What students may not realize is that "name brand" colleges like Harvard often limit the undergrads interaction with professors. Many world-renowned professors are not teaching freshman biology. Many undergrad classes are taught by the teacher's assistants. Teacher's assistants are typically PhD students and many of them are international students. This is often not the case at liberal arts colleges. I have heard of students spending holidays and dinners with their professors at liberal arts colleges since the relationship is so close knit.
The foundation of a liberal arts education runs the same path as does quality scientific research built on questioning, trial and error, presumed assumptions, problem solving - just a few qualities to consider which are shared in both worlds. Let's look at an example, such as an individual conducting research designed to find a cure for cancer. In order to begin a particular project a question must be defined and asked. A broad question of: how do we cure cancer is too large to base a research project on but, perhaps narrowing the question to: do women that struggle with skin cancer have an increased risk based on age? The ability to define, research and re-define are those areas among others, that are at the heart of a liberal arts education. There will always be those individuals which, will question the validity of a liberal arts degree but to quell the concerns, please click on the link below to see how for example, students from a highly regarded liberal arts college proceeds post-graduation:
An additional article below shares just how valid liberal arts degree can be:
1). Small classes at all levels ( introduction classes to advanced)
2). Professors really know the students and advise them accordingly
3). Internship programs
4). Advisers after freshman year stay with the student for three years
5). Strong curriculum in writing and reading
6). A tradition of preparing students for graduate school.
This is not to say that a student cannot or should not attend a large university if they want to major in science ( opportunities for science research on the undergraduate level may be there, but competition for those positions will be keen). It all depends on what type of campus and classroom environment you want as well as many other factors that come together for making a decision regarding the type of school that is the best fit for you. A student can find success on any type of campus it just depends on them. Good luck in your college search.
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