NEW BOOK ~ Liberal Arts Colleges & Education

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 (Around 10 years ago)

The Faculty Development Resource Center has a new book available. It is Liberal Arts Colleges and Liberal Arts Education: New Evidence on Impacts by Ernest T. Pascarella, Gregory C. Wolniak, Tricia A. D. Seifert, Ty M. Cruce, and Charles F. Blaich. This monograph summarizes the findings of a study about the effects of liberal arts education and liberal arts colleges on students’ intellectual and personal growth. The study used two longitudunal datasets on 6,500 students and alumni at more than forty institutions and it controlled for many potentially biasing influences of students’ precollege characteristics.

The results are enlightening: Traits and best practices associated with liberal arrts education are beneficial, but they can be found at institutions that are not liberal arts colleges. Long-term effects include alumni who report a strong impact from liberal arts on their learning, leadership, and personal and spiritual development. At a time when institutions rroted in liberal arts face market pressures to move toward more comprehensive missions, this research from Pascarella and Associates should help schools realize they must maintain the elements that best serve students.

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