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libera-arts-dec-1Every student who attends college wants to thrive afterwards, armed with an education that should lead to success. According to a recent study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), however, many colleges are not giving students the skills employers are looking for, namely communication, writing, and teamwork — all integral parts of a Christendom liberal arts education.

In a recent presentation at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the AAC&U showed concern over the broad underperformance of higher education, pointing out the lack of inter-cultural skills currently being taught at most colleges and universities — skills that are prized by employers.

“Employers are expressing a growing interest in students’ mastery of personal and social responsibility, with 96% of them saying they want college to develop problem-solving skills in diverse settings. Such inter-cultural skills are prized by only 79% of university respondents, [and] it’s a similar story when it comes to students’ communication skills,” wrote George Anders, in a story for Forbes.

“In the working world — where rising stars need to be able to lead meetings, pitch to clients and deliver public speeches — it’s no surprise that oral communication skills are most highly prized….in academia, though, writing is paramount. The AAC&U surveys show that 99% of educators regard writing skills as crucial, while only 82% insist on oral-communication skills. Practices are likely to vary across departments, with business majors getting plenty of chances to sharpen up their oratory, whereas engineering students may hardly ever need to do so. In later careers, though, being inarticulate in any professional setting carries a heavy price,” said Anders.

Teamwork skills are also lacking amongst college grads, according to these studies. Employers need graduates who can work well in diverse groups in order to produce a great product, but teamwork can be difficult to teach in an undergraduate setting — especially with grading systems geared mainly towards individual work.

These three skills are key for success after college, according to employers, but they cannot be found in a specialized education. Rather, these skills are given to the student that studies all of the liberal arts in order to gain a more fully formed mind. With a complete education, a liberal arts graduate has the skills to succeed and thrive in the workforce after college.

At Christendom College, these skills are imparted both in the academic education and outside of it. Students learn how to speak and write well from the beginning of their education, as they are encouraged to actively listen to lectures and take notes by their professors, in order to think critically about how to best respond when asked a question.

The need to listen well becomes especially prevalent in seminar classes — a feature often utilized at Christendom due to its size. In a classroom of about twenty people, students can add their thoughts and insights to those of the professor and fellow students through their own thoughtful questions on a subject, listening intently to each other in order to gain the most from the experience.

Students’ abilities to write clearly and efficiently are best revealed in the many papers they must write over their four years at Christendom, especially in regards to their 30-page senior thesis — an in-depth analysis of a complex question, due prior to graduation.

Outside the classroom, teamwork skills are stressed in every capacity, from putting on events, running clubs and organizations, to playing sports as well. Christendom’s size gives every student the chance to seize any of these leadership opportunities, as they work with students of varied backgrounds to achieve a certain goal.

Christendom provides a timeless and challenging Catholic liberal arts education. It is the same education received by the scientists, scholars, heroes, and saints that have marked the 2000-year history of Christendom. By seeking the truth through various disciplines, the students cultivate a new intellectual power enabling them to master any subject. They attain an intellectual prowess in which they can take up any career and thrive with competence, grace, versatility, and success.

To read more from this Forbes article, please visit finance.yahoo.com.

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