For many years, students at liberal arts colleges (including Wagner) have been required to take a broad-based core curriculum in addition to their major.
At Wagner, these requirements have been known as General Education. It includes a distribution of courses across the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and the arts, plus foundational skills in writing, math, speech, and computers.
“The limitation in Wagner’s curriculum has been its ability to demonstrate that it develops within its students the intellectual and practical skills employers demand and citizenship requires,” said sociology professor John Esser.
This year, the Wagner faculty introduced a new approach to this broad-based element of the Wagner Plan. First-year students in 2018–19 will instead follow the Key Skills and Knowledge curriculum — which, as the name indicates, emphasizes skills as well as disciplinary knowledge.
The skills that the faculty identified in the curriculum are intercultural understanding, creativity, critical reading and analysis, information literacy, quantitative thinking, technological competency, oral communication, and written communication.
“Students work with their academic advisor to select courses that develop six skill areas,” Esser explains. “Students must take at least one course that provides intensive skill development plus additional courses that provide skill practice or exposure. Students are encouraged to see the value of general education through focusing on the skills they develop.”