesize and construct new knowledge in sufficient depth as to add value to some larger community. An important characteristic of this phase is that students will show their growing ability to integrate their learning, and to draw effectively on the help of others (faculty, students, and staff) as resources.

Learn more about LEEP.