Clear Advantages of the Liberal Arts

August 15, 2003

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Pascarella and his colleagues examined data from the National Survey of Student Learning, information gleaned from students from 16 institutions in 13 states, including some of the most "selective" schools in the nation. The five-year study included five liberal arts colleges, four national research universities, and seven regional colleges or universities.

Liberal art colleges showed significant advantages over national research universities in numerous categories, including:

• instructional skill/clarity
• academic effort
• faculty interest in teaching
• instructor use of higher order questioning
• student extracurricular involvement
• cultural and interpersonal involvement
• quality of non-classroom interaction
• supportive relationships

 


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