Benefits of a liberal education touted

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Want to increase chances for success in life? Get a liberal education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67.2 percent of high school graduates from the class of 2007 enrolled in colleges or universities (68.3 percent female / 66.1 percent male).

That is a total of just more than two million students, the vast majority of whom were enrolled full-time.

But how many will eventually accumulate the knowledge and experience needed to succeed in life?

Dr. Lester A. Lefton, a renowned experimental psychologist and president of Kent State University, strongly urges graduating high school students and incoming college students to control their own destiny and pursue a liberal education.

A liberal education provides a broad foundation of useful general knowledge. It develops critical thinking and problem solving skills, teaching students how to think and learn by emphasizing logical analysis and a multiple perspectives approach to problem solving.

Additionally, studying a wide rage of disciplines prepares students to transition successfully to the work environment by establishing cultural awareness, adaptability and the ability to view events as part of a larger picture.

These skills are particularly useful as students face rapidly changing technology, processes, and the need to differentiate themselves during recessionary times.

Most importantly, a liberal education helps students cultivate a unique voice based on personal values and integrity while avoiding the trap of accepting ideas and generalizations from peers and superiors.

"In short, a liberal education offers the power to change one's world and the world around him or her," said Lefton.