A Study Of Liberal Arts Education Outcomes

Scott Jaschik:

The study’s initial results suggest that one can prove that a liberal arts-style education can be associated with greater odds, compared to others with bachelor’s degrees, on such qualities as being a leader, being seen as ethical, appreciating arts and culture and leading a fulfilling and happy life.

How the Analysis Was Done
Detweiler said he wanted to look at characteristics of the undergraduate experience and didn’t want to rely on whether graduates would identify their colleges as liberal arts institutions or not. First, he obtained a sample of 1,000 college graduates — some from lists of liberal arts colleges’ alumni and others from a random sample of the population of college graduates in the United States, a group in which liberal arts graduates are a minority. The sample was divided into groups of those 10 years, 20 years, and 40 years after graduation.

Those in the sample were then asked a series of questions about their undergraduate educational experiences and about their lives since college.