You may have heard the term before, but what does having a liberal education really mean?
Contrary to the misnomer that a liberal education has anything to do with politics, the goal of the liberal education learning model is to provide students with a broad understanding of numerous disciplines, while providing in-depth knowledge of their chosen field of specialization.
While the term “liberal education” used to conjure up images of men in togas debating the constructs of truth and beauty, today’s manifestation of being liberally educated develops eager minds into the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. As the University of Lethbridge Statement of Philosophy declares, someone with a liberal education has developed “an attitude that enables the free and critical exploration of ideas. A liberally educated person is someone who is not limited by tradition, orthodoxy or authority. They are free and able to think for themselves—critically."
As such, liberally educated people can contribute to society with their free-thinking ability to ask questions based on unique information linkages, evaluate answers with a critical eye to various possible outcomes, and add to the decisions made for the benefit of the greater good.
This is indeed not to say that someone who has not graduated from a post-secondary institution cannot, or will not, succeed. There are a multitude of examples of highly successful business people—even political leaders—who were university or college drop-outs.
What matters is their exposure to different ideas and philosophies, and their openness to incorporate this knowledge into their decision making to create innovative new solutions to problems. This kind of exposure is precisely what students receive throughout their post-secondary and graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge.
Liberal education is about the ‘Big Picture.’ At the U of L, it means breadth. You study in your primary area of interest, and you also learn about various other disciplines to become a well-rounded and well-educated person.
Students who participate in liberal education courses will develop:
- Strong critical thinking skills
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- The ability to evaluate and use information effectively
- The ability to work with quantitative ideas and mathematical relations
- Skills in integrative thinking
Liberate your mind! Learn more about our programs in the Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences: