ASHEVILLE – With the big emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math these days, Nancy J. Cable hears the question all the time: Why should my child attend a liberal-arts school?
But the Chancellor of UNC Asheville insists the liberal arts and sciences remain the best route for students in today’s rapidly changing world – precisely because it equips them to adjust to those changes.
“Institutions like UNC Asheville are more needed than ever,” Cable says in the accompanying video.
“The global nature of the world plus the rate of change calls on all of us to be much better at critical thinking, persuasive speaking, excellence in writing, a sense of ethics, and a decent, basic sense of humanistic approaches to things
“The substance of what you learn by learning how to learn is a significant tool that is even more needed given the rate of change in the world in which we live,” she says.
“Being able to ask a better set of questions and train both a disciplined and curious mind can make all the difference in how adaptable you can be.”
As they move up the ranks of organizations, today’s graduates will need to perform increasingly complicated problem-solving, Cable says.
And Cable doesn’t ignore the growing importance of big data – in fact, she raises it herself.
“A liberal arts and sciences education teaches you how to do complex problem-solving through data analysis, but also always with an ethical lens,” Cable says.
“That and an understanding of peoples like and unlike oneself, understanding the basic tenets and themes of human history, all those matters are of significant importance to a better set of educated young people coming out of colleges and universities.”