As the home of liberal arts education at Penn—enrolling roughly half of Penn's student body, and with responsibility for providing liberal arts courses across Penn's schools—we give careful attention to strategies that will assure the excellence and relevance of a Penn education for all our talented students, from undergraduate, to doctoral, to professional masters and beyond.
Innovation in Teaching
Teaching innovation is an important part of our strategy to maximize the impact of an education in the College, including programs like Structured Active In-class Learning (SAIL) courses. In these classes, students listen to lectures online, freeing class time for direct interaction, discussion, and group problem-solving.
Political Science, economics, and finance major Urja Mittal, C’14, investigated the voting public’s stance on the birthism movement. She discovered that the different phrasing various major news outlets used in surveys of public opinion before and after President Obama’s long-form birth certificate was released caused their polls to produce notably different results. Working on the project with two professors, she eventually coauthored a paper on the findings in Public Opinion Quarterly.
Nearly 80% of our undergraduates take advantage of opportunities for research and engagement at Penn, in the community, and around the world. These experiences are a distinctive feature of a Penn liberal arts education. Our goal is to make sure that, to the fullest extent possible, all of our students graduate with some experience with the process of creating and disseminating new knowledge or producing creative work.
Along with research, internships offer our students important opportunities for engagement. Internships provide students with real-world knowledge, augmenting their classroom education and strengthening their professional preparation.
As an intern at the Kislak Center for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections, History major Elizabeth Vaziri, C’15, transcribed a large portion of the William Steig journals recently donated to the collection, helped to edit an interview with a prominent Dreyfus scholar, and worked directly with patrons.
“Park of what set my internship at the Kislak Center apart from comparable opportunities offered at other institutions was the trust and experience I was given as an intern. This allowed me to learn the odds and ends of rare book librarianship, from the sometimes unglamorous tasks of conservation to the excitement of handling a copy of a boko annotated by Benjamin Franklin.”
By making the promise of a world-class education a reality for the most talented students, regardless of social and economic background, scholarship at Penn open doors to a brighter future for thousands every year.
Penn Arts and Sciences—home to more than two-thirds of all Penn undergraduates—shoulders most of the cost of this vital commitment through its annual operating budget. Raising funds for this critical aid remains a top priority for the School.