LEXINGTON, Ky.—Faculty representatives from 15 liberal arts colleges across the country are on campus through Sunday, July 29, for Transylvania’s “Twenty-first Century Liberal Education: A Contested Concept” seminar.
The participants were selected after completing a formal application including a statement of their views of liberal education and how they would benefit from the seminar. Candidates have to be nominated by their school’s president or chief academic officer to be considered.
The program, funded by Transylvania University’s Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching, allows recipients to attend for free. Accommodations and a stipend for travel are also provided. This year’s participants include faculty from Bates, Carleton, Hampden-Sydney, Kenyon, Middlebury and Reed colleges.
Transylvania political science professor Jeffrey B. Freyman is the seminar coordinator. For the first time, a Transylvania graduate is among the participants. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry and director of the First-year Integrative Foundational Program at Mercer University, is happy to be back on campus.
“This is like coming home—I get to sit around a small seminar with a group of people and discuss important ideas very passionately,” said Trogden. “I want to be able to take this back to my university. We talk about liberal arts at Mercer, but I don’t get to talk to people at other institutions about what it means to them, both in a theoretical sense and a practical sense in the classroom. We’ll get to discuss different reform movements in education and things that we need to do to educate our students better.”
Seminar topics include a historical overview of liberal education, the mission of the liberal arts college in 21st century America, and how liberal education principles can improve educators’ effectiveness and university curricula. Ten individual one-hour sessions will be dedicated to the discussion of specific readings on various topics related to liberal education.
Transylvania, founded in 1780, is the nation’s sixteenth oldest institution of higher learning and is consistently ranked in national publications as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.