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Google’s Strong Endorsement of Pacifica!

February 23, 2018 | by David O'Neil

At Pacifica, we educate young people for all of life! We believe a broad education provides a foundation for flourishing in college, life, work, and faith. 

academics-3Parents, as well as students, deeply resonate with our commitment to the development of the whole person. Nevertheless, below the surface of most of my admissions conversations with families, there lurks a real concern about career-readiness. The concern is genuine and will likely grow as the landscape in higher education and the marketplace continue to change. The very good news for students and parents, is that the future has never been brighter for Pacifica graduates!

Over the past few years, countless articles have been written about research coming out of Silicon Valley, and around the nation, outlining the types of people needed to sustain our country’s global prominence as a thought and technology leader. The answer: the liberal arts!

In a recent study, Google set out to identify the eight essential qualities of their top employees, and they found that STEM expertise came in dead last. The top seven characteristics were soft skills — human skills. Things like speaking, listening, empathy, critical thinking, and integration. Sound familiar?

academics-1At Pacifica, we sit in circles! We sit face-to-face for more than 50,000 minutes over fours years—asking our students to look one another in the eye, and argue with hospitality—so that they can learn to speak, listen, and empathize well. Together they thoughtfully and respectfully ask big questions, and then together, they answer those big questions in concert with exemplary faculty and great minds from history. 

Pacifica disagrees with the latest fad in education; we refuse to narrowly specialize a 15-year-old’s education and training in a particular area of interest and technology. Instead, we prepare today’s 21st-century young adult with the transferable skills necessary to create, contribute, connect, think critically, and make wise decisions for the good of our world and for God’s glory!

Students and parents should not be asked to choose between a quality education in math and science or the humanities. In fact, it is not good for them, or for society, to present students with such an artificial choice. As one of the few self-identified Christian liberal arts schools in our area, we provide our graduates with an integrated course of study that leads to personal and spiritual flourishing in the world.

The conclusion of Google’s study is a significant endorsement for Pacifica’s mission and approach to human development: “Broad learning skills are the key to long-term, satisfying, productive careers. What helps you thrive in a changing world isn’t rocket science. It may just well be social science, and, yes, even the humanities and the arts that contribute to making you not just workforce ready but world ready.”

Our friends at Axis said it this way, “As counterintuitive as it might sound, the tech age is reminding educators the liberal arts are more important than ever because they foster well-rounded, deep thinking individuals who more easily adapt to and make sense of the ever changing world.”

ONeil_David_185We created Pacifica to increase the joy and freedom of young people, and to ennoble our world through their praiseworthy lives. The good news for our graduates is that joy and freedom come from using our God-given gifts to create good and valuable things that contribute to the common good of society — and companies like Google and Apple agree!

David O’Neil
Head of School