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What does it mean to be an educated person? This may be a question you haven’t carefully considered before. Is it someone with an advanced degree? Is it a Nobel Prize winner? Is it someone who has memorized a great deal of information, or someone who knows how to find and evaluate information? A biological researcher? A writer? An artist? A lab scientist or a chemist? A college professor? Is it someone who knows how to solve problems or someone who can get others to join in a project or activity?

At UMass Dartmouth, we have designed programs, both inside and outside of the classroom, that we think will help you to become an educated person. Our General Education program is designed to provide both depth and breadth of knowledge, and coupled with courses in your major and the co-curricular activities you choose, to help you develop the attributes of an educated person. The UMass Dartmouth Commitment to Student Learning, which is the foundation of the General Education Program, captures what we believe to be the essence of the UMD educated person.

UMass Dartmouth Commitment to Student Learning

A University of Massachusetts Dartmouth education is a foundation from which graduates continually engage and impact their community, both locally and globally. In all aspects of their lives, UMass Dartmouth graduates skillfully locate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and can communicate their knowledge effectively and creatively. They have depth in a field of study and broad knowledge across many areas of inquiry, and they continue after graduation to explore and to acquire understanding within and beyond their field of study. UMass Dartmouth graduates think critically and possess the confidence to integrate and apply their learning to solving complex problems. They have excellent interpersonal skills and a sense of purpose. Guided by empathy and integrity, UMass Dartmouth graduates respond constructively to changing personal, professional, and societal challenges in a diverse world.

Activities/Questions for Discussion

  1. Freewrite for 15 minutes in your journal about what it means to be an educated person. To get started, think about someone you know or admire that you consider to be an example of an educated person.
  2. Working with a group, expand each sentence in the UMD Commitment to Student Learning into a paragraph that defines or gives examples of the concept stated. Each person in the group should take one sentence. Put the paragraphs together into an essay.
  3. Make a list of the characteristics of the educated person as presented in the Commitment. Identify where in your program requirements you are likely to develop each characteristic or attribute. Which attributes will likely be acquired outside of the classroom? In what kinds of activities might you engage to develop these attributes?
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