The Renaissance Program minor is designed to support liberal arts majors by giving them a mix of practical, business-related courses to help land a good job after graduation.
Often students mistakenly feel they must decide at the outset of their university years the direction they intend to take in preparing themselves for their careers. As a result, they may fail to capitalize on those very opportunities that are designed to equip students to make informed decisions about their future.
While focusing on career preparation is understandable given the competitiveness of the job market today, it does involve certain major disadvantages. When students limit themselves to a major concentration of studies in pursuit of a particular kind of job, they lose irretrievably much of the breadth and depth and richness of intellectual inquiry that ideally characterizes an authentic collegiate experience. It may also be true, as John Henry Cardinal Newman cautioned in the 19th century, that the person who is narrowly trained in one field only will never be a good judge even in that one.
The belief that a liberal arts degree does not prepare one for a career is simply untrue. Available data and experience over decades demonstrate conclusively that our graduates with liberal arts backgrounds excel in a variety of careers, earn competitive salaries, and are happy with their career accomplishments; further, liberal arts graduates outperform all other graduates in standardized entrance examinations for graduate studies in business, law and medicine.
The Renaissance Program has a three-fold set of objectives for each of its students:
1. Participants elect a major field of study from any of the Liberal Arts disciplines, namely, from the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. Majors from the Opus College of Business or Health and Human Performance are excluded from this program.
2. Participants enroll in the Renaissance Program. This minor is composed of a set of six courses, selected by each student according to personal interest and career plan, from a broad range of professional and pre-professional areas. The final course is Renaissance Program Studies, a capstone seminar.
3. Participants complete an internship in a career-related field. Students are encouraged to be creative and to search for inventive ways of implementing a plan of practical work experience. A variety of options and opportunities are available through the Career Development Center on the university's main campus.