Assessing the Liberal Outcomes of Professional Education


  • Barbara S. Fuhrmann Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Robert A. Armour United Methodist Church


Higher Education, Liberal Education


A major difference behveen a university and a training institute is the university's requirement that students complement their professional major with liberal education, the outcomes of which are generally assumed to be the development in students of higher-order thinking, a critical system of values, and the skill to communicate that thinking and those values. Faculty in the professions are beginning to realize that these outcomes are not achieved by means of loosely articulated requirements in general education, but are inf act the foundation of good professional education. The task before them is to articulate professional expectations for liberal outcomes, and then to take the responsibility for developing and assessing the outcomes within the professional curriculum.