Marietta’s fundamental value is ‘commitment to the very best liberal arts degree’

Katy Black ’10 (Canal Winchester, Ohio) crossed the North Atlantic Ocean and opened her horizons when she traveled to Scotland to study for a semester. There she discovered an entirely different culture and was exposed to a completely different way of life.

Black’s experience is just one of the many enlightening possibilities that Marietta College makes available to its 1,400-plus undergraduate students. Marietta’s mission is to provide students with the tools to develop a contemporary liberal arts education.

Less than a decade ago, Marietta’s administration developed a set of tenets—known as the Nine Core Values—that the college continuously lives by and references back to, in to maintain its successful learning environment. However, the college’s goals really haven’t changed that much since receiving its charter 175 years ago.

“As we celebrate the 175th anniversary, it seems particularly fitting that we hold those fundamentals closer than ever, celebrate their enduring impact upon the lives of our students and the ultimate benefits they hold for generations to come,” says Marietta College President Jean Scott.

The education that Marietta College flourishes on is the result of the dedication and commitment of all the members of the campus community, including students, faculty, administration, and staff.

Scott believes through the implementation of classroom instruction, student life, co-curricular activities, and a variety of employment and leadership experiences, students who graduate from Marietta will have the opportunity to obtain successful futures in their desired professions.

“Marietta’s fundamental value is commitment to the very best of a liberal arts degree, and over the years the College has defined itself to include valuable programs that are true to our mission and will enable students with expertise within their field of study,” Scott says.

The Nine Core Values are meant to be viewed as a package and Scott makes it known that “when we undertake programs and commit resources, we consider if they are consistent with the environment we are dedicated to developing.”

Two of the main core values are establishing a liberal arts foundation within the student body as well as preparing students for the world of work.

Marietta College’s leaders believe students should be educated in a variety of general education courses in the major areas of knowledge within the ever-changing liberal arts. This approach to education and learning emphasizes the need for students to develop the qualities to become a critical thinker, effective problem solver, and expand their communication skills.

“No matter what the field of study, all Marietta students receive an opportunity to participate in particular programs that you may not be able to get at bigger universities until much later in your academic career,” says Tom Perry, Executive Director of College Relations at Marietta.

Studying abroad is something many students usually wait until their junior or senior year. Marietta College encourages its students to participate any time during their four years. In the summer of 2008, Whitney Putillion ’12 (Ripley, W.Va.) traveled to Costa Rica for three weeks with her professor and some of her fellow Biology 253 classmates. The group researched and studied organisms, science, and even learned a little bit of Spanish through their interaction with locals.

“The experience and knowledge I gained while traveling outside of the country in this kind of setting was invaluable,” Putillion says. “The independent research and direct interaction with people from another culture are two lessons that will be carried with me throughout my future career in science.”

Along with the desire to develop programs of extensive investigative studies, Marietta also wants to equip students with the knowledge and recognition of the concept of internationalization. College officials understand the students are living in a global society and that it is essential to make students aware of useful techniques needed in order to thrive in a diverse world.

During her second semester of her junior year, Black traveled to Scotland to study at the University of Edinburgh for 4 1/2 months. Throughout her stay she learned to cope with the huge challenge of a different culture.

“You have to be ready to epically fail, but learn how to pick yourself back up,” Black said. “This amazing experience increased my awareness of how huge the world is and opened my eyes to that fact that there are different ways of going about doing things. I gained a lot of self confidence and now I want to go out and discover other types of people, ideas and education systems.”

Scott wants to the College to “impact students to somehow make them engaged and involved, whether it be through internships, investigative studies, in-depth research projects, or even the study abroad program. It would be ideal to make sure all students are touched by all of those areas in some way or another.”