Academic Dean Publishes Article on Liberal Arts Education

BROOKLYN, NY - November 10, 2011 - This week, Academic Dean Richard Greenwald, Ph.D. published an essay in the online journal Inside Higher Ed. The article, entitled “Weaving Colleges into Communities,” was also selected for publication by educational nonprofit Campus Compact.

In this article, Dr. Greenwald presents the challenges that face institutions of higher education, from declining budgets and student perception, to a growing number of outside commentators questioning the logic of a conventional liberal arts education. Dr. Greenwald argues that to combat these real and perceived shortcomings, it is necessary to face these assorted challenges boldly and, “to reinvent what we do and reconnect us to the world.”

Rather than simply extolling the virtues of a liberal arts education, Dr. Greenwald takes into account the considerable costs of higher education and asserts that institutions must root their programs in the real and tangible world to show their practical value and benefit to potential students. Acknowledging that critics of higher education are correct when they state that the traditional mission of liberal arts colleges needs to be modified, he calls for colleges and universities to engage their communities in order to solve the problems and challenges they face. The benefit of this is twofold; not only would institutions make a meaningful contribution to the social fabric of their community and be held in higher esteem, but also their students will receive a fuller, richer educational experience.

By incorporating this commitment, colleges and universities will be able to show the utility of their mission and also reintegrate themselves into public life. As a consequence, Dr. Greenwald takes the stance that institutions of higher education will, “regain our place in the world and better serve our students and teach our students not to be afraid of the world, but to fully inhabit it.”

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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