News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

For Immediate Release (02-18)
Date: April 16, 2002 
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Joins Liberal Education Campaign
Nationwide Drive Includes Over 375 Colleges and Universities

Montgomery College has agreed to take part in a national campaign to promote so-called liberal education, which emphasizes the importance of traditional liberal arts courses.

The movement is called the President’s Campaign for the Advancement of Liberal Learning (President’s CALL), coordinated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. It seeks to increase public understanding of liberal education and to press for a quality liberal education for every student.

The campaign comes in reaction to the late 20th century trend toward focusing higher education on career preparation, often to the neglect of liberal arts courses.

"We are pleased to be a part of this national effort to advance public understanding of the nature and benefits of a liberal education in today’s complex world," said Montgomery College President Charlene Nunley. "We believe the liberal arts provide the underpinnings of lifelong education, plus critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are imperative for success in today’s complex world."

In August, AAC&U will release a national report on the aims and purposes of a 21st century liberal education as part of its national initiative, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College. The initiative is funded with grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

Participants in the President’s CALL campaign – heads of more than 375 institutions of higher learning: two year and four-year, small and large, public and private – contend liberal education is the approach that best serves individuals, a globally engaged democracy, and an innovating economy.

"This President’s Campaign builds on a national resurgence and revitalization of liberal education practices and programs on campuses across the country," said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. "It also responds to the business community’s call for college graduates with the analytical and creative capacities provided by a 21st century liberal education."

The aims of a 21st century liberal education, as defined by the campaign, include:

  • Developing intellectual and ethical judgment
  • Expanding cultural, societal, and scientific horizons
  • Cultivating democratic and global knowledge and engagement
  • Preparation for work in a dynamic and rapidly evolving economy

Montgomery College has become known for a tradition of providing the broadest possible educational opportunities for its students. In keeping with that legacy, MC supports the campaign’s goals with such initiatives as the honors-oriented Montgomery Scholars Program and the Paul Peck Humanities Institute, under which it is the only institution of higher learning that partners with the Smithsonian Institution for both student internships and faculty fellowships.

Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, Maryland, plus satellite learning centers in Gaithersburg and Wheaton. For more information, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu.

For information about AAC&U or campaign activities, choose www.aacu-edu.org or call Debra Humphreys at 202-387-3760.

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