In the twenty-first century world, graduating seniors enter a complex workplace where employers ask them to use all they have learned, in multiple disciplines, to respond to challenging problems. Both at work and as citizens, they will need to communicate well in writing and speaking. They will need to work in a rapidly changing world with others whose perspectives and backgrounds differ from their own. Integrative learning challenges students to put their knowledge and skills to work to tackle complex issues.
Here at Mercer, students develop the necessary skills through three integrative courses: INT 101, 201, and 301. INT 101 prompts students to better understand the relationships between self and others, INT 201 explores how we build communities of all kinds, and INT 301 takes on the challenges of living in an interconnected, global world.
Throughout the sequence, students wrestle with challenging questions from multiple perspectives. While students’ majors and minors provide focused disciplinary training, the INT courses challenge students to use their knowledge and skills to understand and address complex issues. The integrative learning in the INT sequence requires students to draw connections across courses and experiences, thereby helping to prepare Mercer graduates to make meaningful contributions in a complicated and deeply interconnected world.
The Integrative Education program at Mercer uses a Mercer Reader. For the past 20 years, various editions of the Mercer Reader have been a resource for faculty, a “bible” for some students, and a way to bring cohesion to a very flexible set of required integrative courses. The Reader communicates to students what matters in the context of their development as critical readers, astute thinkers, and future contributors to their communities and our shared world.