Friday, September 18, 2015

A Symposium Cautions Against Conflating Education With Job Training

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 18th, 2015

About three minutes into her opening speech at a symposium here on Thursday about the value of the liberal arts, Sen. Susan Collins addressed an underlying theme of the gathering with a blunt statement:
"The importance of the liberal arts to a free and democratic society was known to antiquity," said Ms. Collins, a Republican from Maine. "Why is it that we need to keep reminding ourselves — and, more to the point, the public — of its value?"
The symposium, with the Phillips Collection’s modern-art masterpieces as a backdrop, was set up as the culmination of a nearly three-year campaign that the Council of Independent Colleges has waged to publicize the value of a liberal-arts degree, the main offering of many of the council’s member colleges. That might feel like an uphill battle, given the nation’s recuperating economy and the tone of the discussion around a degree’s return on investment.

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