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Liberal Arts at Small Colleges Have a Supportive Attitude

Date published: | Maria Haesen

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Small Colleges and Liberal Arts Encourage Warmer Relationships between Students and Faculty

Liberal arts are not very popular these days. Maybe, the reason is that the digital era is developing at an incredibly fast pace, therefore more and more students are interested in engineering and computer science, not literature and foreign languages but there are some details… And we and our friends will find out the details in our essay on liberal arts.

As a result, small colleges that are focused on linguistics, philology, and other humanitarian sciences seem to have really hard times.

Gallup and Strada Education Network has made a survey of more than 32000 fresh students about their communication with faculty and educators to learn more about the relationships they have to experience. The survey included the following questions:

  • Do your professors make you excited about education?
  • Do your professors care about you as an individual?
  • Do your professors motivate you to follow your career aspirations?

The result of this survey shows that students, who study liberal arts answer “yes” to these questions more frequently than those who study engineering, sociology, and business. It is said that 73% of those who pursue majors in literature, language and history agree that at least one of their professors makes them motivated and encouraged to study. Social sciences students have 62%, engineering – 54%, and business – 53%. As for the other questions, the situation is quite similar: humanitarian students claim to receive more support and have warmer personal relationships with professors. The difference between liberal arts and other groups is about 10%.

The answers didn’t depend too much on such aspects as gender and age. However, 43% of white students agreed that their professors care about them as individuals, while only 26% of black students could say the same.

As for the connection between the size of the educational institution and communication, the smaller colleges proved to have a more supportive environment. About 45% of students, who attend small colleges (less than 5000 learners) agree that their professors are carrying and attentive; while only 24% students, who attend larger colleges, could confirm the same. There is also a difference between small and large colleges when it comes to motivation received from educators (66% and 56%), and the encouragement to pursue career aspirations (34% and 23%). The size of colleges showed to have no impact on students’ desire to take part in educational programs, internships, activities outside of the classroom, and various research projects.

As one can clearly state from the results of surveys, smaller colleges provide better communicational opportunities for professors and their students. Similarly, liberal arts educators are more likely to pay attention to students as persons and support their ambitions and goals. It seems like humanity educators have a different opinion about a necessity to mentor and support learners than those, who specialize in engineering, social sciences, and technologies. In turn, liberal arts students are more active when it comes to communication with their faculty.

Not only these surveys show that liberal arts educators involve students’ in social life better than the others and that small college makes it easier for them to reach children. The main point here is that a significant part of students from both large and small colleges, as well as different faculties, claim that they experience a lack of support and encouragement. Can we say that colleges are losing their ability to motivate? Is there any serious impact on students’ future success and social behavior connected with a lack of communication and support? It’s hard to say, however, we should perceive it as something that requires special attention. Successful education is strongly connected to human relationships and there are no doubts that it is much better when they are warm and supporting.