College of Arts and Sciences
About the College

Value of Liberal Arts Education

  • Higher education has been under intense scrutiny lately. To the question of “Is a liberal arts education valuable in the 21st century?” Dean David Powers gives an emphatic “YES.”

    On September 12, 2012, Dean Powers presented “The Value of Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century” to a group of faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences. Below is a brief excerpt from his presentation. Click here to read the full text.

    "The American Association of Colleges and Universities conducted a nationwide survey of many different stakeholders in American education, including a subsample of employers. Part of that survey specifically gauged employer interest in liberal education learning outcomes. Here are some of the findings:

    • 75%  of employers wanted more  emphasis on ethical decision making
    • 81% of employers wanted more emphasis on critical thinking and analytic reasoning
    • 89% of employers wanted more emphasis on written and oral communication.

    It is important to make this point right now, and make it loudly and publicly, because conventional wisdom can overwhelm facts and data. It is clear that employers do value what we provide, very much, to the point of wanting more of it. … We need to make sure students, prospective students, parents and all the members of our communities and constituencies understand that."

    Alumni Tell the Story

    Dozens of alumni answered the question, "What is the value of a liberal arts education?" Read here what they had to say. 

    Scholarly Excellence at Seattle University

    Go behind the scenes with some of Seattle U's most acclaimed faculty members in our Scholarly Excellence videos. Footage was taken during photo shoots for an academic research brochure and a special academic excellence edition of our alumni magazine. All videos by Eric Becker.






    Value of Liberal Arts

    This graphic was created from comments received by faculty and staff relating to liberal arts education. The larger the font, the more often the word appeared in their statements.