The History of Adult Learning Through Marist College

How the Marist Heritage Influences the Professional Studies Curriculum

The History of Adult Learning Through Marist CollegeThere are 22 Marist colleges and universities throughout the world, including Mexico, Australia, South Africa, as well as countries throughout Europe and South America. Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York can trace its roots to 1905, when the Marist Brothers purchased property along the eastern shore of the Hudson River. College-level courses were first offered in 1929, but it wasn’t until 1946 that the State of New York granted the institution an official four-year charter.  

While Marist College is non-denominational and embraces students, faculty, and staff of all faiths and backgrounds, the mission of the college reflects the ideals of the founder of the Marist Brothers, St. Marcellin Champagnat: commitment to educational excellence, dedication to service, and pursuit of higher human values. Marist is dedicated to helping students develop the intellect and character required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.

Some of the principles of the Marist Brothers that continue to guide our curriculum and programs include simplicity, family spirit, love of work, and solidarity.  The Marist tradition places emphasis on the use of education to improve communities through sustainability and communication. Students educated within the Marist philosophy become leaders in modeling behaviors and actions that show their commitment to human rights, authentic internationality, and building mutually supportive collaborations in their workplaces, civic organizations, neighborhoods, and wherever they may travel.

The Marist Tradition Embraces Education for Lifelong Transitions

Marist College first began its Adult Education “night school” in 1960 to serve the needs of members of the Hudson Valley community who wished to obtain a college education. While much has changed since that time, the underlying principles of what learning outcomes should be expected in adult education at Marist has stayed constant:

  • Formulate and defend a coherent intellectual argument in oral and written form.
  • Collect, assess, and synthesize evidence relevant to an issue or question.
  • Act with intellectual integrity.
  • Identify and evaluate the ethical dimensions of an issue.
  • Identify the key intellectual contributions of Western and non-Western societies.
  • Relate the principal academic tenets of the student's chosen degree concentration.

In our current day, success in any professional career requires the drive to embrace lifelong learning. Students majoring in the Professional Studies program at Marist College know that their program provides not only the professional skills and worldviews to fully develop their intellectual capabilities, but are also exposed to ways to apply their knowledge to improve the lives of others in the workplace, home, and community.

The academic and critical thinking skills taught through a professional studies education are valuable on the job, and will help you navigate through professional changes and challenges. Regardless of your professional field or choice of study, over ninety percent of employers say that in today's workplace environment, employees must be prepared to take on complex responsibilities and use a broad set of skills, learning, and knowledge to be successful.

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