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Research Report

Reclaiming the Value of the Liberal Arts for the 21st Century

David Attis, Managing Director, Research

New college accountability measures seem to discriminate against the liberal arts, but liberal arts graduates actually develop a number of skills that prepare them for both entry-level jobs and long-term career success. Learn how progressive institutions are highlighting the value of a liberal arts curriculum in the 21st century.

Download the white paper to learn how some institutions are highlighting how the liberal arts prepare students for professional success, or scroll down to explore each strategy individually.

There's a new urgency for colleges and universities to demonstrate measurable results, often in the form of graduate job placement and salary. Between accountability measures that emphasize professional majors and a public focus on return on investment, the liberal arts can seem increasingly irrelevant.

While debates about the high cost of college have been ongoing for decades, recent trends have intensified criticism that higher education may not be worth the investment. Rising student debt has now reached the one trillion dollar mark, surpassing total consumer credit card debt, but U.S. college student outcomes have not kept pace with other developed countries. Recent OECD rankings suggest that the U.S. may be losing its competitive edge, as fewer U.S. students graduate from college or learn key skills compared to their global peers.

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This resource is part of the Scale Experiential Learning and Career Development Roadmap. Access the Roadmap for stepwise guidance with additional tools and research.

Defend liberal arts in the era of accountability

In recent years, public debates about what education should look like in the twenty-first century have focused on the importance of career outcomes, shaping questions about what subjects colleges and universities should teach. One GOP presidential debate crystallized this issue when…

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