President Dekle welcomed new students and parents to campus on August 17.
At the Welcome Session held at the library auditorium, Dr. Dekle told the new members of the University community that in addition to preparing students academically, AUN gives students skills to succeed in a challenging world. “We believe in what is called complete education. That means your academics--which is your primary responsibility--are important to us. But we also believe in skills. So we do workshops, giving you skills.”
Explaining how learning at a University level is different from that at the secondary school level, President Dekle said that Contextual Learning is where what is learned is applied in a student’s environment. That is what university is mainly about. “We are teaching students to be adult learners and lifelong learners. We are teaching them how to learn. It is not that when they turn in papers, there is simply a right or wrong answer… It’s about how did they apply their learning and how did they change based on their experience here.”
President Dekle said critical thinking is a key component of AUN’s liberal arts education. “This means that we are not just here to train you for a vocation. We are not just here to make you lawyers and accountants. We want to teach you how to think. And so we give you courses in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences. So you adopt this framework.”
At AUN, life skills such as leadership and cooperation are developed outside the classroom. At the secondary school level, this happens from participating in extracurricular activities. Here at AUN they are co-curricular, suggesting that they are an integral component of the learning experience. “If it is club or sport something in the residence hall, it is going to be a complement to what you do in the classroom… Because we really believe that inside and outside the classroom is balanced.”
Community service is one of those out-of-class experiences that develop students, one of those things which make the AUN experience as transformational, a university experience designed “...to develop you as a whole person.”