Thinking beyond the major...

Simply put, essential education provides the foundational skills needed to thrive in any career. 

At Graceland, students learn to think critically and creatively. They learn to communicate, collaborate and problem-solve. Equipped with these essential, highly adaptable skills, Graceland graduates are well prepared for a rapidly changing 21st-century world.

The ability to think outside the box, to solve problems in new ways and to communicate effectively with intellectual flexibility is the aim of essential education. Students will have the opportunity to learn these concepts through one of five tracks with all course work sharing a common 'theme'.

"Today's college grads don't just change jobs, they often move into entirely different industries. Many will change jobs four times by the time they're 32."

Dr. Gary Heisserer, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Retired
"The only constant our graduates will encounter is a world of rapid change. We must, therefore, prepare our students to think with a creative and critical mind. By doing so, our graduates will not only be able to thrive in a world of change, but more importantly, they will themselves become agents of change."

Gary Heisserer,
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, retired

Graceland's Essential Education...

...teaches students to

  • Think critically and creatively
  • Communicate effectively
  • Understand and appreciate global issues
  • Confidently solve complex problems follow a broadly defined 'theme':

  • Equality and Peace
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability

"Schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don't yet know will arise."

~ Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills 
Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development