In the fall of 2017, the UPEI Faculty of Arts will be offering a new program. This new offering will help students build the skills they need to succeed in the world of work, and connect them to Island employers.
Communication, Leadership and Culture (CLC) was created by an interdisciplinary group of UPEI Arts faculty who share a passion for teaching.
“We’ve seen the challenges students experience when trying to find work,” says Lisa Chilton, Associate History Professor. “There has been a mass exodus of students out of subjects like history, English, and anthropology, not just at UPEI but across Canada and globally. There is so much pressure on young people to choose an education path that will lead directly to a job.
“An arts education gives students a whole raft of skills invaluable for employment and for becoming good citizens. Research skills, communication, writing, and the ability to critically assess information are very important.
“However, there is a disconnect between the skills students learn by taking an arts degree and their ability to communicate those skills to an employer.
“The new CLC program will better inform students about the skills they need to function in a very competitive job market. We wanted the skills we are already teaching to become more transferrable and to take them more directly on a career path.
“As we developed the courses, it was a challenge to accommodate both the digitally literate students with great communication skills, and those with fewer technical skills. We designed project-based courses that will stimulate students to challenge themselves, regardless of where they are starting from.”
The four-year CLC program will offer 14 one-semester courses. It can be combined with another arts major to earn the 42 credits required to graduate. It will also be possible to take the CLC as a minor, which would require taking seven courses. Or students could take just one or a few courses.
- Putting Art to Work: students work on projects for community groups
- Academic and professional writing
- Digital literacy: desktop publishing, social media, video production, and web design
- Public speaking
- Leadership studies
- Digital humanities
- Creating a career portfolio listing skills, strengths, and achievements
“In the creation of the program, we listened to human resources professionals and managers from across PEI and across Canada. We made sure the program is grounded in what employers look for when they hire.
“I don’t think there is a program quite like this in Canada. There are other leadership and communication programs, but the idea of bringing these things together with an arts degree is unique.”