New Report Contends that Higher Education Curricula That Combine Technical and Liberal Arts Disciplines Better Prepare Students for the Workforce

May 25, 2018

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics contends that stronger integration of liberal arts disciplines with a science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) curriculum may help better prepare students entering the workforce. Multidisciplinary programs that combine STEM and humanities curricula are a growing trend in higher education that have developed in response to an education system that is becoming increasingly siloed by discipline. “The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Higher Education” report examines this changing tide in academia and what institutions need to bear in mind as they strive to prepare students for life post-graduation.

“Public discourse has increasingly reflected a tension about whether higher education should be focused primarily on developing practical workforce skills or more broadly on fostering an enlightened, engaged citizenry,” explained David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and chair of the study committee. “But evidence suggests that integrating the STEMM fields with the arts and humanities is linked to learning outcomes that support both of those goals, and that serve students well in many aspects of life.”

In addition to discussing the benefits of siloed versus interdisciplinary curricula, the report also provides several recommendations for developing the most effective programs to prepare students for life after school. These recommendations also extend to additional research that should be conducted in the representation of women and minorities in specific disciplines.

To view the full report, click here: https://www.nap.edu/read/24988/chapter/1

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