As Campus Dean, I am frequently asked to define the “liberal Arts” and “liberal education” and how these concepts relate to one’s major. Firstly, the liberal arts concept is not related to the use of “liberal” in political ideology. The liberal arts refer to disciplines in the humanities (history, English), the fine arts, and the sciences, including mathematics, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. Liberal arts fields traditionally did not include technical/vocational disciplines such as engineering, business, and healthcare. Today, the term “liberal education” is used to refer to a core foundational curriculum that includes a wide array of liberal arts courses from each of the above groupings. Virtually all four-year degrees, whether they are in liberal arts majors or professional/vocational majors, in the University of Wisconsin System require a liberal education foundation for the first two years or more of a degree. Why is this?

A liberal education foundation is the most important part of a four-year degree. It develops crucial skills that can be applied to a major, a career, and to becoming an engaged citizen. Liberal education skills include written and verbal communication skills, analytical skills including an understanding of logic and scientific methodology, an appreciation for the human condition and the arts, and an understanding of cultures and people different from one’s self. Liberal education skills teach a student how to learn and how to be a global citizen. These skills are more important than ever before as they foster interdisciplinary thinking and creativity. They are also the skills that employers often seek out in their employees.

Our system of education is the envy of the world in part because of our liberal education tradition. Today, in many developing countries such as China, higher education leaders are trying to introduce more liberal education skills to the foundation of their systems. Why? Because a liberal education foundation produces superior graduates who are adaptable, creative, and curious. It is unfortunate, that in today’s economy, some have argued that we can no longer afford a higher education system that includes a liberal education foundation. Some have argued that four-year degrees should be shortened and streamlined so as to produce more high-tech trained graduates who are narrowly focused in a particular field. The problem with such a strategy is that it economizes on the absolute core of the most important part of college.

The University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County is a liberal arts campus of the UW Colleges and the University of Wisconsin System. Our faculties hold the highest degrees possible in their fields of study and are engaged in scholarship and research related to their disciplines. Our faculty and staff specialize in using their expertise to deliver the liberal education foundation of all UW majors and in connecting our communities to UW resources and lifelong learning opportunities. The liberal education skills learned on our campus provide a student with lifelong skills that can be applied to any major, graduate/professional program, or career.

Thomas Pleger is Campus Executive Officer and Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County.

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Reverend Al
Reverend Al

Nice commercial for your school, Dean Pleger, but kids thinking about investing at least four years of their life and taking on an average of $27,000 in student loan debt on a liberal arts degree ought to shop around before buying.
I have two college degrees, and can honestly say that the most valuable things I learned
came from experiences unrelated to school. The most valuable thing I gained was a great wife.
Meeting a spouse in college is a better idea than trolling for someone in a bar, and
you might consider pointing that out in your next student recruitment letter.
Most liberal arts college courses are easy, and if you happen to enjoy the subject matter,
which most students don't, can be fun. But, don't kid yourself that you are 'learning to learn.'
Learn math by studying math, learn engineering by studying engineering, learn welding by
welding.
'Liberal Arts' is a throwback to when only the rich went to college. Save your money, learn to do something.

strikeforce
strikeforce

thank you for your expert opinion.

Reverend Al
Reverend Al

Strikefarce, I have to admire you. Being totally ignorant of everything has never stopped you from commenting on anything, and you appear to have no problem with self-esteem. Chalk one up for the public schools.

strikeforce
strikeforce

chalk one up for st.cletus in countryside illinois.

Reverend Al
Reverend Al

Strikefarce! St. Clits? Countryside? Are those the "mean steets of Chicago" you grew up in? That's a cushy far western suburb of Chicago, nothing mean there except maybe the nuns who slapped you around.

strikeforce
strikeforce

take a ride down ogden avenue. stop when you reach first avenue. get out,take a deep breath and try to imagine you are back in 1968.

JoeBob
JoeBob

Nothing more than a snake oil salesman for a second rate college.

strikeforce
strikeforce

where did you go to college j.b. ? whatsamattau ?

drpavlov
drpavlov


Pleger guest column: Liberal education is the foundation for higher education in America

A college education is the foundation for a socialist one world government.

strikeforce
strikeforce

what is a high school education doc ? a grass cutter for the koch brothers ?

darkenskies
darkenskies

Thomas Pleger, your Liberal Arts Education prepares you for a behind-the-counter job at McDonald's in the U.S.A.

Liberal Arts starting on the very young in our public education system. Six graders to design "New Socialist Nation" flag........

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/04/texas-lesson-plan-instructs-6th-graders-to-design-flags-for-a-new-socialist-nation/

http://www.onenewsnow.com/education/2012/12/28/public-schools-promoting-islam

CSCOPE......
http://www.txcscopereview.com/2013/cscopes-hidden-lessons/

The Department of Education in Washington D.C. needs to be abolished. They are the "dumbing down" organizers in our public education system, that includes Liberal Arts Colleges!

Pleger, who is going to pay off the national debt bill? Do you teach the answer in the Liberal Arts Colleges!

Sadly, we are in the middle of progressive-socialist-Marxist-communist takeover of our once great nation.


strikeforce
strikeforce

i hope you aren't sending any more money to glenn beck darkenfried.

did you join the "preppers" movement yet ? if so i know where you can get a good deal on some swamp gas to run your hotair machine.

darkenskies
darkenskies

Yah, yah, yah.

JoeBob
JoeBob

This kind of overly simplistic, one-size-fits-all thinking is what is holding our country back. The liberal arts portion of my college degree is the LEAST valuable part of my education and I wish I could have those hours (and DOLLARS) back. People like you who spend their entire life in academia become completely blind to the real problems facing American companies who hire the undereducated slobs that get produced by colleges like yours. I can't imagine thinking that Liberal Arts is the "most important part of college" as you stated.

When I hire an engineer or technician, I want them to have more real-world applicable skills. I want their math and science background to be DEEP. I honestly don't care if they ever took a literature class or an art class in college. If I was running a library or museum, my point of view on your article would be different......but I'm in neither of those fields. I'm like the rest of the MAJORITY of America....those who CAN......DO.

strikeforce
strikeforce

do you want your workers to be able to speak in complete sentences jb ?

you don't think the dean listens to what the employers want in their future hires ? he would be negligent in his job if he didn't.

"undereducated slobs" ? tell me j.b. , what kind of business do you have ? you own a junk yard, operate a septic tank repair service or something like that. i for one appreciate the hard work our students at boo-u put forth every day and hope they don't end up working for you. no you are not like the majority of america.you are a loser !!!

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

The usual nut cases are now upset about Liberal Arts educations. Far out, man. Don't tax the rich!

Reverend Al
Reverend Al

Tax anyone you want, except me. Far out, man? Groovy. Where's the Happening?

strikeforce
strikeforce

you can't take it with you alvin.

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

Al, you get the services, pay your fair share. Pleger is saying a liberal arts education is a good base for further education. It is expensive though. Scooter has defunded all education, K-12, technical and state colleges. Making students take out larger loans. The people voted for him twice, so they must like his action.

Far out, Al! Don't tax the rich!

darkenskies
darkenskies

CA dropping 8th grade Algebra. Comment(s) posted from around the country tell it, like it is!

http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/08/california-no-longer-requiring-eighth-graders-to-take-algebra/

drpavlov
drpavlov

thinkforonce:

" Pleger is saying a liberal arts education is a good base for further education"

A liberal arts education is great for the social engineers. They call it "liberal" for
good reason. Advanced government indoctrination; building better slaves for the
global elite.

darkenskies
darkenskies

Pleger, here is a event for your liberal arts campus from North Carolina State University............Read the comments from around the country below the article, it says it all.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/09/universitys-butt-plug-giveaway-prompts-discomfort-on-campus/

These campuses are publicly supported. Not worth it. But it does provide "jobs" for those liberal professors and the campuses do look appealing in a community.

drpavlov
drpavlov

darkenskies:
"Pleger, here is a event for your liberal arts campus from North Carolina State University............Read the comments from around the country below the article, it says it all".

They teach the liberal "arts" and perversion is high on the list. I understand that some
of these institutions of higher learning have co-ed shower rooms.

A lot of technical colleges promote junk science(i.e.anthropogenic global warming) that the professors, like prostitutes, promote in order to keep their high -paying cushy jobs.
Agenda trumps truth; social engineering rules.

strikeforce
strikeforce

what schools offer co-ed showers doc ? i gots to know man.

i still have some of my G.I. bill i need to use up. yeeeehaww !

darkenskies
darkenskies

Good read......Parents gain access to secret school curriculum. Comments from around the country tells it like it is.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/parents-gain-access-to-secret-school-curriculum/

The Department of Education in Washington needs to be dismantled for a starter. No good has come from it. Have been saying this for years. Parents need to get involved.

strikeforce
strikeforce

have you read tednugents recent article on wnd.com dark ?

he was writing about how he did it in his pants for a whole week before he went up to the draft board in michigan.

something smells here.

darkenskies
darkenskies

Nope, didn't read.

darkenskies
darkenskies

High school student letter to Obama. This kid has a brain.............

http://www.infowars.com/high-school-student-sends-letter-to-obama-over-drone-assassinations/

Read the comments following the article. More and more people are waking up!

strikeforce
strikeforce

yeah, and when they wake up completely you will have a movement of 3 people then darkkk.

man the ramparts !!

darkenskies
darkenskies

Strikalinsky, drugs are bad for you.

drpavlov
drpavlov

darkenskies:
http://www.infowars.com/high-school-student-sends-letter-to-obama-over-drone-assassinations/
A finely crafted letter by this exceptional high school student.

I prefer to be a little more colorful in in describing AmeriKKKa's murderer in chief's
high crimes.

Maobama, our Killer Kommie in-Kommand,.and his Komrades of Murder Inc., are acting
as judges, juries and executioners on the world stage, having recently murdered a sixteen-
year old, well, just because they could - just another day at the office for our esteemed
"public servant" thugs. .

They're chomping at the bit to get their killer drones to do murder on American soil;
they've had plenty of practice to now concentrate on their real targets: White Americans
who don't tow the line.
Obama = Murderer, judge, jury, executioner. Probably leave out the judge and jury -
who needs them anyway; there is an international killer on the loose and apparently
nobody in authority or no entity will even raise an objection

strikeforce
strikeforce

i see one flying over baraboo right now. seek shelter you crazy old white f*rts.

should we bring your brother achmenajob to justice too ?

darkenskies
darkenskies

Strikalinsky, get off the drugs.

Comment deleted.
strikeforce
strikeforce

don your gas masks folks. their is more swamp gas coming our way.

drpavlov
drpavlov

darkenskies:
http://www.infowars.com/high-school-student-sends-letter-to-obama-over-drone-assassinations/

I wonder if this sixteen-year old could have elucidated his points so brilliantly after obtaining a liberal arts education, or would he be reduced to just another slobbering politically-correct,
Marxian -indoctrinated sock puppet?.

drpavlov
drpavlov

darkenskies -
Strikalinsky, drugs are bad for you.

He sounds like he's gobbling down Prozac as though it were popcorn.

darkenskies
darkenskies

Book covers the left's indoctrination of our children..........excellent read.

Kyle Olson's book: "Indoctrination: How 'Useful Idiots' Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism"

Karl Marx could not have designed a curriculum any better!

drpavlov
drpavlov

darkenskies:

"Karl Marx could not have designed a curriculum any better!"

Or Mao Zedong.