Integrative Learning: Opportunities to Connect

Integrating the Liberal Arts with Professional Studies

The "liberal-professional" curriculum featured at Philadelphia University combines comprehensive training for specific professional fields with a integrated four-year core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences. Our ILP initiative aims to strengthen our students' abilities to think in ways that integrate these two aspects of their education by offering them opportunities at key points in the curriculum where faculty, course assignments, and co-curricular activities collaborate to encourage "liberal-professional" integration.

The Project

The Integrative Learning Project initiative at Philadelphia University focuses on the "liberal-professional" education to which the University commits itself in its mission statement. With its historical roots in technical education for the U.S. textile industry, Philadelphia University offers its students strong professional training combined with a robust core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences. Our ILP initiative aims to strengthen the integration between these two aspects of our curriculum by finding strategic points in the core curriculum where students can merge their inquiries in the liberal arts and sciences with skills, knowledge and issues from their professional studies. This integrative learning initiative has focused on three key moments in the curriculum: the First Year experience, junior-level integrative seminars, and the senior capstone in the core curriculum. (read more)


The investigative and assessment efforts associated with the ILP initiative at Philadelphia University have led to the creation of new integrative assignments, the compilation of assessment materials related to integrative learning, and a variety of conference presentations. (read more)

Reflections and New Directions

At the conclusion of the ILP grant period, Philadelphia University is entering a new phase in its efforts to promote liberal-professional integration, with new institutional resources devoted to this goal. The ILP grant has made it possible for the team members, and the Philadelphia University faculty as a whole, to examine the potential for more powerful integrative learning across the curriculum and to experiment with a variety of approaches to pursuing this goal. Through faculty workshops, experimental pilot assignments, conference presentations, assessment activities, and campus-wide advocacy, the ILP team has made a number of advances, including the development of an innovative junior-year seminar that integrates faculty and topics from the professional majors into the general education program, and the creation of a new university-wide committee to address issues related to the general education core curriculum and its integrative mission. (read more).


The Institution

Philadelphia University is a private, professionally-oriented institution which originated in 1886 as an institute for textile engineering and design. We currently have approximately 2300 undergraduate students pursuing majors from architecture to international business to fashion design. (read more)