TERRAIN at Unity College ensuring students learn career-ready skills
December 23, 2019
For decades, Unity College has taken pride in not only providing students with career-focused education undergirded by the liberal arts and sciences, but also in offering them research, internships, expeditions, and highly experiential opportunities that give them an advantage when they enter the job market or apply for graduate school.
As employers’ demand for those career-related skills increases, Unity College is also investing in a forward-facing career office, to lead and support its vibrant curriculum and to facilitate changing the way we deliver the first two years of education for students. The College is also changing the way it delivers the first two years of education to get students those skills earlier, and ensure they’re ready for the next step after graduation. TERRAIN at Unity College uses Expeditionary Learning as its educational model, with innovative and integrated courses where students receive comprehensive, relevant, and outcome-based opportunities to help build or retool their knowledge and professional skills in sustainability fields.
TERRAIN at Unity College also provides a unique calendar system that allows students to focus on the depth of their experiences by taking one expedition at a time, combined with short courses to ensure focus, meaning, and competency beyond that of a traditional schedule.
“When our faculty and staff were developing TERRAIN at Unity College, we reached out to employers in the green economy to see what they were looking for in graduates,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “Over the years, it has become evident that it is the combination of a well-rounded education and career readiness that makes a graduate competitive to employers. TERRAIN allows students who care about the environmental field and do not yet know what career they want to still graduate in four years. It also gives the opportunity for students who are well-focused the ability to graduate in three years. TERRAIN was developed with a keen sense, and is not just an accumulation of credits, but the development of a global citizen who is career ready, environmentally conscious, and competitive to employers.”
“Currently, students build new knowledge in isolated contexts, in individual discipline-based courses. But our mission requires us to prepare environmental problem-solvers and leaders ready to tackle sustainability challenges. These are complex, multi-disciplinary problems. It is essential that our students are ready to employ their knowledge and skills in novel situations,” said Dr. Jennifer Cartier, Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship at Unity College. “The other very compelling reason to reimagine undergraduate education is simply that we need to respond to our students. We have an obligation to give them what they need and what they and their parents value.”
“TERRAIN will prepare our students to be ready for their first career as well as their third. Students will be engaged in learning opportunities that emphasize the exploration of disciplines and career-ready skills that are valued by employers,” said Dr. Erika Latty, Chief Learning Officer. “Experience that will enable them to make informed choices about their future goals.”
For more on TERRAIN at Unity College, visit unity.edu/terrain-at-unity-college/.