Where Are There Liberal Arts Colleges
For students who want to attend an institution which explicitly and exclusively aligns itself with the liberal arts, a liberal arts college is the way to go. North America has the highest concentration of liberal arts colleges, and its where the modern-day version of a liberal arts education is most popular. Aspiring liberal arts students might begin their search here.
But some students might have other destinations they would prefer. Maybe they want to be closer to home, or dont feel confident living in an English-speaking country. Whatever their reasoning, there are other options.
In fact, there are liberal arts colleges on every continent. Although there may not be as many options as in the USA, its an approach thats growing in popularity.
A liberal arts college by any other name…
But remember, liberal arts colleges might not always have that explicit label. In the Netherlands, for example, there are liberal arts colleges which belong to larger universities, but are known as university colleges. There are also examples like John Cabot University and The American University of Rome whose names wouldnt indicate that they are liberal arts colleges at all.
Students who hope to study in Asia have a handy resource in the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities , where they can seek a college and programme that suits them.
Ultimately, its important for students to research thoroughly, particularly if they have a specific destination in mind.
Employers Value Liberal Arts Education
Liberal arts students spend a lot of time communicating verbally and in writing. Students at larger colleges dont always have this same experience .
The intimate nature of most liberal arts educations prepares future employees for all areas of a career. Students will have analytical, communication, and team-working skills that they need to succeed. Companies are hiring liberal arts majors more frequently now because of these skills.
Not all liberal arts colleges are exactly the same. But, in general, this gives you a good idea of why many students choose these schools. Many times, a smaller campus with fewer students lends itself to an easy transition from a high school, where your classes may have been about the same size.
Plus, there are many other great things that come along with a liberal arts education. Consider all of your options carefully to figure out which kind of institution is right for you!
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Humanities And General Studies
You may notice some colleges offer degrees in humanities or general studies. How do those differ from liberal arts? Where liberal arts is a structured blend of arts, social studies, science, and humanities, a major in humanities focuses more greatly on languages, literature, art, music, philosophy, and religion.
General studies, depending on your school, has a curriculum designed to combine arts, science, and humanities. Or, as long as you follow the established guideline, you can pick and choose your own curriculum.
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Preparing For The Workforce
Although they’re well-equipped for many different roles, liberal arts majors may have a less clear-cut road to the perfect job than some graduates. Here are some suggestions for liberal arts majors entering the job market.
- Build Your Personal Brand: Liberal arts students are adept at storytelling and communicating complex ideas. When it’s time to enter the job market they need to harness those skills to tell their own story, and they can do that through establishing a personal brand.
- Think Outside of the Box: Be willing to explore different industries with an open mind and gain new skills and knowledge. Publishing houses are not the only employer of English majors your background and willingness to learn can be beneficial in other job markets as well. “As a liberal arts major myself, how you apply your education to your career growth is entirely up to you,” said Ryan Bernier, an SNHU career advisor.
- Diversify Your Skill Set: Since liberal arts majors can be helpful in many fields, one way to stand out from other applicants is to learn new topics and skills transferrable to your industry or organization of interest. For example, if youre a communication major looking to work for a technology company, you might consider building on your vocabulary and understanding of the subject with an IT elective. You could also subscribe to technology journals to stay up-to-date on industry news.
Richard Plepler Hbo Ceo
Degree: B.A. in Government, Franklin & Marshall College, 1981
On drawing inspiration from his liberal arts studies: HBOs chief since 2013, Plepler recalled in a commencement speech this year at his alma mater that, when trying to land his first job, he turned to Ralph Waldo Emersons writings. I believed, with Emerson, that if a man planted himself on his convictions and hopes that, the huge world will come round to him. I always felt that, and all these years later, still do, he said. I decided to do everything in my power to secure a job, however lowly, in the nations capital. I got in my little Honda, and I drove to Washington, used all my energy and power of persuasion to try to talk my way onto the staff of a young U.S. Senator from my home state of Connecticut, Christopher Dodd.
On what young grads can learn from reading Game of Thrones: As Plepler said during his speech: While the road ahead, to quote from Game of Thrones, is dark and full of terrors, it is hardly insurmountable.
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Find Out What Does Liberal Arts Mean
Emilie Le Beau
Prep for grad schoolHeres a list of fields that hire liberal arts and sciences majors.
- Advertising: For jobs in marketing, promotions or public relations, employers prefer applicants with a broad liberal arts background and a degree in sociology, psychology, literature, journalism or philosophy.
- Law enforcement: FBI special agents need a foreign language degree to qualify for the language program. CIA language instructors also must have a foreign language degree. Police officers may find it helpful to have a foreign language or physical education degree.
- Education: All U.S. states require public school teachers to be licensed. Teachers must have a bachelors degree and complete a certification program and student teacher training. A graduate with a degree in chemistry can complete a post-graduate certification program to become a high school chemistry teacher.
- Finance: Most employers expect personal financial advisers to have a degree in finance, math or economics. Securities, commodities or financial service sales agents benefit from degrees in economics or finance.
- Actuarial science
- East Asian languages and cultures
- Russian and East European studies
- Russian language and literature
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How Does A Liberal Arts Degree Fare Against More Specialized Degrees
According to Williams liberal arts majors are more likely than their counterparts to have at least one year of professional experience through an internship or to travel abroad at least once during their enrollment because the nature of the major leads students to pursue opportunities in their areas of interest while continuing their studies.
This professional exposure and global awareness may actually make liberal arts majors more competitive than students who simply completed a series of prescribed courses without taking the opportunity to explore their interests beyond the classroom, adds Williams.
William Brown Jr., vice president of enrollment at Lebanon Valley College believes liberal arts majors are among the most work-ready graduates. At most liberal arts colleges students will receive a balance between professional preparation and broad intellectual growth. Students start their working career with solid pre-professional preparation in their field as well as experience across a wide curriculum. Specific skills that most liberal arts grads take to work include critical thinking and the ability to communicate effectively verbally as well as in writing.
The national research advises us that while liberal arts students may be slightly slower in securing the first job they advance and are retained at a higher rate than those more narrowly educated, says McGillin.
Joe Karpinski Jr Strives To Lead By Example
The University of Arizona Global Campus offers liberal arts degree programs in a wide variety of subjects ranging from history toEnglish to political science. Students enrolled in any of the liberal arts degree programs will acquire the transferable skills necessary to prepare them for any number of life paths. No matter what course of study you choose, at The University of Arizona Global Campus you’ll learn from highly qualified faculty who care deeply about our students and their success. Your instructors will be there for you every step of the way, providing guidance and feedback through effective tools and applications that are designed to support ongoing engagement, accessibility and human interaction. Before you decide whether a degree in liberal arts is right for you, heres a brief background on where the term came from, how it has evolved since the time of the Romans, and what it means today.
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John Mackey Whole Foods Co
Degree : B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, The University of Texas at Austin, 1977
On the benefits of being a literary hippie and college dropout: I accumulated about 120 hours of electives, primarily in philosophy, religion, history, world literature, and other humanities. I only took classes I was interested in, and if a class bored me, I quickly dropped it, Mackey wrote in his 2013 book, Conscious Capitalism. Mackey, a shaggy-haired yogi, meditator and vegetarian living in a commune, ended up not taking a single business class: I actually think that has worked to my advantage in business over the years. As an entrepreneur, I had nothing to unlearn and new possibilities for innovation.
On philosophy and founding Whole Foods: During his college years, Mackey drifted into a progressive political philosophy that taught him both business and capitalism were fundamentally based on greed, selfishness, and exploitation, the self-described classical liberal wrote in his book. That, he said, was the motivation for his girlfriend and him to open a natural foods store, Safer Way, in 1978. In two years, they renamed it Whole Foods Market.
What Is The Difference
According to Dr. Jeremy Osborn, associate professor of communication at Cornerstone, Colleges and universities that identify themselves as liberal arts colleges typically require students to take classes from a variety of disciplines and to engage with a range of ideas and ways of thinking about the world.
Dr. Osborn has spoken many times on the topic of liberal arts in CU classes, and he is passionate about the value of liberal arts education.
Compared to a liberal arts school, a standard university is typically more direct in its approach to teaching. You follow a more set path for your courses, meaning even general education courses are more strictly tied to major-specific topics.
Schools without a liberal arts focus are more likely to train students to be vocational specialists in a narrow range of areas, focusing more credits and course work on teaching the current knowledge and skills for a particular profession, said Osborn.
A liberal arts college provides students a more flexible and well-rounded experience, which can be extremely beneficial in learning broad, adaptable skillsets and creative thinking skills that translate across different career fields.
That typically involves exposing students to a range of subjects including the humanities, arts, natural sciences and the social sciences, said Osborn.
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Challenges Of A Liberal Arts Degree
Theres a yin to every yang. Sure, the plus column is filled with fantastic reasonings to head directly to a liberal arts program. But you need to have a balance to make a better and more informed decision. Here are a couple of challenges people with liberal arts degrees may possibly face:
Where Can Students Undertake A Liberal Arts Education
The obvious starting point for a student keen to study the liberal arts is researching dedicated liberal arts colleges. The majority of these are in the USA. Those spread around the globe also tend to be based on the American model.
But bear in mind that there are other options aside from explicit liberal arts colleges. Students can undertake a liberal arts education elsewhere: some universities have dedicated liberal arts college within their proverbial umbrella. Meanwhile, an increasing number of institutions have opted to create a liberal arts department, or a liberal arts degree within an existing department.
There are also universities which dont declare themselves to be liberal arts colleges, but have a distinct liberal arts flavour in their educational philosophy.
Thanks to the wide range of options available, a liberal arts education might be a good option for more students than you realise!
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Liberal Arts And Liberal Arts College
In academia, liberal arts generally refer to subjects or skills that aim to provide general knowledge and comprise the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences . Most liberal arts colleges, however, also offer courses in subjects that are not traditionally considered part of the liberal arts, such as computer science.
Washington & Lee University
Located south of Washington, D.C. in historic Lexington, Virginia, Washington & Lee is a unique liberal arts institution in many ways.
Instead of the usual two-term semester, it operates on a three-term system: 13-week fall and winter terms followed by a four-week spring term. Called Immersion, this term is an opportunity for students to take eclectic courses that jog their curiosity. Faculty design the courses themselves based on the topics they most want to teach: freedom rides throughout the Civil Rights South, the physics of music, code-breaking in mathematics and history, the politics of Barack Obama, the stem cell controversy, and more.
W& L is also characterized by a traditional honors system, whereby students pledge to act honorably in and out of the classroom. Exams are usually unproctored and self-scheduled, even those that are closed-book.
Unlike in many liberal arts colleges, which have small or nonexistent Greek life, over 80% of W& L students are involved in fraternities or sororities.
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Graduates With A Liberal Arts And Sciences Degree
- Are highly skilled: Between 2010 and 2013, the growth of liberal arts majors entering the technology industry from undergrad outpaced that of computer science and engineering majors by 10 percent.
- Secure better jobs with better pay: Between 31-72 percent of liberal arts graduates are more likely than others to have higher-level positions and earn more than $100,000 annually.
- Add value to the workforce: Students who develop both deep expertise in a technical area and broad-based critical thinking skills developed through a liberal arts education will be the most valuable to future employers.
- Experience long-term success: Graduates long-term success stems from six defining experiences present at a liberal arts collegeengaging professors, caring professors, encouraging mentors, long-term projects, internships and jobs, and activities and organizations.
*Source:Association of American Colleges & Universities, 2013
Applying To A Liberal Arts College
For the most part, applying to a liberal arts college will be much like applying to any other university. In the USA, almost all liberal arts schools are listed on applications like the Common App or Coalition App.
Still, these kinds of institutions are much more likely to have their own application processes and requirements than more traditional universities. Sometimes they ask for additional materials – think extended essays, or samples of work from a variety of subjects.
As with most things, there are no definitive rules. Students should do their research well ahead of time, so they know exactly what theyll need and have time to prepare. If theyre applying from overseas, there will likely be further materials to gather – as there would be for any international application.
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