Who Needs an English Major? The Future of Liberal Arts Education

Sun, 10/16/2011 - 10:00pm

In a troubled economy, it's harder to make the case for a degree in English, or any college major without an obvious career path.

Who Needs an English Major? The Future of Liberal Arts Education, airing Sunday, October 16 at 10 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2, examines how a form of higher learning unique to the United States is responding to the demands of the 21st century.

The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal-arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education. Humanities and the liberal arts now account for fewer than 10 percent of all majors - a steep drop from three decades ago. The liberal arts are a hallmark of American higher education. But the tough economy and soaring college tuition rates are pressuring liberal arts program to prove their worth.