Franklin College faculty and administrators have been hard at work for the past year and a half on the most comprehensive curricular reform in the college’s 185-year history. Their collaboration, named the Pursuit at Franklin College, will be implemented in a matter of days with the start of fall semester on August 25.
The Pursuit makes engaged learning an integral part of every student’s Franklin experience. It leverages many of the best practices already deeply embedded in the college’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum, carries them across every discipline and integrates them into all majors. In this way, the Pursuit immerses students in four years of engaging, cohesive, transformational experiences.
According to Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., Franklin College president, the Pursuit positions graduates to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
“Throughout all of history, we can find examples of how innovative ideas have driven economies and changed the world. Some of the most inspirational innovators are from Indiana, which continues to be a springboard for thinking big.
“Hoosiers such as Colonel Eli Lilly, Madam C.J. Walker, Frank Ball and Orville Redenbacher are some of greatest examples of innovators who achieved extraordinary success because they recognized opportunities, developed ideas and pursued dreams. They knew how to think, and we believe Franklin College graduates can build on their impactful legacies.”
The Pursuit hinges on six high-impact educational practices:
- A robust first-year experience: All new students will participate in a topic-based seminar and will benefit from a subsequent series of workshops, peer interactions and skill-building opportunities, as well as from individualized guidance by trained staff and advisers.
- A relevant and responsive liberal arts experience: Specially designed courses will help students learn to see the world through a variety of lenses and to understand how values are formulated from different perspectives.
- Immersive, applied experiences: Learning will take place somewhere other than in a traditional classroom. The college will expand opportunities so that every student completes one internship, but also, so that every course students take during January’s Immersive Term will be experience-based.
- Overt opportunities to use technology: Whenever possible, both in- and out-of-classroom experiences will involve technology.
- Undergraduate research opportunities: Over four years, students will conduct research of an increasingly professional caliber, gaining the confidence and ability to pursue and answer meaningful questions.
- Cohesive professional development opportunities: Every major will integrate customized opportunities for a student’s professional development, helping forge their clear vision of the path between college and career.
“These practices characterize an approach that is intentional and unique to Franklin College. The Pursuit is carefully crafted to intersect liberal arts education with experience-based preparation for the world of work,” said Lori K. Schroeder, Ph.D., provost and dean of the college. “The Franklin faculty are fully committed to deliver a curriculum that can help students succeed in the pursuit of their individual goals.”
During the 2019 Immersive Term in January, the college rolled out The Pursuit’s inaugural element, Pivot, an offering of nontraditional mini-courses devoted to life-skills development. Courses ranged from cooking creatively on a budget and practicing meditation to deciphering fake news and maintaining a gratitude journal, among more than 50 others.
“With their emphasis on lifelong learning, professional development, life skills and wellness, Pivot courses are designed to teach students skills and strategies that will help them adapt and flourish personally and professionally long after graduation,” said Keri Ellington, dean of student success and retention.
Another key element of The Pursuit is a yearlong program called Launch. It is specifically designed for new students and provides resources to help with the transition into college. First-year experiences greatly impact student outcomes, according to Ellington.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.