Liberal Arts Education Prepares Us for Inevitable Change
By Scott Miller, The State Journal (W.Va.), June 26, 2008
When Bethany College president Scott Miller addressed Bethany’s class of 2008 on commencement day, his optimism for the graduates was tempered by concern that they—and countless young people like them—might not be adequately prepared for the volatile world they were entering. Had their education prepared them for the uncertainties they would face? Miller asks, in a June opinion piece in the State Journal. “While the liberal arts really have never gone out of style, too often we as educators have not properly translated its benefits to students and families,” he writes. The most persistent myth liberal arts colleges have failed to contradict is that “a liberal arts education and career preparation are mutually exclusive.” Such a belief, Miller argues, couldn’t be further from the truth.
In preparing for “unknowable change,” a broad education beats career training any day, Miller writes. While educators don’t yet know what careers will be booming in ten, twenty, or thirty years, we do know that an education based upon effective communication, analytical thinking, and critical reasoning will still be valuable to employers. An excellent education, Miller argues, “is the one asset that can never be taken away.”
The full text of Miller’s article may be read online.