Work Ethic Skills and a Liberal Arts Education: Using Work-Integrated Learning in a Liberal Arts Course to Enhance Students' Work Ethic Skills and Demonstrate the Practicality of a Liberal Arts Education.
Author(s)Lopes, Jennifer M.
Keywordsemployability skills gap
recent college graduates
work ethic skills
experiential learning theory
general education curriculum
Curriculum and Instruction
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AbstractTo address the gap in employability skills among recent college graduates, the proposed intervention seeks to integrate work ethic skills (WES) into the general education curriculum in a practical, efficient, and effective way to develop and enhance students’ professional skills. Work-integrated learning (WIL), if done properly, is the most effective method for students to learn, practice, and apply professional and academic skills. Problematic is the fact that general education courses have tenuous WIL connections because they are not “job specific. Hence, Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory is applied as the theoretical framework for creating effective an meaningful learning experiences via ‘ad hoc’ or ‘casual’ forms of WIL (Harvey, 2005; Tymon, 2013) to enhance students’ WES. These alternative forms of WIL had a significantly positive effect on students’ perceptions, confidence, meta-cognition, and ability to transfer WES knowledge and skills to other environments and situations.