Friday, October 31, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

Wyoming Catholic College President: Liberal Arts Teaches Students to Be Free

The “core purpose” of the liberal arts“ has never been more needed, for its very foundation is teaching students what real freedom is,” according to the president of Wyoming Catholic College (WCC).

Dr. Kevin Roberts writes in a column for the Star-Tribune that WCC’s liberal arts curriculum combined with its outdoor leadership program prepares students “to promote the values of Wyoming—hard work, neighborliness, and a joyful spirit.”

The Wyoming Catholic College president continues: 

At WCC, our liberal arts curriculum does just that [teaching students to be free]—and by doing so, cultivates in our students a love for neighbor that corresponds perfectly to Wyoming culture. Given that we live in a place that is described as “what America used to be,” I am proud that Wyoming Catholic College has become a pillar for those values, ideals, and traditions that not only prompted the founding of the United States, but that also led to the settlement of Wyoming itself. In Wyoming, sheer geography may lead us to think that we’re disconnected from much of the world, but in reality, we exemplify those permanent ideals.

…But what about salaries [for students with a liberal arts degree]? In an era when students, parents, and high-ranking government officials are focused on maximizing the return on investment of college education, one recent study of 3 million Americans demonstrates that liberal arts programs are a considerably better investment than specialized programs. The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ January 2014 report, “How Liberal Arts Majors Fare in Employment,” shows that at peak earning ages (55 to 60 years) liberal arts majors earn more than their counterparts without liberal arts degree. Once again, over the span of a career, the core pillars of a liberal arts education—critical thinking, a broad base of knowledge, and the interaction with people—create employees who are flexible enough to transfer one area of knowledge to new situations.

The impact of liberal education forming the whole person is understood well by employers, who in increasing numbers are looking explicitly for liberal arts graduates. Even for employers who do not understand that foundation, they appreciate the result: joyful, engaging people who can think deeply, commit themselves wholesale to the mission of a company or organization, and excel at adapting to changing work environments. When understood in this light, the reality of why liberal arts graduates do well in the modern economy is clear.

Wyoming Catholic College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

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