Strong mentoring, abundant intern and community service opportunities, and working directly with professors rather than graduate assistants -- these things matter. So, what is the ultimate liberal arts payoff?
Each semester on my syllabus I let students know that some questions or concerns can't be resolved via email. And yet I have noticed that my office visiting hours, and those of my colleagues, go mostly unfilled except for right before or after a major assignment.
To me, a college class is just like a Hollywood screenplay, with peaks, valleys, and escalating conflicts along the way.Try to keep in mind though, that professors are actually rooting for you to succeed. When you fail, they fail.
While public universities are non-profit institutions, they are increasingly exhibiting corporate behavior, from highly paid presidents to superfluous administrators, to replacing tenured faculty with poorly paid part-time teachers.
Professors and union members at the Community College of Philadelphia have decided not to strike, but will organize a public campaign to convince the administration to drop their "take it or leave it" stance and continue normal negotiations.
Did you hear about that philosophy final where the professor came in and wrote "Why?" on the chalkboard? And a student got an A+ by answering "Why not?" I guaran-effing-tee you this has never happened in the history of college.
Rick Santorum is absolutely right that higher education is a liberal and secular force in our society at present. But he's also highly simplistic in his view that it creates liberals or atheists -- or that it intentionally discriminates against conservatives or the devout.
Good professors know that discussing nature in the confines of a classroom is not likely to stir the soul, no matter how enlightening the lesson. What awakens, they realize, is experience. Getting hands dirty. Immersion.