College Reimagined at Lynn University

October 2017

It was no accident that Lynn 2020’s first priority was academics. After all, to build what plan author George Keller called a “modern house of higher education,” you must start with the foundation.

Faculty took on the first major task: reinvent Lynn’s core curriculum to more fully engage students and better prepare them for success in a global society.

“It was hard work,” President Kevin M. Ross said, “and they did it in one year.”

The result, the Dialogues core curriculum, capitalizes on two Lynn strengths—innovative teaching and small class size. Emphasizing in-depth reading and discussion, the Dialogues teach students to think critically, communicate effectively and solve problems creatively—skills highly prized by employers.

As part of the Dialogues, faculty created a new academic term called January Term or J-Term.

During its three weeks between fall and spring semesters, students explore subjects beyond their majors. Sophomores through seniors can study abroad to learn firsthand about language and culture. Or they can get a head start on the future by taking career and graduate school preparation courses. But in freshman year, everyone focuses on community service through the Citizenship Project J-Term course.

It’s a commitment dating back to Lynn’s early years as Marymount College, when faculty and students assisted children of migrant farm workers. Since then, our students and faculty have helped many more people in need around the world—including Haiti. During a Journey of Hope service trip to that nation in 2010, four students and two faculty members died during a massive earthquake.

“In many ways, it was a turning point for us as an institution,” said Gregg Cox, vice president for academic affairs. “It crystallized the importance of our students’ and faculty’s work abroad.”

“These six individuals are forever a part of our history and heritage,” said President Ross. “Our growing social impact efforts build upon their important work.”

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