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A false choice

April 1, 2010

Harry Boyte is moderating a series of online discussions aimed at sparking further thought and action on the role of higher education as an architect of thriving democratic societies.

Yasmin Karimian is learning skills for public and professional life at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The third and final webcast in the series, on April 29, challenges the all too common false choice of preparing students for careers or preparing them for lives of meaningful citizenship. A recent AAC&U study found that today’s employers are demanding skills in future employees such as ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing, teamwork skills, and the ability to analyze and solve complex problems. Yet these are not simply career skills:  they are precisely the civic skills needed to build thriving, healthy, and inclusive communities. Explicitly integrating civic skill development into career preparation offers multiple opportunities for greater skill development, career preparation, and citizenship development.

Preparing for Citizenship or a Career–A False Choice will explore practical strategies and approaches that campuses can use to develop these career/civic skills.

In this webcast, Harry Boyte talks with Caryn Musil, noted for spearheading AAC&U’s civic agenda, Mary Kirlin, a leading national expert in the area of civic skills, and Miguel Vasquez, an anthropologist from Northern Arizona University who has worked extensively with the Mexican American community and has been a champion in the Public Achievement movement.

The webcast will answer the following questions:

  • How might educators and communities create an institutional focus on the creation of 21st century skills?
  • How do students best acquire these types of important skills?
  • What are employers looking for in college graduates and how might these needs be met?

Register now to participate in the webcast, which will take place on Thursday, April 29, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST (2 p.m. CST).

Collaborators in the webinar series include the American Democracy Project of American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Campus Compact, Imagining America, the Democracy Imperative, Association of American Colleges and Universities, CIRCLE, IDASA, NERCHE and the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The webinar is produced by the Society for College and University Planning.

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