Today, there are only two national liberal arts colleges in America- Amherst and Harvard.
Both of these schools were established during an era when wealthy elites had power and influence over our political systems and institutions. This is no longer the case today, where large segments of the population have become disenfranchised due to excessive greed and corruption.
As such, students at these universities now must work hard to be politically active while trying to balance their studies and career paths.
These days it is more important than ever for educated individuals to get involved with politics as we know it is currently being rigged by the few against the many.
In fact, one could make the argument that education itself has become obsolete because advanced technology allows us to produce I’s and me’s on almost anything. A degree once guaranteed you something, but now it is increasingly difficult to tell what it means unless you are looking to climb the ladder at your current job or achieve a position within an organization.
Liberal arts degrees focus not just on educating students through various disciplines, but also teach them about history, literature, philosophy, and other concepts which can aid in shaping their worldview and understanding of the world. These types of courses help students develop critical thinking skills which can be applied beyond college.
There was a time when everyone needed to be literate, but this is less relevant today given how easy it is to access information anywhere at any time.
Examples of national liberal arts colleges
There are many examples of national liberal art college programs around the country. Many universities have at least one department or program that fits this description.
Many students feel that their education here has helped them grow as people and prepare them for the rest of their lives. This includes developing skills in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science to name a few.
These types of schools also promote an environment where students can explore different areas and learn from others. They may encourage student groups or clubs which allow for community building. All of these things contribute to strong emotional connections between students and the school.
Students often leave NLAC with a sense of pride in what they have learned and how well prepared they are for the real world.
Baccalaureate degree programs
A baccalaureate degree is usually obtained after an individual has completed at least four years of study, typically from around 20 to 24 years old. Students are often required to take many different courses across several departments or areas of study, making it very hard to focus just on one specific field.
Bachelor’s degrees can be focused in any number of fields such as business, art, education, medicine, nursing, psychology, technology, and more. Some universities have specialties that their students may choose to go into further, but not all bachelor’s degrees are so diversified.
The reason for this is because some schools feel that certain majors require too much time and money to maintain. This could be due to expensive tuition costs, limited job opportunities, or both. If a student wants to stay within their budget they can get only two-thirds of a bachelor’t degree, which does not qualify them to enter the workforce.
Furthermore, employers look more favorably on individuals with a well-rounded background rather than someone who is narrowly focused. Having a variety of skills and knowledge makes you seem more intelligent and professional, creating a favorable impression.
Determining the right fit
As mentioned earlier, liberal arts colleges offer a wide range of majors and programs beyond just business or education. These are typically not specific to any one field, offering instead courses in humanities, social sciences, natural science, and creative fields.
Some examples include English, history, sociology, political science, psychology, art history, music theory, and philosophy. All of these areas overlap with each other, making it easy for students to gain knowledge outside their major area.
These types of schools also emphasize student success as an individual rather than only test scores. A well-rounded college experience is important at such institutions, giving you space to explore your interests while developing skills that will help you get into the career you want.
Liberal arts colleges are not limited to just studying hard academic subjects, like math or physics. They exist to inspire you to learn more about yourself and the world around you.
Popular liberal arts colleges
Many people associate national liberal-arts universities with large student bodies, vibrant academic environments, and impressive alumni networks. Some even refer to them as “vital centers of our society” because they promote an understanding of philosophy, literature, history, and ethics.
But this popular perception is only half true.
There are only six such schools in America that award undergraduate degrees in the humanities (literature, languages, anthropology, psychology, etc.). Two of these schools — Harvard and Princeton — have been awarded the most prestigious degree programs by other institutions for centuries.
The others were not always well regarded. For example, when William James received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1865, he was criticized for choosing too broad a major by some professors at Johns Hopkins University, where he hoped to study medicine.
What are the costs?
One of the major benefits of attending a national liberal arts college is that it is not as expensive as attending a school with only specializations. This cost difference arises because national liberals offer many different majors, making their student body more diverse. Students are also given access to a wide range of resources in the form of academic centers, study spaces, and labs.
These opportunities can be made available through funding from community organizations or private sources like foundations or wealthy individuals. Some even have their own internal funds they devote to supporting students’ educational goals!
National liberal arts colleges typically do not charge excessive tuition fees either. The average national liberal art college does not exceed $50,000 per year for all expenses including room and board. Most schools are well under this amount unless there are additional programs such as research grants or financial aid that make up the rest of the budget.
There may even be scholarships available at certain times during the year or through alumni networks so students do not need to pay much directly for education.
Is it worth it?
As we have seen, there are many different definitions for what makes an NLA college, but none of them include money. This is a good thing, as this would suggest that no matter how expensive an education at such a school can be, you should still go through with it!
Some people may question the importance of liberal arts in our society today. They may argue that technology has taken over and people don’t value reading or writing anymore. Or maybe they believe that students learn more from studying other subjects like science or math.
This isn’t true, though. A study conducted by Harvard University found that the main reason why individuals succeed in life is not because of their knowledge of mathematics or science, but rather due to their knowledge of the humanities.
What these studies show us is that being educated in the humanities helps develop self-confidence, self-awareness, communication skills, and understanding of others. All things that anyone could benefit from.
Another important aspect of the humanities is promoting tolerance and respect for all cultures. We see too much discrimination in our country towards minorities and immigrants due to lack of knowledge about other cultures.
We also need to promote respect for ourselves since every individual comes from a culture and was brought up with certain values. It is our duty as adults to pass on our culture to the next generation, so they will never lose touch with who they are.
Finding the right balance
Many people feel that liberal arts are out of place in our society today, with too much emphasis being put on vocational education. They may even be skeptical about whether they benefit you at all beyond giving you an easy way to get a degree.
This lack of understanding for what liberal arts actually are makes it difficult to know how to identify them. Some people may use the term “liberal” without defining it, making it hard to tell if something is considered liberal or not.
In this article I will go into more detail about what the word “liberal” means in relation to academia and my experience as a student at a national liberal art college.
Liberal arts refer to the study areas that have little to do with just educating students for jobs. These include things like history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.
Studying these subjects helps give you knowledge that goes deeper than just facts and figures. It teaches you why someone might believe something, which can help you make informed decisions.
My personal favorite was reading ancient Greek poetry. You learn how poets use language to convey emotions, which can help you become a better writer.
One of the things that sets many liberal arts colleges apart from other universities is their emphasis on having lots of different departments with lots of different majors. A major isn’t necessarily something you will go into career in, but it gives you an area to focus on and learn more about.
At some schools there are even several students in each class who have chosen the same major so they can meet like-minded people. This helps create strong bonds which are important for success after college.
Some examples include mathematics, English, history or art as a major because these are always needed and they give you a skill set that you can use later in life.
Liberal arts education also teaches you how to think critically about issues and situations, and not just through studying individual subjects. Being able to evaluate sources and information properly is very valuable in our hectic society. Some studies show that student engagement actually rises and falls depending on whether there are new assignments and projects every week.
Many employers look for this kind of reasoning ability in prospective employees. And since most graduates now spend at least two years going to school, investing in your personal development is a good way to boost your job prospects once you graduate.