Why liberal arts education is important

The Wichitan

Victoria Estrada

I attended the Faculty Forum last week, and I found it rather interesting. The panelists and audience discussed the importance of attending a liberal arts university, how to incorporate liberal arts into the world and other studies, cultural literacy, what can be done at the moment to incorporate more liberal arts, and how it affects the professors’ lives outside of their careers.

Many of the faculty members communicated that the importance of a liberal arts education is that it shows social value, leadership, effective communication, and moral decisions. The members also stressed the importance of liberal arts and sciences by saying it is important to know what everyone else does around the world. It builds a foundation, teaches students critical thinking skills, and teaches critical literacy. There were many ways of how to incorporate liberal arts into the world and other studies around the university by having professors question the students, adopting teamwork into curriculum, and helping others.

Angela Cartwright, assistant professor of curriculum and learning, mentioned that 60 to 70 percent of the West College of Education students learn inside another college. For example, I am studying education, and I can attest that the strategies are true. This semester, I have three out of five classes that are not in the West College of Education. The members expressed that cultural literacy is within art and music, by introducing different perspectives, and learning new languages such as literature or ethics. I loved that the board members mentioned the benefits of being in a liberal arts college by stating that students will view the world differently, have the ability to look outside of society, and be willing to go outside of comfort zones.

An audience member asked what could be done right now to incorporate more liberal arts, and the response was for professors to have conversations amongst one another to learn about different information and integrate collaborative learning. Another member from the audience asked the members how does liberal arts affects their lives outside of professors’ careers. The members explained that it created the person they are, changed the way they see the world, changed interactions amongst others, changed the way of conversation, and overall changed the way they consume the world.

I am so grateful to be able to attend a liberal arts university. This semester has shown me that it not is just about learning mathematics, but about expanding myself as a person in the subject of history and literature. Being in a liberal arts university will help me not only know information about my jobs in the future, but also to know additional resources. I have to look at the bigger picture — having knowledge beyond just my major so I will be successful in society and others around me.

Being at Midwestern State University gives me opportunity to become a well-rounded person and not limit myself to just education.

Victoria Estrada is an education junior.