Employability and the Liberal Arts: A Career Readiness Initiative

Professor Katherine Brown, associate professor of communication and faculty director of the Career Readiness Initiative in the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavior and Social Sciences,  describes how she helps students connect what they are learning in the classrom to planning their next steps after college by demonstrating how others can resist the tendency to portray any concern with employability as somehow anti-intellectual, or as a rejection of the ideas and traditions of liberal arts education.

Professor Brown outlines the following points relative to her initiative:

  • acknowledge how connections between skills developed in “college readiness” activities also contribute to “career readiness” and employability;
  • success is defined by many as a “fit” between our values, skills and abilities, and the goals, needs, culture, and practices of an employer;
  • over the years employers have consistently highly ranked skills of importance that are practiced daily in classrooms and other campus learning environments – verbally communicating inside and outside the organization, working in a team structure, obtaining and processing information, and  making decisions when problem solving;
  • students are provided opportunities to practice and demonstrate soft skills and  articulate connections between what is taught and how it can benefit  non-profits or for-profit organizations hiring graduates.