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Posts tagged ‘What We’re Reading’

What We’re Reading–Rethinking Preparation for Work: A Civic-Enriched Liberal Education

peer reviewRethinking Preparation for Work: A Civic-Enriched Liberal Education
Peer Review Summer 2015, Vol. 17, No. 3In a world where college graduates spend the majority of their public lives engaged in work, this issue of AAC&U’s Peer Review, sponsored by the Kettering Foundation, focuses on how colleges might reconceive preparation for work in addition to preparation for citizenship. Instead of making the case for civic learning  only by noting that civic education skills also are useful in getting a job, this issue explores whether there is a more expansive and civic notion of work to which higher education might contribute. The table of contents for the Peer Review issue is below, with links to full online articles.Rethinking Preparation for Work is what we’re reading. Note the contributions by TDC’s co-founder Bernie Ronan and by ADP’s Seth Pollack and Byron White.

From the Editor
Shelley Johnson Carey


Civic-Rich Preparation for Work
Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U

For a Good Life: Integrating Liberal and Civic Arts Education with Work
Elizabeth Minnich, AAC&U

Civic Virtues for Work and Action
Bernie Ronan, Maricopa Community Colleges, and Derek W. M. Barker, Kettering Foundation


Be the Change: Academics as Civic Professionals
Amy Koritz, Drew University, and Paul Schadewald, Macalester College

Weaving Together Career and Civic Commitments for Social Change
José Zapata Calderón, Pitzer College, and Seth S. Pollack, California State University–Monterey Bay

Developing Lifelong Civic Habits at Widener University
James Harris, the University of San Diego and Widener University

Science, Curriculum, and Public Controversies
Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University, Byron P. White, Cleveland State University, and Darlyne Menscer, Carolinas Health Care System

Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries with Civic Literacy
Mary Gowan, James Madison University, and Margaret Salazar-Porzio, Smithsonian Institution


What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Person Today?
Jean Johnson, National Issues Forums Institute


Reconstituting Civic Engagement for Tomorrow’s Students
David J. Maurrasse, Marga Incorporated and Columbia University

What We’re Reading: America Needs Talent

In the 20th century the United States was able to be great in large part through new ideas and innovations such as curing polio and other technologies, but in the 21st century the U.S. has to be more creative in the ways it succeeds. According to James Merisotis, author of America Needs Talent (2015), in order tAmerica-Needs-Talent1o foster creativity we have to rethink and redesign the way higher education works; today’s system is inefficient. The system has to be student-centered and invested in talent. People who possess talent help to make a better society. But in order to produce talent, universities and colleges have to change their structures.

A big question asked was; does America need jobs? Merisotis replied by asking who creates jobs? People do. People who have ideas and who are educated create jobs. There is not a lack of jobs in America; rather there is a supply and demand problem. In order to fix this problem higher education has to be fixed; Merisotis described it as a patient in need of healing. One problem with higher education is that two thirds of jobs require post-secondary education, but the cost of production (tuition) keeps going up (at about 2 times the rate of inflation) making post-secondary unaffordable to many students. Another problem is that the labor market isn’t certain that schools are producing what they need. In other words it is not clear that higher education is meeting student or employer needs; more employee surveys have said that they want their employees to have problem solving and teamwork skills. Students need durable skills so that they can more easily switch jobs. The point of his book is that America needs to invest in talent for the sake of its students, communities, jobs and careers, and economy.

What We’re Reading: Educate and Empower — Tools for Building Community Wealth

The Democracy Collaborative’s new report is what we’re currently reading. We’re also excited about their free webinar on Wednesday, September 9th at 3 p.m. EDT. You can register for the webinar here:

Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth
By Keane Bhatt and Steve Dubb | Democracy Collaborative | August 2015

How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. Who participates in, directs, and ultimately owns the economic-development process? In creating and sustaining new, inclusive economic institutions, how do community members cultivate and pass on skills, commitment and knowledge—especially among those who have long faced barriers to education and employment? And how should communities strike an appropriate balance between utilizing local knowledge and accessing outside expertise? This report draws on case studies of 11 different community economic development initiatives from across the United States to highlight a diverse set of powerful answers to these critical questions.


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