What is Liberal Arts?
The 5 Truths of Liberal Arts Education
The Woods teaches students how to think – not what to think.” – SMWC President Dottie L. King, Ph.D.
Why write that philosophy paper? Why bother to understand the history of another culture? A liberal arts education enables you to be a scholar of the world, training your mind to think critically and independently. You will be unconfined in your choices, able to solve almost any problem, develop creative ideas on different topics and find success on a variety of paths.
The first female astronaut in space, first female network news anchor and first female speaker of the House of Representatives all have liberal arts degrees. – Montgomery Educational Consulting
What first are you going to be? A liberal arts education will expose you to everything from Eastern cultures to the Pythagorean theorem. Knowledge is more than just learning facts and figures; it is strengthening the mind. With this deeper understanding of yourself and the world, your talents will be more marketable and your future filled with unlimited possibilities.
19 percent of U.S. presidents graduated from a liberal arts college. – The Annapolis Group
It takes more than a degree to be a leader. With a liberal arts foundation, your mind is trained to evaluate and analyze all kinds of complex problems. When you develop methods of critical thinking, that process can be applied to any challenge, whether in work, school or life. Your unique insight will lead others to creative solutions.
Nearly 20 percent of the members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences received their bachelor’s degrees at a liberal arts college. – The Annapolis Group
Employers and graduate schools seek out candidates who can organize their ideas, think independently and communicate intellectually. A liberal arts education provides these marketable skills by cultivating a lifelong hunger for knowledge, essential for a lifetime of success. The more you learn, the more you increase your capacity to learn.
“Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are all connected in a global community, where success arises from understanding different perspectives. A liberal arts education allows you to explore different landscapes and discover multiple perspectives. You will develop the ability to analyze a situation from many different angles, which will give you an unlimited understanding of the world.
“The basic purpose of a liberal arts education is to liberate the human being to exercise his or her potential to the fullest.” – Barbara White, former president of Mills College
With a liberal arts education, you will come to your own conclusions, not because you were told the answer, but because you have the tools to discover the answer. You will develop good judgment and a fullness of mind, encouraging you to make a positive change in the world.
A liberal arts education prepares you for career and life changes, not just your first job right after college. Here are just a few reasons to consider the value of a liberal arts education:
- 80% of kindergartners will be employed in jobs that don't exist now
- Baby Boomers changed careers 3 to 5 times (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009); Millennial students are projected to change careers 11 times
- Employers expect additional skills in entry-level jobs. For example, a survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 69% of business leaders rated the skills gained through a liberal arts education as "very important."
At its roots, a liberal arts education prepares you for potential career changes by fostering critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and an ability to synthesize knowledge from different disciplines. It provides a bridge for students to connect intellectual, historical, ethical, social, and economic contexts from the past and future with their own experiences. It is empowering, because it liberates you from one point of view.