New name for Detroit Mercy’s College of Liberal Arts and Education

In the Fall 2024, the College of Liberal Arts and Education (CLAE) will be changing to the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The renaming will not alter the mandatory curriculum or course requirements for students. Instead, the college’s new name will bring in fresh opportunities and resources, while upholding its respected liberal arts education.

The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education, Jocelyn Boryczka, asserted that the name change is a testament to the institution’s alignment with the needs of its 21st century students. 

“We felt that with CLAE being on the move, we wanted to have a name that matched where we were at,” Boryczka said. “The College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences gave us a new vision and a new mission. It will create that energy and excitement for how we want to move forward.”

Accompanying the renaming are exciting additions to the college, including a new center for communication studies, established opportunities for social work students to be involved in programs such as FAST, the “Ignite” scholarship for graduate students in clinical psychology and the LEAP program, which brings international students from India to the University of Detroit Mercy’s financial and economic program. The college will also focus on a systematic internship program that provides students with esteemed internship opportunities. 

Additionally, the college plans to set up a prelaw society for not only students in the college, but throughout the University’s prelaw program. It will feature lectures, support networks, alumnae outreach and student development to provide students with the resources necessary to succeed in their futures.

“So, while we have a new name,” Boryczka said, “we remain very committed to the tradition of a liberal arts education, where we are inspiring and providing places and spaces for students to think freely and imagine the world of possibilities ahead of them.” 

Since the University no longer accommodates undergraduate degrees in education, the name change will clarify what programs are offered at the college. 

The English Department Chair and associate professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Mary-Catherine Harrison, expressed that while it was a loss for the University, it also presented a chance for reflection on what it does best. 

“I think the name change is only one part of an exciting chapter in our college’s history. And it is a long history – coming up on 150 years!” Harrison said. “Our faculty and students do extraordinary things, and the name change recognizes and honors those contributions.”

Also involved in the strategic process of renaming the college was Lara Wasner, the director of Language and Cultural Training, Study Abroad Coordinator and Fulbright Scholar Liaison for the University of Detroit Mercy.

“I am mindful that this is not just about the name,” Wasner said. “It is a time for sharing the news about the importance of the arts, humanities, and social sciences as critical to a well-rounded education, and integral to a healthy ecosystem where people and communities can thrive.” 

Having earned her graduate degree in education from CLAE, Wasner believes that this is a bittersweet transition. She attributed her ability to cultivate a well-balanced career and life due to her experience at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

“Our college’s value is not just in preparing students for careers or instilling a joy for learning,” Wasner said. “It is how we face the world’s problems and engage one another in increasing the quality of life for ourselves and others, ever mindful of our impact one life has upon another.”