There is strong consensus within the School of Science that our most important goals are to produce teaching that is vibrant, innovative, and exciting, and to foster personal contact with our students. Faculty scholarship/research is also a top priority because it enables us to stay current and vigorous in our fields, both as scholars/researchers and as teachers.
It also promotes opportunities for collaborative research with students. There is strong agreement within the School of Science that student research projects are important pedagogical tools that help to convey the excitement (and hands-on nature) of all scientific investigations.
Our objectives are especially informed by our identity as a School of Science at a liberal arts college. In terms of student outcomes, it is a top priority for the School to instill in its students the ability to think critically and apply the scientific method. The School also endeavors to develop and cultivate skills in its students that will prepare them for a wide range of options following graduation – graduate or professional school, employment in private industry, or careers as K-12 teachers, for example. In particular, there is a strong consensus that our top students should be able to compete and succeed in nationally-ranked graduate and professional programs. Success in this area is recognized as essential if we wish to establish and maintain a positive regional and national reputation. Student outcome data indicate that we have been very successful in preparing our students for post-graduation professional life, and we intend to build upon this strength in the future.
Finally, the faculty of the School of Science believe that science is a core component of – rather than separate from – the liberal arts. We therefore view ourselves as an inherent, integrated part of the College, and we attach great importance to our “Area B” courses that are specifically targeted towards students who are not majoring in the sciences.