PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will participate in the groundbreaking Presidents’ Campaign for the Advancement of Liberal Learning (CALL), coordinated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins said the unprecedented national effort seeks to increase public understanding of liberal education and to foster a societal commitment to providing a quality liberal education to every college student. In signing the CALL statement, Rawlins has pledged to speak out on the benefits of a 21st century liberal education and the practices and programs that will help every student achieve this kind of education.

As a participant in the nationwide presidents’ CALL, WSU plans to organize a Campus-Community Dialogue about the learning students need in a 21st century education during the 2002-03 academic year. The purpose is to engage the campus constituents in a discussion about the aims and value of a 21st century liberal education and the practices and policies that will lead today’s graduates to the powerful learning outcomes a liberal education can provide.

“We are pleased to be a part of this national effort to advance public understanding of the nature and benefits of a liberal education in today’s complex world,” said Rawlins.

“This President’s Campaign builds on a national resurgence and revitalization of liberal education practices and programs on campuses across the country,” said Carol Geary Schneider, AAC&U President. “It also responds to the business community’s call for college graduates with the analytical and creative capacities provided by a 21st century liberal education.”

The participants in this campaign, president of colleges of all types, agree that the educational approach “that best serves individuals, out globally engaged democracy and an innovating economy, is liberal education.”

The aims of a 21st century liberal education include:
–Developing intellectual and ethical judgment
–Expanding cultural, societal and scientific horizons
–Cultivating democratic and global knowledge and engagement
–Preparation for work in a dynamic and rapidly evolving economy.

WSU’s academic programs are ranked among the best in the nation and in the world. Its learning environment provides hands-on experience in a student’s area of interest, courses taught by world-class faculty and numerous resources to help students achieve a competitive edge.

The WSU College of Liberal Arts is a community of faculty, students and staff sharing a commitment to provide students an education that integrates pre-professional and general curricula and fosters a reflective understanding of our world. The college is also devoted to improving our comprehension of the human condition through time and worldwide by means of social science research, artistic creativity and humanistic inquiry.

Central to the mission of the liberal arts college is providing students with abundant opportunities for general education as well as for specialization in a major. Through both formal and informal teaching and by example, faculty help students appreciate the best of past efforts to understand humanity and its place in the world and to think creatively about the future.

The college’s primary missions of teaching, scholarship and service are implemented in diverse ways and include supporting faculty and student research and instruction, as well as enriching the cultural environment of the university, its host communities, and the state through museum and gallery exhibits, theatrical and musical performances, readings, lectures and symposia, and other cultural events.

The College of Liberal Arts at WSU is dedicated to advancing the frontiers of human knowledge through a commitment to learning, curricular diversity, scholarship, sharing of expertise and service. The liberal arts experience focuses on how to learn as well as what to learn and thus prepares our students for a future in which the only constant is change.

In addition to college presidents from around the country, several national organizations are also supporting the campaign, including the American Association of Higher Education; American Association of University Professors; Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Campus Compact; Educational Testing Service; the Great Lakes Colleges Association; the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts (Wabash College); and the American Conference of Academic Deans.

In August, AAC&U will release a national report on the aims and purposes of a 21st century liberal education as part of its national initiative, “Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College,” funded with grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

For information about signatories to this campaign, see www.aacuedu.org, or call Debra Humphreys at (202) 387-3760. AAC&U is the leading national association devoted to advancing and strengthening liberal learning for all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career.