Podcast: How a Creative Approach to Humanities Education Sets Jefferson Apart

When employers said ‘soft skills’ help bolster employment success, the University set out to offer a wide array of courses for its students.
Humanities at Jefferson
Dr. Steve Herrine, vice dean for undergraduate medical education at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and Megan Voeller, the University's director of humanities, discuss Jefferson's innovative approach to infusing humanities into the curriculum. (Photos by ©Thomas Jefferson University Photography Services)

Among the many things that set Thomas Jefferson University apart from other universities is its approach of instilling the humanities—including Nexus Learning—across all professional majors.

In this episode of The Nexus Podcast, we explore the history of humanities education at Jefferson (starting well before the merger) and examine visions for the future, including exciting new advancements across the University community.

The Jefferson community has long known it is needed to “create the professionals of the future” in a rapidly evolving job market, a mindset that still resonates and touches every aspect of academic life as the University approaches its 200th birthday.

Meriel Tulante
Meriel Tulante, program director of the Hallmarks core and associate professor of Italian studies, spoke about innovative new approaches coming to humanities education at Jefferson.

While there are no liberal-arts majors offered, employers have told Jefferson that the “soft skills” covered through many avenues—be they the creative core curriculum, Hallmarks Program for General Education, Humanities and Health or the JeffMD program—are critical for employment success.

They are also emblematic of the unique nature of education brought about by the merger between Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University.

“We’re providing a general education for pre-professional students who are—we hope and believe—going to be leaders in their fields,” says Barbara Kimmelman, dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.

“In our general education program, students from all the different majors, are in those courses, all mixed up together. Whenever they do a group project and group presentations, they’re hearing from one another about the issues and problems in other professions,” Kimmelman continues. “They’re learning what the differences are and they’re also learning what the common problems are, and how to address them together.”

For this podcast episode, we spoke with leadership and faculty members involved in humanities education, along with alumni and current students who discuss the positive impact that the Jefferson approach has on their educational journeys while better preparing them for their professional lives.

This episode is part of a series chronicling the five year anniversary of Thomas Jefferson University’s merger with Philadelphia University.

, , , ,