The Value of the Liberal Arts

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Engineering

Engineering vs. Liberal Arts: Who’s Right—Bill or Steve?

When students asked what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I used to say engineering, mathematics, and science—because an education in these fields is the prerequisite for innovation, and because engineers make the best entrepreneurs.

That was several years ago….CLICK HERE TO READ


MICHAEL HARKIN
Engineer & NSA alum

In my current job, I run a small engineering company based in Virginia with a satellite office in Montana. We do work throughout the US and overseas, primarily with the Department of Defense. I love the work and I love my employees. It might seem a bit odd for a liberal arts NSA grad to run an engineering company. It surprised me a bit, too. I have found, however, that the skills and knowledge gained at NSA are a perfect fit for managing technically-driven, service-based companies. In fact, my training at NSA has been far more fruitful and impactful than even my MBA or my executive business courses at MIT and Harvard Business School.

Teaching

DANAE HARLOW: Teacher

In what ways has my NSA education not helped me be a teacher? Because I was able to learn so many different subjects from many skilled professors, I saw the value in learning. But I didn’t just learn knowledge about God’s world–I also was taught how to learn about God’s world. This is wisdom that I employ everyday in teaching my students, and something I aim to cultivate in them. I teach Latin, and I know not all my students are going to love learning Latin, or even be skilled at it. However, there is something foundational in learning how to learn a language that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. I was a lover of Latin before NSA, but it wasn’t until being there that I understood the greater importance of learning a language. It’s not just something to read and translate, but another way to interpret and see the glory in God’s creation. Also, by having studied other subjects like history, rhetoric, and apologetics, I learned how to understand and communicate with my students. Although I had no formal teacher training, the skills I gained through recitations, declamations, and oral finals help me to be meaningful with my words, and to present topics in such a way as to capture my students’ attention.

Technology

Liberal Arts in the Data Age- Harvard Business Review

ALEXEI VELLA

College students who major in the humanities always get asked a certain question. They’re asked it so often—and by so many people—that it should come printed on their diplomas. That question, posed by friends, career counselors, and family, is “What are you planning to do with your degree?” But it might as well be “What are the humanities good for?”…..READ MORE

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Writing

Alumni and Faculty Books

www.innovations.nsa.edu/faculty-books

Business

Liberal Arts in the Data Age- Harvard Business Review

ALEXEI VELLA

College students who major in the humanities always get asked a certain question. They’re asked it so often—and by so many people—that it should come printed on their diplomas. That question, posed by friends, career counselors, and family, is “What are you planning to do with your degree?” But it might as well be “What are the humanities good for?”…..READ MORE

Medical

Why premedical students need the liberal arts-Arman Routher (Kevin M.D.com)

In his commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, international affairs journalist and author Fareed Zakaria defended the value of a liberal arts education. “At its essence,” explained Zakaria, “a liberal education is an education to free the mind from dogma, from controls, from constraints. It is an exercise in freedom.” His speech, I imagine, was well received and much appreciated by the over 400 graduates earning liberal arts degrees that day in the midst of declining funding, popularity, and respect for their chosen field.

Premedical students, presumably destined for the prestige and pay scale of a medical career, might imagine themselves to be outside — or maybe even above — the scope of Zakaria’s message. If you are among them, you are seriously mistaken, potentially to the detriment of both your higher education in general and your professional training as a future physician. Rather than strategically choosing classes on the basis of how easily you can fulfill breadth requirements while completing the premedical curriculum, I would urge you to pay closer attention to your courses in the liberal arts, and here are the three most important reasons why….READ MORE

JOSIAH WARNER
Pre-medical student

My name is Josiah Warner. I’m a 2015 alumnus of New Saint Andrews College. In 2017, after working two years in Moscow with my wife (also a 2015 grad), I was accepted to a Post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. In short, I was accepted to a 15-month long “boot camp” to complete all the science pre-requisites for medical school. I’m currently on track to finish the program this summer and have been building my resume to apply to medical schools for the 2019 or 2020 cycle. I will have a glide year (or two) and I plan to work full time, spend time with Elise, shadow physicians, and continue volunteering at hospitals. Whenever I mention attending a little college tucked up in Idaho, I get two questions: “Were you surrounded by potatoes?” and “Why would you choose that?” To the first: no; there weren’t any potatoes. To the second: to take that road less traveled by. I didn’t want an education that would check boxes and end with me in one; I wanted an education that would shape how I think and grow and act. I chose literature, theology, and Latin as my study-mates because I wanted to become the type of person they make you. I wanted a solid foundation of humanities to draw upon that would help me relate to and understand future patients. Additionally, the sheer rigor of NSA has helped me quite a bit practically—from completing a year of General Chemistry in 12 weeks and navigating the CARS section on the MCAT, to conveying my story to admission’s counselors and talking with others about the grace of Christ. The classmates and advisors who ask those questions often come away impressed with how well the non-traditional program has equipped me to learn and build. But mostly, they are disappointed about the potato thing.