Bryn Mawr College Begins New “Digital Competencies” Initiative

Bryn Mawr College, the highly rated liberal arts institution for women in suburban Philadelphia, has launched a new Digital Competencies initiative to ensure that graduates of the college will be proficient in the technology that they will need to use once they leave the academic world.

Jennifer Spohrer, the educational technology services manager at Bryn Mawr College, notes that “we think of today’s students as being so comfortable with technology, but the truth is that many of them haven’t used these tools in any sophisticated manner. Then we have the sort of flip side of that; students who have done very sophisticated work such as complex data analysis, but who don’t really know how to talk about the skills they have with someone from outside of their field of study.”

Officials at the college have developed a framework to help identify the types of technology proficiencies students may need for their particular major. They then offer a roadmap for these students to gain these proficiencies through coursework, internships, workshops, and student employment on the Bryn Mawr campus.

Gina Siesing, the Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries and chief information officer at Bryn Mawr College, stated that “this is about having students take time to assess the path they want to take and to ask what the digital skills and habits of mind are that they’re going to need to get where they want to go. For some students mastery of a specific tool might be valuable, but for many students the important thing is going to be in showing that they have the meta-cognition skills and comfort level in working with digital tools to be able to evaluate a problem and propose a solution in any situation.”

Filed Under: STEM FieldsWomen's Colleges


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