Beer Making for Credit: Liberal Arts Colleges Add Career Tech

By Jon Marcus –  Published March 2021 in The Hechinger ReportSubscribe to the WFMonitor eNewsletter

Career and technical education (CTE) courses are increasingly being developed by liberal arts colleges. These institutions are starting to see such courses as an answer to requests coming from students and parents who are seeking credentials that bring about an attractive work-related ROI.

Sacred Heart University, a Catholic, liberal arts institution based in Fairfield, Connecticut, was featured as an institution offering a newly developed course, titled “Advanced Craft Beverage Brewing,” which is part of a Brewing Science certificate program that emphasizes hands-on learning led by industry experts.  Connecticut happens to be home to 115 breweries.

Embedding CTE credentials into a wide variety of degree programs, appears to be a growing trend. For example, Sacred Heart has expanded its certificate program offerings in healthcare fields such as radiography, computerized tomography (CT), ultrasound, and MRI and mammography. Sacred Heart also recently announced that it will be offering “job training in cybersecurity, data marketing, data marketing, data science and digital marketing to its bachelor’s degree-seeking students. These courses are being run in partnership with Kaplan and will also be available to alumni.” 

Several other liberal arts colleges were also mentioned, including Dominican University of California partnering with a coding bootcamp; Clarke University in Iowa offering courses in leadership, conflict management, and data analysis; and Stonehill College in Massachusetts launching a certificate in advanced manufacturing and photonics.   

Sacred Heart administrators emphasized how liberal arts colleges tend to get a bad rap as institutions that do not adequately catalyze a career-related ROI for its students, a perception that is basically untrue.