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Goal 5: Elevate a liberal arts education as essential and relevant to all majors and careers
Whitworth formally launched its College of Arts & Sciences on July 1, 2012, with Noelle Wiersma, '90, at the helm. Wiersma, formerly professor and chair of the Whitworth Psychology Department, was chosen dean of the college following a comprehensive national search.
The College of Arts & Sciences bears the primary responsibility for providing an education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and committed to the integration of faith and learning. The college comprises 122 faculty members, supports the general education of students for the entire undergraduate program, and offers 41 majors. The college is also home to Whitworth's innovative interdisciplinary programs, including U.S. cultural studies, women's & gender studies, and the Core Worldview Program.
"The formal organization of all of the university's arts and science programs into a unified college brings energy and focus to the very foundation of Whitworth's mission," Wiersma says. "One of our early, essential goals is to promote an enhanced understanding of the nature of a liberal arts education and of why the study of the liberal arts and sciences, and their intersection, is vital in today's world."
KPI 5.2.1: Increase to 75 percent the number of traditional undergraduates who complete an internship, a practicum experience or a research project before graduating.
KPI 5.2.2: Increase to 100 percent the number of traditional undergraduates who complete a service-learning course before graduating.
In 2012, for the fourth time in six years, Whitworth was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees are chosen based on factors such as scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which each school offers academic service-learning courses.
Whitworth was selected for inclusion on the 2012 Honor Roll based on initiatives such as the university's annual Community Building Day program, its West Central Neighborhood Partnership and its Promise Neighborhoods project.
More than 90 percent of the Whitworth student body engages in community service, with service-learning opportunities incorporated into every academic department. During the 2011-12 school year, 2,363 students were enrolled in one of the 197 course sections that incorporated service-learning. These students contributed a total of 38,579 hours of service to the Spokane community, with an estimated economic impact of about $804,372. Students address issues such as poverty abatement, domestic violence, education, food insecurity, community development, environmental restoration, healthcare, eldercare, at-risk youth development, multicultural/diversity issues, philanthropy, and refugee/immigrant resettlement.
To review additional KPIs related to Goal 5, click here.