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Workforce Readiness

Unity College Reimagines Curriculum to Focus on Job-Ready Skills

Students in their first two years at Unity College, a private liberal arts institution in Maine known for experiential education, are being introduced to a redesigned curriculum aimed at helping them develop career-focused skills from day one. The TERRAIN program is an "expeditionary education model," comprised of "integrated courses where students receive comprehensive, relevant and outcome-based opportunities to help build or retool their knowledge and professional skills in sustainability fields," according to a news announcement.

TERRAIN was created to allow students to develop their résumés and start professional networking through primary research, fieldwork and certifications, the college website explains. Learning activities, developed by faculty and staff over two years based on student and employer input, include:

  • Informal visits from guest speakers and field experts in the residence hall lounge;
  • Multi-day excursions across the state and country designed to help put new knowledge into practice;
  • Opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills; and
  • Collaboration with peers to "explore issues, tackle challenges and communicate ideas across academic, professional and social contexts."

"We listened to the challenges that students face in the first two years of college, to industry leaders in the green economy who hire our students, and did extensive research, which found that TERRAIN would revolutionize our curriculum and appeal to residential students who want to learn career-focused skills beginning the first day they enter Unity College," said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, in a statement. "TERRAIN allows students to explore a range of professional opportunities, which will help them build the foundational skills for their careers and graduate school."

Sixty-one out of 223 incoming students are participating in TERRAIN this fall; in fall 2020, all incoming students will take part in the new curriculum. For more information, visit the Unity College website.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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