ERIC Number: ED400873
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Increasing the Liberal Arts Content of the Professional/Technical Curriculum.
McDowell, James L.
To provide students with the complete education needed for the 21st century, it is important that the liberal arts be fully integrated into professional and technical curricula. Liberal education dominated post-secondary education in the United States up until the Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862, which made possible the development of comprehensive state universities providing technical instruction. Subsequent changes in emphasis between liberal and technical education have followed general political events, with interest in general education following American involvement in international conflicts and technological education being emphasized during the "space race" of the 1950s. General education programs tend to serve two purposes: to enhance students' intellectual development and provide them with survey courses of various disciplines to aid in career choice. Technical or career programs, however, do not generally reciprocate by considering liberal studies a substantive part of their curricula. Impediments to integrating liberal arts into technical curricula include students' goals, which are more career-oriented than previous generations; pressures on college administrations facing financial pressures to enroll more students; and the tendency of liberal arts programs to offer too many highly specific courses fulfilling general education requirements. To maintain the relevance of general education and provide a more well-rounded educational experience for career-oriented students, the liberal arts sector and professional and technical schools must work together to develop a relevant, pared-down core of general education courses. (Contains 23 references.) (HAA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for General and Liberal Studies (Daytona Beach, FL, October 24-26, 1996).