ERIC Number: ED339260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Are We Losing Our Liberal Arts Colleges?
Breneman, David W.
AAHE Bulletin, v43 n2 p3-6 Oct 1990
Educational and economic criteria were developed to define a liberal arts college, and this definition was applied to the list of Liberal Arts I and Liberal Arts II colleges in the Carnegie Foundation classification. Educationally, liberal arts colleges were defined by the following criteria: they award the bachelor of arts degree; are residential; enroll full-time students in the age range of 18 to 24; and limit the number of majors to roughly 20 in the arts, humanities, languages, social sciences, and physical sciences. They rarely enroll more than 2,500 students, and they provide a pre-professional education. Economically, liberal arts colleges have comparable revenue and cost structures, with economic struggles being a function of their offering a curriculum that does not cater to students' concerns with the job market. Using these criteria, the list of 540 institutions classified as liberal arts was narrowed to 212. The paper concludes that the liberal arts college is disappearing, and another type of institution--the professional college--is taking its place. A list of the 212 liberal arts colleges meeting the criteria is provided. (JDD)
Descriptors: Classification, Definitions, Educational Change, Educational Trends, Higher Education, Institutional Mission, Institutional Role, Liberal Arts, Private Colleges, Professional Education, Role of Education, Trend Analysis
American Association for Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036-1110 ($3.50 each, 1-10 copies; $2.50 each, 11 or more copies).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC.