Here at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, we strive to inform our students and empower them to stay informed, not only about their ever-evolving technical fields, but a wide variety of relevant social issues that will affect them both inside and outside their future workplaces.
After completing my American History course this past Fall, I was touched and surprised by how many students told me they appreciated that the course had given them a richer historical context concerning where our country came from. Several of them admitted to being shocked they didn’t learn much of this material in high school and felt they were now more prepared to navigate their futures, knowing more about their pasts.
Whether a BFIT student is studying electricity, electronic health records, mechanical engineering, or automobiles, that historical context is important for understanding their futures. We all need a better understanding of how ideas have evolved so we can better track their continued evolution.
There’s no better way to be a good citizen than being prepared for the future, and I feel like all of BFIT’s values work together to guarantee our graduates have the skills necessary to be civically-engaged shareholders of both their immediate communities and society as a whole.
Many of our students are first-generation college students and come from struggling economic backgrounds. Becoming college graduates with in-demand, pliable skills helps inspire and instill confidence in members of their family and communities, which in some cases may help break cycles of poverty.
"All of BFIT's values work together to guarantee our graduates have the skills necessary to be civically-engaged shareholders of both their immediate communities and society as a whole."
-Jeff Van Dreason
We stress professionalism in order to teach our students to have the kind of work ethic needed to survive the competitive job market and continue their employment. We also pride ourselves in instilling in our students strong communication and critical thinking skills that will enable them to rise into leadership positions in their future careers.
Our emphasis on the importance of sustainability ensures that students get the sense of how the world is changing and why it’s important to move with the times and not get stuck in the past. In a time when information (and misinformation) is spread abundantly over social media to the point where it can be potentially dangerous, being informed about where to find good sources and evaluate the quality of information has never been more important to the idea of civic responsibility. Information technology ensures that our students will continue to grow in their fields, finding the right types of sources they know they can trust and believe in.
Each semester, our students grow and mature while practicing these skills in the classroom. The best example of BFIT's civic engagement is how our students work together and help one another in class to guarantee their mutual success. It’s one of the many things that makes me proud to be a faculty member here. Everyone in this community, from the top down, goes beyond the normal expectations to ensure the largest amount of student success possible.
The students practice what they see in the community of BFIT. They see that we care about them, that we want them to succeed, that we believe they’re capable of success. Then they look at each other and they do everything they can to ensure that success becomes a reality. There’s no doubt in my mind that after they graduate, they continue to look around them, look for who needs their help, and do everything in their power to aid those in need.
Benjamin Franklin was a man who did not believe in sitting idle. Besides being fully engaged in the politics of his time, he was a business owner, a printer, an author, a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, a musician, an economist, and a community activist. He was always looking for ways to improve people's lives. For this we credit him to be a model of "Good Citizenship".
Photo and info from www.questgarden.com