Dr. Reno Hoff was recently invited to speak at the SEDCOR (Strategic Economic Development Corporation) Economic Business Forum on the topic, “The role of higher education in the development of our future workforce.” Cheryl Roberts, president of Chemeketa Community College, and John Minihan, president of Western Oregon University, joined him as speakers at the luncheon meeting held November 8.
Dr. Hoff centered his 15-minute message on the importance of a well rounded education.
“A college should not be too specific in vocational training but offer a more general approach that teaches students how to learn,” he said. “There are principles of learning that help greatly in keeping up with changes on the job and world events.”
“Today, most colleges are referred to as comprehensive institutions,” Dr. Hoff continued. “These institutions usually have a liberal arts core, and in some instances, a biblical core upon which professional academic programs are based. This essentially describes Corban, as we provide training for elementary and secondary education, various business professions, pre-law, pre-med, and counseling.
“Some question the value of liberal arts for a business professional. What many don’t realize is that all professions and technology are changing so rapidly that some of what they learn in college may be obsolete by the time they graduate. That is why we concentrate on teaching our students at Corban how to be lifetime learners.
“Leaders in business and government who have a well rounded education in the liberal arts have a better understanding of differences in individuals, communities, and the world in general. They are competent thinkers, involved citizens, and effective communicators.”
Dr. Hoff also noted that private colleges and universities in the state of Oregon have a major impact in training the workforce. He pointed out the high percentage of degrees granted by such institutions in areas like elementary teacher education, clinical and counseling psychology, and marriage and family therapy.
Corban has been a member of SEDCOR since 2003. This was the first time Dr. Hoff was invited to speak at the forum which convenes each month around economic issues and draws about 150 business professionals from the greater Salem area.