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Disruption & Opportunity: Liberal Arts Colleges in the Changing Landscape of Higher Education

Over the last several years, we've witnessed a gradual erosion in the support for higher education. Increased costs, ballooning student loan debt, and lagging starting salaries for many graduates has caused many Americans  to consider other alternatives to the traditional college pathway.


Furthermore, recent research out of Gallup and the Pew Research Center indicate that public support for a liberal arts degree - once valued for its focus on critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication, and problem-solving across difference - is also eroding. As a consequence, enrollment in the liberal arts has been declining as many believe this type of degree won't lead to "good" jobs or a sustainable career.


What are liberal colleges and universities doing to combat this perception? Do they need to evolve to address the changing economy and changing landscape of higher education?

Carmen Twillie Ambar

President, Oberlin College

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Former Ambassador, Republic of Malta

Natalia Garcia is a digital producer for the education team at Ideastream Public Media.