Newswise — Recent articles in Time and Smithsonian reveal that many colleges are charging extra for real-world skill preparation. Mount Holyoke College is mentioned in both as a notable exception. As Smithsonian put it, “A few other schools—Northeastern, Mount Holyoke and the University of Central Florida—are actively weaving these subjects into their normal curriculum, the Hechinger Report writes.”

Colleges must prove their value in a market increasingly focused on return on investment. This is especially true for private, liberal arts institutions who must fight stereotypes of “expensive” and “ivory tower, not real world.”

Mount Holyoke College is meeting this challenge with The Lynk, a comprehensive program that connects liberal arts courses with students’ careers. The program isn’t just an add-on for seniors, but offers an integrated series of trainings and opportunities to build skills throughout a student’s four years.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ AAC&U News showcased our program, noting that Mount Holyoke created “a comprehensive college-wide infrastructure to support that bridge” [between curriculum and career].

Students progress from goal setting to professional development and practical experience before “the launch” into the post-college world. Along the way there is support from professors and academic centers, structured reflection to make the most of experiential learning, leadership opportunities, and a paid internship guaranteed for each student.

The result: Mount Holyoke graduates women who are prepared to lead with confidence and skill in a changing world.