The School of Arts and Sciences offers our version of what has been called for over 2,000 years a “liberal education,” meaning a broad education undertaken for informed citizenship. Every major in the School of Arts and Sciences promotes the following values: life-long learning; global citizenship; and social justice.
The School wants to provide students with the capacity and desire to develop and learn throughout their lives. Students are urged to take their formal education as an opportunity to gain personal qualities and habits of mind that will last a lifetime:
- Self-examination and critical thinking
- Powers of analysis, judgment, and self-expression
- Empathy and ethical awareness
- Tolerance for ambiguity and complexity.
The liberal arts have always prepared students for life-long engagement with civic and professional life, informed by a sure sense of values.
It is hard to stress too much the importance of understanding the international dimensions of modern life and thought. Learning to think and act as a citizen of the world — to understand and appreciate both diversity and our common humanity -- is a powerful lesson in an increasingly global economy and culture.
The emphasis on Social Justice is a reminder to students of their obligations to those around them; the connection between self and society is one of life’s most enduring and challenging questions, and it plays out now in global dimensions. Both the College as a whole and School of Arts and Sciences encourage students to promote full citizenship for all in the College, community, and world.
The liberal arts degrees at Old Westbury provide a solid foundation for graduate studies and professional accomplishment in many fields. In a fast-changing global society, the adaptability linked to the liberal arts has never been more relevant or more in demand in the workplace.
Barbara Hillery, Dean
School of Arts and Sciences