• Beth & Tim Manners

Goucher Redefines Liberal Arts

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Washington Post: “At Goucher College, students no longer need to take a broad range of introductory classes outside their major to graduate. For non-science majors, Introduction to Biology has been replaced by Disease and Discrimination, a course that crosses disciplines to explore the inequalities in access to health care. Introduction to Philosophy was dropped for Society in the Age of Intelligent Machines. Math has become Integrative Data Analytics. Responding to a growing national debate over the relevance of a traditional liberal arts education, Goucher and other small, private liberal arts colleges … have adjusted course offerings, lowered tuition, added graduate classes that lead to employment and developed other strategies to attract students.”


“The long-held academic requirements to take a broad range of courses in a variety of disciplines have been replaced with multidisciplinary courses called ‘complex problem explorations.’ Instead of introductory classes, students take courses that might be taught by a biology professor but use a variety of disciplines to look at a contemporary issue …Because employers seek workers who can operate in teams, the college requires students to work collaboratively at times.”


“St. John’s College in Annapolis, a tiny institution with two campuses, wasn’t going to change its curriculum, which is dedicated to teaching the classics. So it took another bold approach, dropping its tuition from $52,000 a year to $35,000 … St. John’s leadership believes that small colleges can no longer rely on tuition dollars to keep them afloat. Instead, colleges will have to rely on philanthropy … St. John’s has used its tuition drop to launch a capital campaign that has so far raised $200 million toward its goal of $300 million. A year after cutting tuition costs, applications are up 13 percent and the percentage of admitted students who are committed to attending has risen as well.”

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