Essay on The Beginnings Of Liberal Arts

Essay on The Beginnings Of Liberal Arts

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The beginnings of liberal arts are found in ancient Greece, where certain subjects were deemed essential for a person to know in order to fulfill their civic duty. Today, those who have degrees backed in the liberal arts are expected to have an extensive skillset in areas such as complex problem-solving, teamwork, intercultural awareness, communication, and integrity. Liberal education also enables critical thinking and the capacity to put tougher issues into a larger context, as well as provides students with grounds in ethics (Ray). Students who receive a liberal arts education are preparing themselves to be the best citizens they can be; however, there is a documented downtrend in the civic habits of these students. A report from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities finds that college students are the demographic least likely to vote, with the student voter turnout falling to the lowest level on record in 2012 (Gilman). Liberal arts schools such as Lebanon Valley College should compare the importance of voting to an American citizen to the agenda of a liberal arts education. These colleges should provide students with a fuller education and greater resources about voting in order to increase the millennial voting turnout and to create a more successful and disciplined class of professionals.
Lebanon Valley College’s mission statement says that the institution “delivers a transformative education built on the liberal arts,” and that the College aims to provide students with competence in learning, citizenship, and success (“About LVC.”) The right to vote is viewed as central to any democratic society, and participation in democracy is a fundamental duty of citizenship. One of the most basic responsi...


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...ikely to vote. As an institute of higher education, Lebanon Valley College should hold civic engagement to a higher standard by promoting voting and political education, through the distribution of resources and the requirement of general education classes regarding politics. The demographic of college voters is always the demographic least likely to vote, however this does not mean that this age group is apathetic. With increased education in the college setting, the liberal arts student can fulfill their responsibilities of citizenship by becoming an active voter. College students represent a unique niche of the American population, and no other group can vote with the ideas and needs of these students in mind. Colleges such as Lebanon Valley should encourage political activism and civic responsibility as part of their commitment to creating a world-ready citizen.

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