Liberal Education and the Pierce Promise

General Liberal Education

An Education that Matters.

A vision of liberal education lies at the heart of Franklin Pierce University’s promise to offer an “education that matters,” one that readies students for careers and life in a complex and challenging 21st-century world. This vision is guided by a carefully formulated set of learning outcomes.

Educational & Professional Success

General Liberal Education

Adapted from the nationally prominent LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) initiative, endorsed by employers, educators, and policy makers, these outcomes reflect a growing consensus on what college graduates ought to know and be able to do. These learning outcomes offer students both the best of a traditional liberal arts education and the knowledge, capabilities and skill sets favored by employers.

In addition, since the results are measured in terms of actual learning achieved, the new vision focuses attention on the educational process, inviting faculty to be more innovative and student-centered in their methods, and students to be more active and engaged in their academic development.  

Franklin Pierce Learning Outcomes
Franklin Pierce General and Liberal Education Learning Outcomes consist of five Knowledge & Understanding areas - Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts & Design.

Franklin Pierce University has identified the following skill sets as essential in meeting both our mission and our vision statements.

    • Intellectual & Practical Skills
      Inquiry & Analysis, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Critical Reading, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, Information Literacy, Technology Literacy, Financial Literacy, Teamwork, and Problem Solving

    • Personal & Social Responsibility
      Civic knowledge & engagement, ethical reasoning, intercultural knowledge, and career exploration

    • Engaged Learning & Thinking
      Experiential & applied learning

Each Knowledge and Understanding area has embedded certain characteristics within select courses. Natural Science courses embrace Inquiry and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Technology Literacy and Problem Solving; Mathematics courses include Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving; Social Sciences courses contain Inquiry and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Critical Reading, and Information Literacy; Humanities courses incorporate Critical Thinking, Critical Reading, Intercultural Knowledge, and Written Communication; Arts and Design courses involve Applied Learning, Creative Thinking, Oral Communication, and Problem Solving.

Liberal Education, Major/Minor Programs, and General Education
Unlike many universities, but in keeping with the national model, Franklin Pierce distinguishes between liberal and general education. Liberal education, the achievement of the essential learning outcomes, is understood to be the charge of the whole curriculum (and the co-curriculum, too, indeed the entire undergraduate experience). The major and minor programs have a definite role to play here, since the outcomes are likely to be reached at the most sophisticated levels only through advanced study in specialized fields. General education, too, has a distinctive, if not exclusive, role in meeting the goals of liberal learning. General education courses provide a breadth of encounter with the outcomes not possible in a single field, and offer a secure academic grounding for the higher accomplishments of the disciplines.

The Pierce Promise
Liberal Education & the Pierce Promise is literally a promise to our students: Commit yourself to your Franklin Pierce education, and you will achieve what you need to advance confidently toward your future.


Franklin Pierce University
College at Rindge
(800) 437-0048