The Disadvantages of Liberal Art Colleges

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Although a liberal arts college prepares students well for graduate studies and provides a broad background for entering adult life, there are also some disadvantages to a liberal arts education. Jobs are even harder to come by in the modern, competitive job market. Considering the rising number of young adults with college degrees, in addition to the number of unemployed older adults with education and experience, a college degree does not guarantee a job.

Origins

  • Liberal arts colleges originate from the Greco-Roman idea of educating the whole person in critical thinking skills and humanities education, including mathematics, logic, philosophy, science and writing. This idea was revisited and reborn during the Renaissance as universities began to prosper and proliferate. As a result, we still have the notion of the completely educated person today as the Renaissance Man or Woman. However, this breadth of education does not necessarily translate into the garnering of practicable, usable job skills for today's workplace, in which technical and utilitarian concerns can be paramount.

Relationships with Different Classes

  • Liberal arts education is often built around diversity; however, many liberal arts colleges are made up of the children of working professionals who make up the middle class and upper classes of American society, according to "The American Scholar." As a result, graduates are not necessarily able to communicate effectively or build relationships with those of different social classes.

Lack of Depth in Major Studies

  • Students at liberal arts colleges are required to take courses in a variety of disciplines, including humanities, writing, mathematics, foreign languages and sciences. However, as a result, there are fewer credit hours available for studying and specializing within a specific major selected by the student. Although many of the basic requirements are similar to non-liberal arts colleges, certain higher sequenced courses or special topics may not be offered as a result of the higher number of general education requirements of the college.

Resources

  • According to "Amatecon," some liberal arts schools are financially strained and may lack resources per student capita, such as equipment, facilities, library size, technology, computer labs and research opportunities. As a result, the quality of the liberal arts education itself may be hampered if the school is in financial troubles. If the school closes down or loses accreditation as a result of its financial situation, then that may reflect poorly on recent graduates who do not yet have a solid job history.

References

  • Photo Credit college image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com
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