As a senior, looking in to the future, I am realizing why it was so important to have made the choice of a Liberal Arts Education, and venturing to Alvernia University. Around the United States, many political powers are sharing that they are cutting funding for liberal arts in many schools in their town or state. They feel that it is not important for students to have classes such as art, music, and theatre as a part of their curriculum. As a soon to be graduate of a Liberal Arts Education based college, one can only find this to be counter productive to what their future employers are asking for.
Peer mentoring for a class of freshmen, is not only entertaining, but also very useful as a senior in college. I get a chance to look back at what I was concerned about as a first year student differing from what I am apprehensive about as a senior. Our topic a couple days ago was how a liberal arts education is important for the “real world” one day. Many of my students and previous students from years past always ask, “Why do I have to take classes that have nothing to do with my major?” To start the topic of conversation, we watched this video from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, about why the liberal arts matter. (Check it out Here! http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/24/why-the-liberal-arts-matter/) He explains 3 main points as to what a liberal arts education means to students, and one day their employers. “How to write, how to speak, and how to learn,” outline the core and underlining positive attributes that the educational based curriculum entails.
At Alvernia, I can see how these three main ideas take part in our education every day. When first arriving to class, each student is given a syllabus. This syllabus shares what is required for the students to accomplish during that specific course. Many Professors require students to have a written grade, a test taking portion, and a participation percentage. The idea is that if we have these 3 things taking part in a percentage of our grade for each of our classes, it will cause us to critically be thinking about each of the classes and subjects. Now, when students have the 3 grade parts in their philosophy and theology classes; world language classes; along with their major classes; it allows the students to have an in-depth understanding about not only our major classes, but classes that are outside of our main area of study. This is a HUGE benefit for the student when speaking about topics around the world, but also when entering a job in the future.
According to the Association of American Colleges & Universities, under The Economic Case for Liberal Education, “There is a demand for engaged and informed citizens, who are knowledgeable about themselves and the world.“ They also state “95% of employers say that a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important that their undergraduate major.” With the Liberal Arts education, it gives you the tools for communicating, critical thinking skills, and how to solve complex problems. This is because it is not only giving you the knowledge for lets say your management course, but also your psychology course to under stand how people respond to your management style, or their buying decision for a marketing course. Even for majors that are extremely specific with the classes that they take, such a nursing, having a liberal arts education can benefit them in their workforce. Most of my nursing friends are able to give fantastic presentations because of having a speech course. Or in their future nursing careers, they were the one to share with other nurses that because of patient x’s religion, they should be handling the patient x in a different way.
With Alvernia University giving me the background of this valuable liberal arts core, I find myself placing knowledge that I learned in those core classes to my senior level marketing classes. Since I am finding ways to contribute my liberal arts classes to these courses, I can only imagine the never-ending possibilities of how I can use this foundational education for my future career, and life.