Joe Bennett, For The Miami Student

Oct. 18, Miami University will host a discussion titled Goals for College Education to discuss the importance of a broad liberal education, specifically The Miami Plan.

The discussion will address how best to prepare students for life after college.

Thanks to a recent study done by Hart Research Industries, students can have a better idea of what employers want in potential employees.

“Employers want their employees to use a broader set of skills and have higher levels of learning and knowledge than in the past to meet the increasingly complex demands they will face in the workplace,” the research said.

The research goes on to say employers’ standards may change as hiring is affected by the economic downturn.

With this knowledge, colleges have been shifting toward a far more general and broad liberal education outside of the more specialized programs students tend to pursue.

The Miami Plan is the equivalent curriculum at Miami University. Through this curriculum, students gain leadership, knowledge through context and teamwork skills that are designed for a strong liberal education.

Not all students agree with this concept, though, including junior Kyle Mollison.

“I don’t buy it,” Mollison said. “Employers don’t care about how well I work with others. They want experience. It’s a waste of my time and my parents’ money.”

Because the research results addressed the issue that a broad education is what employers want, it will remain in place for now.

Miami is addressing the importance of a liberal education with the Goals for College Education event.

The program is being run by the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment (CELT) to try to better grasp the details of what skills and tasks employers want their future employees to accomplish with the skills liberal education programs provide.

CELT Director Cecilia Shore had more insight as to the goals and talking points of the event.

“They are having the event for delivering strategic goals of providing an outstanding education for Miami students,” Shore said.

The Miami Plan is set just at the right bar for success, according to sociology and anthropology Professor Theodore Wagenaar.

Wagenaar is the leader of the forum, which is involving faculty, teaching assistants and professors in the discussion.

“One of the things we heard from students about the Miami Plan was that first-years originally did not like it, but once they became juniors and seniors they began to appreciate it for what it was and how it was going to get them a job,” Wagenaar said.

While some students loathe the system, they cannot seem to protest the results. The Hart research and the upcoming seminar both address the issues of what a specialized program means.

“Employers don’t care about their majors, they care about the skills that they learn in college,” Wagenaar said.