Liberal Arts College: What are the Benefits?

YCIS BJ Class of 2019

As many across the globe are social distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19, a vast number professionals with Liberal Arts qualifications in varying fields are also working towards making sense of the virus and its effect on physical and mental health, the environment, and other aspects affecting society in general.

Jonathan Mellen, YCIS Beijing’s UGO Officer held a webinar on March 12th on The Benefit of a Liberal Arts College. This was a part of his “The YCIS Beijing Roadmap to University” series. He expounded on why students should pursue studies in this field and shared a message for parents not sold on the field.

What is Liberal Arts?
It generally refers to the arts (that is, education) suited for people who are free. It is a broad approach to learning


YCIS BJ Jonathan Mellen

What are the benefits of attending a liberal arts college?
Liberal Arts colleges are usually less than 2000 students and the average size of each college class is 15 students. They are very intentional about holding small classes and developing communication skills and critical thinking skills of their cohort. Much of their curriculum is interdisciplinary and they focus on problem solving and look at problems through different lenses. One of their main benefits is that students get a holistic picture of the problem and have the opportunity to engage in divergent thinking. The classes are high quality and every student comes prepared to engage in the lesson. Liberal Arts Colleges promote lots of interpersonal skills and often allow their students the opportunities to engage in these skills both inside and outside the classroom.


Why should/would students choose a Liberal Arts College?
There are many reasons that students should choose a Liberal Arts college. Among them are the fact that Liberal Arts colleges are flexible in what they teach, but mostly focus on communication skills, critical thinking skills and oratory and writing skills. Liberal Arts college give you the option to be creative in what sort of major you want. For example, many of the students can choose an interdisciplinary major that coincides with their interests. The skills that are covered in Liberal Arts Colleges are many, but students will learn a variety of skills in a variety of subject areas that will help prepare them for the workforce.

Have there been students from our graduating class who have applied to Liberal Arts Colleges? What inspired their applications?


YCIS BJ Secondary School Student

Our school has had many students apply to and gain admission to Liberal Arts Colleges. Last year Chloe Sandifer-Stech attended Furman in North Carolina. Her sister, Lily Sandifer-Stech went to Elon a few years earlier. Although the motivations of the students were different, they both wanted a place that was the best fit for them. Many of our students fit in with Liberal Arts Colleges because they are smaller and more focused. Students are able to pursue and narrow their interests. Most of our students want to earn a well-rounded education and gain skills that will help them succeed in the workforce and Liberal Arts Colleges offer this.

Is there a certain kind of student who is a better fit in a LAC? What characteristics do they usually have?
Usually students who apply to a Liberal Arts College are looking to be flexible in their study and are looking at the college as a whole and not just one particular program. Students who are self-motivated, flexible and willing to learn are a great fit for a Liberal Arts College. The courses at Liberal Arts Colleges are designed to help students communicate effectively, reason, problem solve, write with fluency, act creatively, innovate, discover, research, analyse, and question so students who are looking for this are a good fit.


What kinds of jobs can students in the Liberal Arts do after graduating?
The choice of jobs that students can get after a Liberal Arts graduation are endless. They can get jobs in almost any industry. Many students who graduate from Liberal Arts Colleges go on to study medicine, Law and Business in other universities. Basically, they can get a variety of jobs or continue their study at another institution.


YCIS BJ Students


What is your message for parents who are skeptical about the Liberal Arts?
For those that are skeptical about the Liberal Arts Colleges I would say that you should probably take some time out to research a few colleges online and perhaps sign up for an online webinar or watch a recorded presentation. You can contact Liberal Arts Colleges directly for more information. I would highly recommend that if families have the time that they visit Liberal Arts Colleges themselves during the Summer holiday. For any further questions you can contact me to assist you in the Liberal Arts College search. Thank you.

To learn more about Mr Mellen’s workshops, get in contact with him via email jonathanm@bj.ycef.com

 

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