“The Liberal Arts inform and enlighten the independent citizen of a democracy in the use of his own resources…They enlarge his capacity for self-knowledge and expand his opportunities for self-improvement…They are the wellsprings of a free society.” – Alfred Whitney Griswold
Liberal Arts colleges are world-class education providers that nurture crucial life skills like communication and critical thinking – both characteristics that make graduates more globally employable.
The structure of this type of institution, however, differs greatly from the more traditional university model; students explore an eclectic range of disciplines and build on a rather diverse knowledge base, which in turn opens up a gateway to a vast array of career opportunities.
And yet, with demand for careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – or STEM as they are more commonly known – on the rise, some might question the value of the modern Liberal Arts education.
But to these naysayers, consider this:
“Just 3 percent of American College graduates are educated at a residential Liberal Arts College,” said Martha Kanter, the Under-Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, when she cited the achievements of Liberal Arts alumni at a higher education conference.
“Yet the alumni of Liberal Arts institutions account for almost 20 percent of all U.S. Presidents,” she continued, adding that, “On a per capita basis, Liberal Arts colleges today produce nearly twice as many doctorates in sciences as other institutions.”
If this isn’t enough to get you writing up that application to a U.S. Liberal Arts institution, here are 5 more reasons why you should attend a leading-edge liberal arts college:
1.The family-like community
A Liberal Arts college is much smaller and more inclusive than the traditional university, providing a campus community that is both vibrant and tight-knit. Since such an institution plays host to a smaller population, students get to know each other on a much more personal level, encouraging camaraderie and a more homely campus ethos.
Image courtesy of Simpson University
But a more intimate student body is not just beneficial in a social sense – it’s also incredibly advantageous in terms of academics; smaller classes mean more undivided attention from educators and encourages full student participation.
“The Liberal Arts create a scholarly community where professors and students learn and study together, building lifelong relationships with people from backgrounds different than their own,” says Silvio Vazquez, a Liberal Arts education professional. “Small classes promote lively, thoughtful discussions and allow teachers to know their students and work with them individually.”
2. A lively campus atmosphere
A smaller population does tend to mean fewer student organisations, but statistically, rates of participation are much higher at this sort of institution.
This creates a wealth of opportunities for students, who will leave with a much better chance of snatching leadership positions and landing themselves in positions of power.
3. Graduates are incredibly versatile
The Liberal Arts curriculum is fluid and student-specific, allowing students to try their hand at a number of topics that interest them. By definition, Liberal Arts colleges provide students an overview of the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences, preparing them for success in more or less any career.
4. Outstanding Grad School preparation
According to CBS News, Liberal Arts schools dominate the list of top 10 institutions that produce the most students who ultimately earn doctorates. Furthermore, Liberal Arts colleges produce twice the number of graduates with PhDs in science per capita than any other type of institution.
Image courtesy of Le Moyne College
5. The Liberal Arts are valued by employers on a global scale
Graduates of the Liberal Arts enter the professional sphere with presentation, essay-writing and collaborative experience, making them highly valuable to any international employer. Inclusive classes mean students come face to face with multiple perspectives, teaching them to communicate, elaborate, and above all, think critically.
“Our world is changing rapidly, and a Liberal Arts degree allows students to navigate changes by elevating valuable, lifelong skills,” says Tracy Manier, another education professional. “A Liberal Arts curriculum emphasizes writing, critical thinking and a cross-disciplinary perspective.
“In other words, an education in the Liberal Arts best prepares students for professions that don’t yet exist.”
If you think a Liberal Arts curriculum would be the perfect fit for you, here are 5 world-leading Liberal Arts institutions for which you should consider submitting an application:
Image courtesy of Simpson University
Simpson University is a faith-based institution and a Christ-centered learning community set two hours north of the city of Sacramento. Providing a ‘Gateway to World Service’ through an unparalleled student experience, the Simpson education is one that is truly life-changing.
Fully-accredited, Simpson offers 25 liberal arts and professional studies degrees, an adult degree-completion program, graduate studies, and credential programs, and serves more than 1,200 students a year.
For a school of its size, an impressive 30 percent of Simpson’s undergraduates are from ethnic minority backgrounds, making its scholar community incredibly diverse and culturally rich. The university warmly welcomes international students of faith, but due to a limited number of available funding scholarships, asks that all foreign applicants are financially stable and self-funded.
Simpson University is committed to developing each student in mind, faith and character for a lifetime of meaningful work and service in an ever-changing world.
Image courtesy of Trinity Western University
Trinity Western is a Christian University legislated by British Columbia to serve the needs of the student community and the wider world. Recognized for quality and world-leading research, TWU transforms lives through a wholesome, Christ-centered approach to education.
As a Christian liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies institution, TWU enables students to be competitive in today’s inter-connected world, allowing them to use their skills to make positive changes in the complex lives of others.
Trinity Western students can better reap the benefits of working alongside experienced professors through its small class sizes, dedication to research, and all-encompassing Liberal Arts curriculum.
Image courtesy of Rocky Mountain College
Rocky Mountain College is a comprehensive, residential liberal arts college, set beneath the sandstone “rim-rocks” in the quaint suburban neighborhood of Billings, Montana – the state’s largest and most economically vibrant city.
The college is internationally-renowned for excellence, expressing its mission through the principles of academic quality, transformational learning, shared responsibility and stewardship.
Rocky Mountain College believes that success is defined by making good life decisions, employing a Liberal Arts curriculum that challenges students to think broadly and in-depth. Students are taught how to translate knowledge into a better understanding of the world they live in, and they subsequently develop a sense of purpose and service.
Image courtesy of St. John’s College
Founded in 1696, St. John’s College is the third-oldest college in the United States – one reason why it receives such respect across the country. The college has two picturesque campuses – one in Annapolis, Maryland, and another in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
St. John’s features an interdisciplinary common curriculum (all students learn literature, philosophy, math, science, and more) and boasts one of the truest liberal arts educations in the country.
The college is well-regarded for its Great Books Program, by which students survey Western civilization through 100 classic works. All classes are small, hosting 20 or fewer students, making for an intimate and effective learning environment.
Image courtesy of Le Moyne College
Offering a rigorous world class educational experience, Le Moyne College is ranked by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best institutions. Values-based education in the Jesuit tradition fosters intellectual excellence and preparation for a life of leadership and service.
Students have the opportunity to study with a world-renowned faculty made up of authors, philosophers, advisors to the United States government and military forces, individuals on international boards of manufacturers, and actual field experts who bring real-life case studies to the classroom.
Undergraduate programs include business, technology, math, and science and the traditional liberal arts.