Revitalizing the Liberal Arts for Colleges Facing 21st Century Challenges

Why Might Your College Wish to Begin a Conversation About the New American Baccalaureate

Twelve Reasons to Consider Adding the NAB as a Degree Option:

  1. You have a proud tradition and mission as a liberal arts college that helps people prepare themselves to “change the world.”
  2. Your college has the capacity to welcome 100-250 or more self-motivated learners to campus without having to build new facilities.
  3. You believe that liberal arts colleges, while upholding classical values of critical thinking and intellectual exploration, can renew their approach to teaching and learning in order to carry that mission into the 21st Century.
  4. You sense there may be hundreds of non-traditional but intellectually capable young people in area high schools who might benefit greatly from a full college experience but who don’t now see your college as a realistic possibility.
  5. You know current students in your college who might be eager to be trained to serve as mentors to non-traditional high school-age learners.
  6. You fear for the future of democratic and humane values in a world political climate that increasingly embraces authoritarian leaders and narrow policies.
  1. You see no inherent conflict—and much benefit—in linking a liberal education with preparing students for challenging and meaningful careers.
  2. Some among your faculty are open to working with a new group of students and teachers to become part of your academic culture while experimenting with new forms of collaborative teaching and learning assessment.
  3. You have been assured that all participation in NAB will be voluntary and that current contracts and working conditions will be honored.
  4. You welcome your college becoming part of a network of similar institutions that are revitalizing the liberal arts in a challenging world.
  5. Costs to initiate the NAB at your college are modest and are likely to be largely born by donor or foundation grants.
  6. You have read the critical analyses of writers like Cathy Davidson, Tony Wagner, Mike Rose, Deborah Meier, Harry Boyte, Leonard Waks, and Jose Bowen, and you are confident that their embrace of the New American Baccalaureate might resonate with strategic thinkers on your campus.

The New American Baccalaureate Project works closely with prospective liberal arts college faculty and academic leaders to ensure that this baccalaureate option will enhance, and not detract from, the mission and traditions of your College. We are confident that NAB students and teachers will be highly integrated into the academic life of your campus and will join with their fellow students and faculty colleagues in realizing the overarching goals of a liberal education.