Applying the Liberal Arts to the World
Today’s college students have grown up in a world very different from the one their parents knew at the same age. Globalization, with its lowering of social, economic, and political barriers throughout the world, has triggered radical changes in our economy, culture, and society.
The demands that are placed on our graduates to actively engage the world, in all of its complexity, require us to help them learn how to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. They need opportunities outside the classroom to develop and practice their abilities for critical inquiry, synthesis of information, complex analysis, and clear communication. Such opportunities can be found through work, volunteer activities, research, or self-directed projects. These experiences enable students to develop the skills they need to succeed while also exploring potential career directions, making contacts that will assist them in finding that first job, and fulfilling their potential as engaged citizens.
One Student's Experience
Addison DiSesa '12 wanted an internship aligned with his environmental ethic and interests as a political science major. At the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, he worked as assistant to Commissioner Adrian Benepe '78. The experience gave Addison exposure to the world of public service and the chance to test out a potential career path.
Opportunities in Action
The College is committed to ensuring that each undergraduate has at least one opportunity to acquire practical experience that furthers his or her aspirations and educational objectives.
Education in Action provides many ways for students to acquire that experience including the following:
Internships enable students to explore career options, pursue academic interests or personal passions, and acquire practical work experience before they start looking for a job. It also helps them make the connections they'll need to find work after graduation. Learn more.
Each year, more than 1,500 students work as volunteers with organizations addressing community needs in Middlebury and around the world. Community service enables students to deepen their learning and apply course-related theory and content to solve real problems. Learn more.
Many students at Middlebury choose to apply what they are learning by designing their own projects, beginning with articulating an idea, following through on creating a plan and a budget, putting that plan into action, and analyzing the results. Along the way, they develop creatively and learn organizational, communication, and leadership skills. Learn more.