FAQ: NAB Philosophy & Strategy

Why So Much Change at So Many Levels?

Why we think we can make this happen

Why isn’t it enough to help students prepare for colleges as they are?
  • Low graduation rates among non-traditional college students are unacceptable.
  • Young people will continue to shun liberal arts colleges unless they are able to see their value relative to their cost and to the likelihood of significant student debt.
  • Many capable students lack the confidence and mentoring support to aim higher.
What’s wrong with the Liberal Arts such that it needs to be revitalized?
  • Nothing is wrong with requiring critical thinking, engaging students with great ideas and classical texts, and demanding high levels of literacy and intellect. However…
  • Acquisition and Demonstration of essential skills must become part of the liberal arts curriculum, with significant impact on how student learning is assessed.
  • When academic knowledge gets constricted by academic “silos,” it often deprives students of the benefits of cross-disciplinary and integrated learning.
What’s wrong with our high schools that requires re-prioritizing?
  • Students “in the middle” between Honors and Special Education are often ignored.
  • A culture of “delivery of instruction” and “compliance with diploma requirements” may not work for non-traditional learners with high intellectual potential.
  • The “learner-centered” focus of elementary and middle schools is often replaced at the high school with unconnected departmental instructional formats.
  • Communication skills and collaborative learning experiences are under-emphasized.
What do 21st Century students require that other generations may not have demanded?
  • Gallup surveys suggest today’s college students feel that their most pressing needs are not provided for in areas such as collaborative learning and integration of knowledge and practice.
  • A uniting of intellectual engagement and career preparation is now more important than ever.
  • Today’s students learn best from putting ideas to work, in projects and self-designed research and application.
How will the NAB Curriculum and Pedagogy meld with the teaching and learning climate at Liberal Arts Colleges?
  • This is something we will learn from experience, but we are confident that this is in the best interests of the College.
Why should America care about the survival and renewal of liberal arts colleges?
  • The survival of our democracy may, in part, depend upon it.