President's Letter to Alumni and Friends
Dear Lasell Alumni and Friends:
When Edward Lasell founded Lasell College in 1851, he sought to provide a higher education for women, founded in the liberal arts and wedded to professional training. That idea is alive today in Lasell's distinctive educational philosophy -- Connected Learning. Its newest expression is Lasell's Core Curriculum -- introduced this fall to first-year students after four years of planning by our faculty.
The Core seeks to accomplish several objectives: make Core courses relevant to students' lives during and after college; tie the content directly to 14 student learning outcomes we expect our graduates to achieve; and integrate the core more effectively with courses in each major.
Another purpose of the Core, as with the liberal arts in general, is to prepare students for lifelong success in an ever-changing, global environment. Not only do we provide students opportunities for hands-on learning both inside and outside the classroom, but we also engage them in critical thinking about the greater world around them.
Lasell provides this interconnectedness in several ways.
• International partnerships in China, Ireland and Switzerland continue to extend the possibilities of international exchange, and study abroad in particular.
• The Core includes multidisciplinary courses that investigate major societal issues from the perspective of multiple disciplines, a junior-year course on moral reasoning in which students strive to unravel moral dilemmas, and a set of courses that introduce students to four Knowledge Perspectives, such as scientific problem solving, historical context and others.
• The College recently opened a new high-tech Math Lab with a redesigned fundamental math course required for all students. The new course and Lab features self-paced learning, supplemented by individualized faculty support.
• International service learning continues with two new trips to Antigua and Vietnam, in addition to repeat trips to Ecuador and Belize. This fall 86 students are studying abroad, doubling last year's number.
• This semester, we sponsored town meetings, guest speakers and panel discussions that addressed anti-gay laws and persecution in Uganda, the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement's landmark Freedom Summer, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Our students' interest in the world around them is ever increasing with more than 25% of our bachelor's graduates having some type of international experience. The delivery on the promise of Connected Learning is more pervasive every year. And now, the new Core Curriculum ties it all together.
I hope you see that your generosity and commitment to Lasell contributes directly to the education of the next generation of global citizens and, therefore, to the welfare of society.
Michael B. Alexander