Today’s world demands exceptional thinkers who are well-equipped to address the challenges of tomorrow. However, proficiency in one area of thought isn’t enough anymore — to be competitive in today’s world, a degree of innovation and creativity needs to be present in every aspect of learning.
Liberal arts colleges offer an education that combines the best of this. No longer are learners constrained by one subject of study — at these institutions, they have the flexibility to choose multiple areas of focus in the span of one degree programme. At the same time, an emphasis on experiential learning helps students gain practical experience in their chosen field. In these colleges, students are not just idle learners — they actively go out in the world and apply their learning in real-life scenarios. Within or beyond campus, a community-focused environment ensures these students have the support needed from peers and professors to realise their full potential.
The result? Graduates who are not only experts in their field of study but have the awareness needed to understand the greatest challenges plaguing society. These are the visionaries who step up to enact groundbreaking change, using a combination of skill, intelligence and empathy to address global issues.
Here are four liberal arts colleges that transform students into tomorrow’s future leaders.
Established in 1884, Cottey College is a liberal arts and sciences college that fosters inclusivity in both its academic and social approach. It combines the best of an interdisciplinary academic approach, a warm and welcoming environment and opportunities to make a real impact — all at an affordable price. This unique blend has earned it a spot as the number-one regional college in the Midwest.
As a women’s-only college in Nevada, Missouri, the institution aims to give young women the chance to grow into responsible, progressive and confident future leaders and role models. Much of this has to do with a distinct focus on leadership development. Students regularly participate in hands-on projects, and have the ability to design, create and execute the direction of their work.
Of course, the best learning environments aim to keep inspiring and motivating their students — and Cottey College takes this one step further by offering an international experience. Here, every second-year and transfer student is given the chance to spend the first week of their spring break in an international city. They explore the wonders of each city’s art, history, science and culture with classmates and faculty. The best part? Cottey sponsors the trip — allowing every student an equal chance to experience the world.
Throw in small class sizes and a family-like community, and it makes for a fulfilling learning experience that places students first. Graduates from Cottey College leave prepared to take their next step into the world with determination, confidence, and rigour.
Discover more about Cottey College here.
Located in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch College is a College of Action where students actively take part in designing their own education experience.
Here, learning is placed entirely in the student’s hands. They design their major from the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities and learn about global issues such as diversity and social justice at the same time. A compulsory foreign language is added to the mix, which helps them become more culturally aware of the world around them. They participate in a combination of interactive lectures, discussions, field trips and projects.
The flagship co-op programme sees students working full-time or conducting research with local and international partner organisations to find creative solutions to social issues. Applying the knowledge gained in classrooms to real-life scenarios gives them confidence and sets them apart in the job market.
Campus is a dynamic mix of people from all over the country and the world. At this collaborative college, democracy is practised as a part of everyday life. Antiochians do more than just follow the rules, they make them by taking part in the design and governance of the college. With all of these features, it is little wonder that students here evolve into graduates who are set to win victories for humanity.
New College of Florida
As Florida’s “honours college for the liberal arts,” the New College of Florida (NCF) aims to provide an undergraduate education of the highest calibre to students from all over the world. Set on a beautiful 110-acre campus on sunny Sarasota Bay, NCF offers undergraduate programmes — covering over 50 areas of concentration — which are customisable according to your interests and goals.
Here, small classes with an average of 11 students ensure individualised attention, giving everyone the space to flourish. Outside of the classroom, the Centre for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) matches each student with a career counsellor even before they set foot on campus. From here, they receive holistic support through personalised coaching measures, preparing them for their dream careers, graduate schools, or fellowships.
The study abroad and exchange programmes propel NCF students to step up their intercultural fluency by participating in hands-on fieldwork. Students typically study in 20 to 25 countries annually while earning transferable credits that count towards their overall degree. Local exchanges with partner institutions are also another option that NCF students can pursue, which is equally meaningful in broadening their educational perspectives.
Pitzer College is a top-ranked liberal arts and sciences college in California that emphasises the arts, humanities as well as social, behavioural and natural sciences. Founded in 1963, the college is proud to be a part of the Claremont Colleges, a collection of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. Together, they collaborate to create dynamic and informed programmes for the eager learner.
At Pitzer, approximately 1,000 students are given access to all the resources they would have at a major university while reaping the rewards of a true liberal arts college experience, known for a personalised approach to education. Here, all are welcome to shape their own experiences and are given the chance to plan their academic careers.
The college acknowledges the wide diversity of student interests, abilities, needs and styles. With Academic Advising, students can create a coherent programme of study in accordance with the college’s educational objectives, alongside a faculty adviser.
Off-campus, international exposure is just as important. Pitzer offers study abroad programmes that consist of 46 international exchanges where participants can learn new languages and appreciate global cultures.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International