Liberal Education Essay

Submitted By tillen10
Words: 740
Pages: 3

One of the most debated topics right now is which approach on higher education should be taken. Here we have two articles which explain their viewpoints on the topics. Clara Jennings, dean of the School of Education of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, expresses in her article "Professional Career Preparation is of the Essence" how "adequate college job preparation can only be accomplished through professional education study" (Jennings 1). She then goes on to explain what a professional college education is--a college program usually requiring four years or more of an education to gain basic entry level knowledge in a desired career field. Jennings proclaims that instead of offering a broad program of study for their students, professional schools propose an in-depth grasp of a narrow focus. This narrow in-depth focus consists of an "on-site, practicum experience" which allows "students to make decisions, solve problems independently, manage teams, participate in cooperative projects, and assume flexible assignments" (Jennings 1). She states that as students push their way through professional schools' curriculums, they become experts in their desired career field, develop the skills to communicate successfully, which in turn teach them to be reflective. On the other hand Ernest Nolan, Vice President of Academic Administration at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, states that a "liberal arts education promotes intellectual and personal growth, and equips the individual to cope with change by being able to adapt to the workplace as it continues to transform" (Nolan 2). He argues that a liberal arts education
Mayberry 2 enhances a person's ability to analyze, reflect critically on information, solve problems, communicate successfully, compute, and combine knowledge from different fields. Nolan continues on to say that a liberal arts education provides the resources to show the connection between the past and the future to better understand the human experience by what we do as individuals and as a whole. It achieves this "first, by introducing the individual to the greatest ideas, the most transforming concepts, and the most powerful works of the imagination that human beings have produced... it is the framework within which to understand and evaluate human events and interactions" (Nolan 2). Nolan finally declares that a liberal education creates scenarios to help people understand other viewpoints, constructs a set of morals essential for human beings to successfully live and work together, and it also includes concepts of diversity which teach people to work together despite their differences. Clearly, Jennings and Nolan had very different viewpoints on how a secondary education should be obtained. In Jennings eyes, students should only be required to take part in requirements needed for their desired career field, and not waste their time and money on anything but that. In contrast, Nolan argues that a liberal arts education is crucial in addition to…