What Is a Liberal Arts Education?
by Lydia Berglar
March 5, 2021
in Intro to Covenant
A liberal arts education is a well-rounded, holistic approach to preparation for life and career. Instead of a sole focus on one specific area or skill, liberal arts schools teach soft skills like research, critical thinking, leadership, team work, writing, and communication in addition to specific majors and concentrations. Liberal arts students benefit from the interconnection between core classes and major classes. Instead of viewing gen ed classes as a checklist of unrelated subjects to get out of the way before diving into the meat of their major, liberal arts students build a base of core classes that support their major classes and career goals.
At Covenant, every student takes the same set of core classes. They build upon each other and are spread throughout all four years.The core curriculum provides Covenant students with common learning experiences, emphasizing our pursuit of knowledge as it reflects God’s image. They provide a global rather than a provincial emphasis in learning, focusing students’ attention not only on the past and the present but also on the future. A biblical perspective in every course is crucial to the success of the core curriculum.
This holistic approach produces alumni who think independently and have a broad perspective of the world. Instead of separating students from the real world by placing them in an ivory tower, liberal arts schools equip students to appreciate wide and varied aspects of the world. (Harvard Business Review)
Liberal Arts and Career Success
Employers value liberal arts educated employees because of their soft skills. In a survey initiated by The Association of American Colleges and Universities, employers listed soft skills they look for in employees including oral communication, critical thinking, ethical judgment, working effectively in teams, written communication, and real-world application of skills and knowledge. (Harvard Business Review)
Graduates of liberal arts colleges may not begin their careers with a high income, but over the decades, a liberal arts degree pays off. A Georgetown University study found that the median return on investment in a liberal arts education 40 years after enrollment is close to $1 million, which is 25% higher than the median for all colleges. (The Washington Post)