is a sad but common irony that graduates of highly regarded tech
schools across the nation cannot effectively communicate their
thoughts, and thus fail to fulfill their professional potential.
Harvey Mudd College has taken many steps to ensure that its graduates
do not suffer from the same lack of communication and leadership
skills that regularly plague graduates of other comparable
institutions. HMC’s mission statement proclaims that the school
“seeks to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well
versed in all of these areas and in the humanities and the social
sciences so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a
clear understanding of the impact of their work on society.”
first-year takes a semester and a half of two different writing and
public speaking intensive courses. As professors explain on the first
day of class in the introductory writing course, affectionately
abbreviated as Writ 1, if you had invented the light bulb but could
not communicate that idea to others, who would put your idea into
motion? Your invention would be rendered completely useless.
addition to these writing courses, out of the many required courses for graduation, Mudders take a full third of their credits in the
humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Four of these courses must
focus in one area so that each student graduates with a concentration
outside of the STEM disciplines. This creates a balance that allows
for students to have a wider breadth of interests and skills after they graduate.
a transfer from Pomona College to HMC, I have seen and experienced
both programs and was amazed to find that HMC, as the putative tech
school in the Claremont consortium, offers a more authentic liberal
arts program than Pomona. Cross-registration among the five colleges
gives HMC students the opportunity to take advantage of the other
four colleges’ courses, which affords them access to stronger humanities and
social science classes in a way that other tech schools such as MIT
cannot. This also allows the faculty here to be more focused on the
technical majors which are Mudd’s strength.
could have easily graduated from Pomona having only taken a few
non-tech courses, whereas at HMC I am required to take at least one
per semester in order to fulfill my graduation requirement. I will
graduate from Harvey Mudd College not only better educated in
engineering, but also in writing, reading, and leadership. In the end, HMC will give me the truer liberal arts education.