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Lafalum

Does the Liberal Arts Moniker hurt

According to articles I have read only 5 pct of the graduating HS students apply to a 'Liberal Arts" college. Are we hurting ourselves by limiting our pool of talent? We are in fact a hybrid institution with nearly 50 pct of our students engineers or  STEM students of some kind. We should be celebrating what we do rather then what we are!!
When you are considering spending 63,000 dollars a year it has to be an issue. There is nothing wrong with demonstrating our belief in a strong liberal arts background but why put us in a category that seems to be limiting. Smaller pools leads us to limit our potential.
BPard

What are the other categories in these articles and surveys?

Research institutions? State schools? Polytech? Vocational? Military academies?

I would take Liberal Arts moniker for LC over any of the above except maybe research insitutuon if it was possible to move into that category while retaining focus on undergrads (which I think is not possible).  

Creating a new category (e.g., hybrid) is even more expensive and difficult.

By all means we should take advantage of our combination of engineering and LA to attract the faculty, students, and industry that find this unique combination is interesting, but LA is still the right moniker.

This nexus is one the College has historically under exploited. In part because we've had a culture of mediocrity where we do a lot at what I would call the after school program level instead of making a serious commitment as an instititon to succeed. We've invested lightly in this area with some success but haven't placed a big bet on it yet.

Hopefully the IDEAL center becomes that big bet after early wins at the formula 1 national competition.

We need more big, inspirational bets.
Lafalum

I suppose most of those except military academies. My point was perhaps not well explained.People are going to pigeon hole you but in our PR I totally agree with you we should embrace our diverse educational opportunities. I find many times listening to our president defend the liberal arts too much!!  We are more than that. We are not Cal Poly nor Williams which is my point.

Which to me is much of the Patriot League. and reason to be more visible in that company. In many of the high schoolers I talk to we are more and more  NOT being mentioned with the Bucknells, Colgates and even Lehigh's of this world because of size and graduate degree offerings.
SixtyEighter

I can speak from personal experience.I have 3 kids who went to college. One is still there.Two went to Trinity and majored in Philosophy. The older Philosophy Major became a physician. The younger Trinity student hopes to follow the same path. The middle one is the more typical modern kid . From an early age he knew exactly what he wanted to do which was to work on Wall Street. He was a good HS football player but not great. He was recruited by Amherst ,   Wesleyan,Williams , Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon among others he eliminated.He turned down Williams and Amherst because they offered only an Economics Department.He wanted a top 20 business school which Carnegie Mellon offered . He ended up being "offered" by Johns Hopkins,Carnegie Mellon and Amherst which wanted him the most. He ended up at Carnegie Mellon where he played Varsity Football as a starter at MLB.He wouldn't consider Lafayette for 2 reasons -1. They wouldn't consider him for football and 2. no business school- only an Economics department. He took 2 majors one of which was economic statistics.He is now in the chief economists' office at JP Morgan Chase.This type of focus is a track that these kids take to get to Wall Street. I have a colleague whose daughter followed a similar track . She was a crew bosun and went through UVA Business School and ironically works 1 floor above my son in a different department at JP Morgan Chase. This is the age of specialization.Many kids start early.On the other hand my two other kids went the way of liberal arts which offered a variety of pathways.By the way the FB player made the best connections for college at  John Loose's  Lafayette camp.He attended Princeton's Penn's and Amherst's.An irony- the colleague I referenced also graduated from Lafayette.[/code]
flyfisher

SixtyEighter wrote:
I can speak from personal experience.I have 3 kids who went to college. One is still there.Two went to Trinity and majored in Philosophy. The older Philosophy Major became a physician. The younger Trinity student hopes to follow the same path. The middle one is the more typical modern kid . From an early age he knew exactly what he wanted to do which was to work on Wall Street. He was a good HS football player but not great. He was recruited by Amherst ,   Wesleyan,Williams , Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon among others he eliminated.He turned down Williams and Amherst because they offered only an Economics Department.He wanted a top 20 business school which Carnegie Mellon offered . He ended up being "offered" by Johns Hopkins,Carnegie Mellon and Amherst which wanted him the most. He ended up at Carnegie Mellon where he played Varsity Football as a starter at MLB.He wouldn't consider Lafayette for 2 reasons -1. They wouldn't consider him for football and 2. no business school- only an Economics department. He took 2 majors one of which was economic statistics.He is now in the chief economists' office at JP Morgan Chase.This type of focus is a track that these kids take to get to Wall Street. I have a colleague whose daughter followed a similar track . She was a crew bosun and went through UVA Business School and ironically works 1 floor above my son in a different department at JP Morgan Chase. This is the age of specialization.Many kids start early.On the other hand my two other kids went the way of liberal arts which offered a variety of pathways.By the way the FB player made the best connections for college at  John Loose's  Lafayette camp.He attended Princeton's Penn's and Amherst's.An irony- the colleague I referenced also graduated from Lafayette.[/code]


Never understood why LC doesn't offer a business degree.

My son is in engineering. When people find out this the first question they all ask is, " Did you consider Lehigh?" I have read several ratings that shows LC has a better engineering school. I admit I don't know what to believe. But most people don't even realize we offer engineering. And after they ask about Lehigh they then ask about Bucknell.
Lafalum

I would add we should make it easier to get teaching credentials. Having a cadre of wonderful teachers on the market would be a boon to Lafayette admissions.
BPard

flyfisher wrote:
Never understood why LC doesn't offer a business degree.


The degree used to be economics and business. The faculty stripped business out because they felt it was beneath the College's liberal arts standards to teach business.
LeopardBall10

BPard wrote:
flyfisher wrote:
Never understood why LC doesn't offer a business degree.


The degree used to be economics and business. The faculty stripped business out because they felt it was beneath the College's liberal arts standards to teach business.


Yes, happened halfway through my time on the hill. Although at that time the department was also using a "track" system where you could take this group of classes and be on the Corporate Finance Track, or the Accounting Track. And I think the accountants could even get a certification to go along with the diploma. Unfortunately the diploma/transcripts never acknowledged any of that.
ed65

flyfisher wrote:
SixtyEighter wrote:
I can speak from personal experience.I have 3 kids who went to college. One is still there.Two went to Trinity and majored in Philosophy. The older Philosophy Major became a physician. The younger Trinity student hopes to follow the same path. The middle one is the more typical modern kid . From an early age he knew exactly what he wanted to do which was to work on Wall Street. He was a good HS football player but not great. He was recruited by Amherst ,   Wesleyan,Williams , Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon among others he eliminated.He turned down Williams and Amherst because they offered only an Economics Department.He wanted a top 20 business school which Carnegie Mellon offered . He ended up being "offered" by Johns Hopkins,Carnegie Mellon and Amherst which wanted him the most. He ended up at Carnegie Mellon where he played Varsity Football as a starter at MLB.He wouldn't consider Lafayette for 2 reasons -1. They wouldn't consider him for football and 2. no business school- only an Economics department. He took 2 majors one of which was economic statistics.He is now in the chief economists' office at JP Morgan Chase.This type of focus is a track that these kids take to get to Wall Street. I have a colleague whose daughter followed a similar track . She was a crew bosun and went through UVA Business School and ironically works 1 floor above my son in a different department at JP Morgan Chase. This is the age of specialization.Many kids start early.On the other hand my two other kids went the way of liberal arts which offered a variety of pathways.By the way the FB player made the best connections for college at  John Loose's  Lafayette camp.He attended Princeton's Penn's and Amherst's.An irony- the colleague I referenced also graduated from Lafayette.[/code]


Never understood why LC doesn't offer a business degree.

My son is in engineering. When people find out this the first question they all ask is, " Did you consider Lehigh?" I have read several ratings that shows LC has a better engineering school. I admit I don't know what to believe. But most people don't even realize we offer engineering. And after they ask about Lehigh they then ask about Bucknell.


LC offered a business degree way back when - it was eliminated in the 60s if I recall correctly, and I did not understand why (and still don't).
ed65

I completely agree with Lafalum on this topic.  LC, including apparently our current President, has bought into the Liberal Arts Fantasy when the world is moving in an entirely different direction.  The school offers Certificates in more specific topics like corporate finance but I'm not sure the marketplace puts any value on such things.  I cringe whenever I hear the college referred to as a Liberal Arts school - it conjures up visions of Williams, Amherst and the myriad of small Liberal Arts Colleges in New England and the Northeastern U.S.
bethlehempard

Somewhat related, Hobart/William Smith uses a financial comparison group including: Colgate, Holy Cross, Wooster, Connecticut College, Dickinson, F&M, Gettysburg, Hamilton, Kenyon, Sarah Lawrence, St. Lawrence, Skidmore, Wheaton, Union and Lafayette.
Except for us and maybe St. Lawrence, these are typical northeastern liberal arts schools. Good schools all of them.
2015-16 Tuition mean: $48,585
Room: $7,029
Board: $5,721 or combined quaintly as R&B, $12,742 (rounding up somewhere)
Average total for the group: $61,131 for 2015-2016
Lafalum

bethlehempard wrote:
Somewhat related, Hobart/William Smith uses a financial comparison group including: Colgate, Holy Cross, Wooster, Connecticut College, Dickinson, F&M, Gettysburg, Hamilton, Kenyon, Sarah Lawrence, St. Lawrence, Skidmore, Wheaton, Union and Lafayette.
Except for us and maybe St. Lawrence, these are typical northeastern liberal arts schools. Good schools all of them.
2015-16 Tuition mean: $48,585
Room: $7,029
Board: $5,721 or combined quaintly as R&B, $12,742 (rounding up somewhere)
Average total for the group: $61,131 for 2015-2016


How many in the group are 50% engineering or stem students???
bethlehempard

None but LC probably?
Today the Economist notes that pharmacy and engineering and maritime schools produce graduates who make a lot of money but also says "Although it is no guarantee of wealth, the more business students a university has, the more money its alumni make." Babson and Bentley are mentioned.
Also the article says "Yale's students are statistically identical to their Harvard counterparts. Yet its alumni made "just" $66,000 a year - $4,000 less than those of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania."

At what career point that salary is, all explained:

http://www.economist.com/news/uni...ir-graduates-pay-packets-they-are
flyfisher

BPard wrote:
flyfisher wrote:
Never understood why LC doesn't offer a business degree.


The degree used to be economics and business. The faculty stripped business out because they felt it was beneath the College's liberal arts standards to teach business.


That right there explains a lot. The most popular grad school degree and we feel it is beneath us to offer it. Wonderful.

Thanks for sharing the information Bpard.
Franks Tanks

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/wh...udy-liberal-arts-brandon-schwartz

Good article as to why business majors should study liberal arts.  Jobs and careers change, and a liberal arts education provided by a school like Lafayette can really help a person embrace change and uncertainty.  However, it is important for our graduates to have enough "hard skills" to land entry level jobs in their desired field.  

Yes, the department used to be Econ & Business.  We also always offered, and I assume still offer, all of the technical courses required for a student to be qualified for a job in accounting or finance, and well as the more intense quantitative econ classes.

We should offer the following majors.  Econ, Accounting & Finance, Management (or General Business) and Marketing.  I believe we have the resources available in the way of professors to offer these majors currently, and we probably already offer most of the required classes.  We did in my day for the most part anyway.  It is probably not necessary to offer "niche" and highly specific majors like Supply Chain Management or Advertising or whatever, as many high quality business schools already offer majors in an incredibly narrow and specific fields. I don't think we need a dozen majors, but our grads shouldn't have to explain in an interview that yes I majored technically in ECON, but I took all these accounting classes, so I know what I'm doing.  Just give the kid a darn major in accounting and avoid all that stuff.

Just like in many other things, we have an opportunity to exploit a unique niche, yet we fail to promote or fully exploit the advantage.  We should be telling kids interested in Business that if they come to Lafayette they will receive the technical training needed to properly start their career, and the liberal arts background to tackle new and unique problems as their careers progress. Instead we confuse people by making everyone major in Econ.


Lastly I realize the article I linked to was written by a kid, and doesn't exactly provide real world detail, but I think the message is sounds.
ed65

I believe LC only offers one accounting course.
Franks Tanks

ed65 wrote:
I believe LC only offers one accounting course.


I stand corrected.  I seem to recall our accounting offerings to be more robust in the past.

I looked at the course catalog.  We have the "nuts and bolts" classes like Financial Accounting, but we would need to add classes for a proper major in several of the areas I mentioned above.  Doing so would be very beneficial however.  Bucknell does a good job of doing what I described.  Colgate and Holy Cross are like us in offering just an Econ major last I checked.

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