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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright


A little over a year ago, I took the opportunity in this column to talk about our general education program. At that time, I said that HPU was always working to make general education better. Well, I’m happy to report that faculty and staff have joined together to do just that. Beginning in 2005, students will be able to fulfill general education requirements with a wider variety of options. Where students now have a list of set requirements with few options, they will often have two or more choices.


The faculty have also provided the HPU community with a very clear and meaningful statement about the reason for expecting students to devote so much of their undergraduate education to courses in general education. They have done such a good job of explaining the importance of general education that I am sharing it with you today:

General education is your path to a richer and more sustaining future. It provides a foundation of knowledge and intellectual skills you can use to develop your own potential, both personally and professionally. Practically speaking, employers will expect you to have knowledge and skills in your major course of study, but they are often even more interested in your ability to communicate, to understand new information quickly and systematically, and to assimilate this information effectively.

The key issue of the 21st century is flexibility. One of the certainties of the economic, political, and social environment of the next decade is that the most successful individuals will be those who are able to adapt quickly and effectively to new situations and demands. People who are flexible and outward-looking will be best equipped to thrive under these conditions, and general education gives you the tools to be this kind of person.

General education also provides answers to life’s great questions. Students are often wondering about some pretty big questions: What kind of person am I? What are the important values in my life, and can I live by them in the context of the challenges that exist around me? We can’t guarantee to solve these problems, but we can guarantee that general education will give you a better sense of how to go about solving them yourself.

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