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Why a Liberal Education?

A college education does more than train you for a career. It helps you develop intellectual skills that will enhance your professional, civic, and personal life for years to come. You will learn how to analyze the world around you from different perspectives, how to communicate your ideas and understand the ideas of others, how to solve problems, and how to apply your knowledge to real-world projects. In two recent surveys by Hart Research Associates and Northeastern University, up to 93% of employers surveyed indicated that, when they are looking for employees, they value these skills even more than skills specific to their field.

This approach to learning is called liberal education. In this usage, the word liberal refers to the ancient Roman word meaning "free, unrestricted." A liberal education is designed to introduce you to new ways of understanding and interacting with your world so you can develop broader knowledge and a more nimble mind. To read a student perspective on the value of liberal education, read Student Body President Dylan Russell's 2013 address to the faculty.

general education program modelThe General Education Curriculum

Your liberal education at Appalachian begins with the General Education Program. About one-third of the courses you will take during your college years will be General Education courses from across the university. In them, you will encounter new perspectives on important subjects and explore connections between different areas of study. The General Education Program includes 44 semester hours of courses, plus two courses in the major program that address the General Education goals. To learn more about the curriculum, click on the graphic to the right.

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