LEAP Stresses Value of a Liberal Education

Posted: March 3, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) has come to George Mason University.

A new initiative from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, LEAP is designed to promote the value of a liberal or general education. Mason is one of several institutions in the country, along with Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin, piloting the program.

Marilyn Mobley, associate provost for educational programs, is Mason’s point person for this project. Her objective, she says, is to coordinate efforts at Mason that will assist students in gaining a greater appreciation of receiving a liberal or general education.

“This program is very compatible with the philosophy we at George Mason have always had regarding the importance of a broad education,” she says. “Our intention is to organize a program primarily for students that helps drive home this point.”

Mobley is organizing a planning committee that will launch a program in fall 2006. This program will be geared to support the concept of LEAP, she says, and include members of the business community who will share their perspectives on how knowledge gained from a liberal education helps any graduate succeed in the work world.

Having a broad base of knowledge better enables students to transfer knowledge from one setting to another, gives them a deeper understanding of the disciplines that explore the nature of society and even more deeply instills in them a better sense of civil, social and personal responsibility, according to Mobley.

“We want to spark a public debate about the kinds of knowledge, skills and values needed to prepare today’s students to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” says Mobley.

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