Emory to ramp up liberal arts education

Graduates enter the quad during the processional.  Emory University held its 2018 Commencement today, the  university's 173rd.  BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Caption
Graduates enter the quad during the processional. Emory University held its 2018 Commencement today, the university's 173rd. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

As some educators worry liberal arts education on college campuses is going the way of the flip cell phone, Emory University wants to ramp up its offerings in those fields.

The university’s College of Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday it plans to advance itself as “a leader for the liberal arts and sciences, both within the university and beyond.”

Emory said the work will include developing a recruitment program for postdoctoral scholars working on emerging, interdisciplinary topics, beefing up research in some areas, enhancing its African-American studies program and making sure more students are exposed to these topics and recruiting emerging artists through national and international fellowships.

“Anytime there is a conversation in our society about the impact and value of the liberal arts, Emory should be in the heart of it, to be a model institution people will follow,” Michael A. Elliott, dean of Emory College, said in a statement.

Emory’s College of Arts and Sciences has about 5,500 students. Emory is the largest private university in Georgia.

In Georgia, and many other states, political leaders and educators have stressed the need for more college-educated workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to work in related industries that command large salaries. The focus on such degrees has concerned some liberal arts educators.

U.S. Census Bureau data released last year with the top industries for liberal arts graduates younger than 35. Here are the top five professions and median salaries:

Profession   Median salary

1) psychology   $35,750

2) communications   $41,600

3) English language and literature   $38,710

4) political science and government   $43,730

5) economics   $52,450

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