What will higher education look like in ten years? How about in five years, or even two or three? Society, student needs, and technology are constantly evolving, and higher education institutions have to keep pace with the change. But Unity College is more interested in setting, rather than keeping, the pace.
The College recently announced the creation of a new Director of Curricular Innovation position, which will oversee curriculum design, development, pedagogy, and assessment to best meet the needs of students in an ever-changing landscape. Dr. Jennifer Cartier, currently the Director of Teacher Education at Unity College, has accepted the role.
“Student needs are changing. Employers needs are changing. Societal needs are changing. In order to best serve our students, we have to better align their learning experiences with what they’re going to be facing in their careers,” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of Unity College. “We want to ensure our students leave Unity College as well-educated global citizens ready to be leaders in the environmental century.”
Unity College defines innovation as a mission-driven, yet flexible mindset that rewards and supports intentional risk-taking. The College strives to create powerful new learning experiences and change higher education in order to address the evolving needs of society and the sustainability of the environment. Recently, the Unity College Board of Trustees received The Association of Governing Boards’ John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership for its developments in innovation. Adding a Director of Curricular Innovation is a natural next step in continuing to lead an industry in need of new approaches.
“I joined the faculty at Unity College almost four years ago and have been privileged to collaborate with members of this community in a variety of ways,” said Dr. Cartier. “I’ve personally benefited from support and expertise from many colleagues and I am very much looking forward to continuing to leverage the considerable resources of our community as we build a distinctive curriculum that will enable our graduates to tackle crucial environmental problems.”
Prior to joining Unity College in 2014, Dr. Cartier served as Director of Teacher Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. She has designed and taught 19 different courses related to science pedagogy and curriculum theory and design. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College.
“Dr. Cartier’s background in pedagogical techniques and leading programmatic changes are a great fit for this position,” said Dr. Erika Latty, Chief Academic Officer of Unity College. “This position will play a pivotal role in developing novel and differentiated curriculum that will provide additional value to a Unity College degree.”