Education for the 21st Century: ELA
What is Environmental Liberal Arts?
The University of Maine at Machias is one of only a few colleges in the United States with an Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) academic program. Simply put, that means our curriculum interprets the traditional liberal arts in terms of environmental and sustainability issues.
Although we’re committed to the liberal arts—the study of humanities, sciences, and social sciences as a worthy pursuit—we’re also convinced that that educational model needs updating.
Our natural, social, economic, and cultural environments are changing faster than our ability to respond effectively. The notions of man against nature, or that the liberal arts are at odds with the technologies of the digital revolution, are failing us. ELA is a multifaceted interdisciplinary response to these challenges. The world is not neatly compartmentalized. Why should our approach to education be?
ELA explores the relationships between people and nature, and the interconnectedness of those relationships, through traditional academics and through direct experience—hands-on learning. At UMM you’ll discover:
- Inclusive and open inquiry into diverse and sometimes conflicting viewpoints
- Recognition of multiple connections among academic disciplines
- The importance of action-oriented, practical outcomes for tomorrow’s careers