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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 2, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Andrew Robinson


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Andrew Robinson

The Workplace Relevance of the Liberal Arts Political Science BA

Andrew M. Robinson

published: 2013 | Research publication | Workplace Relevance

Andrew M. Robinson. "The Workplace Relevance of the Liberal Arts Political Science BA and How It Might Be Enhanced: Reflections on an Exploratory Survey of the NGO Sector." PS: Political Science & Politics, volume 46, issue 01, pp. 147-153.

[ Cambridge University Press, 2013. This article was originally published in the January 2013 (2) issue of  PS: Political Science & Politics.]

ABSTRACT Reflecting on a survey of employees of NGOs based in Ontario, Canada, the
article considers two questions: How well are our BA programs preparing students for the
workplace? Can we enhance workplace relevance without sacrificing our commitment to
liberal education? Key findings are presented, including the BA continues to be a desired
and employable degree and skills associated with it are valued; employers are not convinced
that graduates with BAs necessarily possess these skills; and respondents associate
their formal education with individual skills and extracurricular activities with interpersonal
skills. Three strategies to enhance the workplace relevance of BA programs without
sacrificing liberal education are suggested, and faculty are encouraged to think more holistically
about their BA programs and what students need from them.

revised Jan 7/13

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