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Academics

Pacific Humanities Scholars Program Gives Students a Competitive Advantage

Beginning in fall 2012, students can earn a degree in Art, English, Modern Languages, Philosophy and other majors in only three years.
Patrick GiblinDec 2, 2011
Humanities Scholars Video
Pacific Humanities Scholars Video - Meet the Professors
Meet four professors sharing their point of view on the
humanities and why students should consider this unique
accelerated program. Watch the video >>

What do Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, Samuel J. Palmisano, the CEO of IBM, and Michael Eisner, the CEO of Walt Disney, all have in common? They all received their bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts. Schultz has a bachelor's in communication, Palmisano has a history degree, and Eisner earned a double bachelors in English and Theater.

This factoid is not surprising to Courtney Lehmann, director of the newly established Pacific Humanities Scholars Program.

"If you look at today's leaders, from innovative CEOs to presidential candidates, you'll find that more of them have bachelor degrees in philosophy, English or another humanities discipline," Lehmann said. "The disciplines within the humanities generate game-changers with advanced problem-solving skills across a wide range of applications."

Earn a Humanities Degree in Three Years
The Pacific Humanities Scholars Program can help students find those creative paths, Lehmann said, and it can help them do it in three years. This will give them a competitive edge over those attending other universities where it can take five to six years to earn a degree.

"One of the questions I get asked a lot is 'Why are we speeding up the process of sending students into an economic recession and, therefore, fewer employment opportunities,'" Lehmann asked. "If we consider the fact that roughly 60 percent of the jobs our students will obtain have not even been invented yet, then there is a clear need for educated people with broad expertise and pliable skills, a refined ability to communicate, personal charisma, and other leadership qualities. Our accelerated immersion program in the humanities creates precisely this type of graduate - nimble thinkers who can adapt to the demands of a rapidly changing workplace. And this program gives those students a head start over their peers, and an advantage in the workforce."

Courtney Lehmann Teaching
Program director Courtney Lehmann teaches a
Shakespeare course. She uses props to bring
additional life and fun to her courses.

Employers Look for Humanities Students
She said that many CEOs of corporations, such as the head of Internet-giant Flickr.com, which didn't exist seven years ago, favor hiring employees with humanities backgrounds because they are considered to be more engaging and flexible in the workforce. And many law, engineering and medical schools also look for humanities majors for the same reason.

"The program also provides a competitive advantage to those interested in pursuing graduate and professional degrees," Lehmann added. "Of course, not paying a fourth year of tuition is also an attractive option, regardless of the status of our economy."

Majors that are part of the humanities include Art, Art History, English, Film Studies, Graphic Design, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Religious and Classical Studies, and Theatre Arts. Students in the Humanities Scholars Program will focus on one field but will also be given opportunities to explore other fields through extracurricular activities, such as world-premiere theatrical events, film festivals, innovation retreats, gallery exhibitions, lectures, and poetry readings-to name a few. The program also incorporates career guidance, as well as providing internship opportunities for eager students who are ready to take on a profession.

Currently, Lehmann is recruiting students for the program and will start classes in the fall of 2012. Students interested in the program should apply for admission as soon as possible, and contact Dr. Courtney Lehmann, director of the Pacific Humanities Scholars Program at: clehmann@pacific.edu or 209.946.2609

about the author

Patrick Giblin   Patrick Giblin is the media relations manager at Pacific since 2006 and also oversees all social media for the University.