A Student's Guide to the Liberal ArtsA Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts
Edited by Wilburn T. Stancil

$25 (paper) ISBN: 1-886761-28-0
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$40 (cloth) ISBN: 1-886761-27-2
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277 pages
May 2003

Written by veteran faculty from several liberal arts colleges and universities around the country, A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts is an accessible and straightforward introduction to the humanities for students coming into contact with college level study for the first time. The book examines the nature of the liberal arts (chapter one), the goals of a liberal education (chapter fifteen), and, in an introductory fashion, 13 specific disciplines--communication, language, literature, music, art history, history, psychology, sociology, political science, philosophy, religion, mathematics, and science.

A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts is essential reading for students, faculty, administrators, parents of students, high school guidance counselors, and other who seek to understand the value of undergraduate studies in the humanities.

"An excellent introduction for college level students."
----Jeff von Arx, S.J., Fordham University

". . . a wealth of information in a superb orientation text."
----C. W. Spinks, Trinity University

What Others Are Saying About A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts

"After years of dismantling integrated core curricula, many universities--aware of the need of students to see disciplines as a whole and in relation to the entirety of their education--are now recommitting themselves to liberal arts education. Overcoming the divisions between humanities and sciences by offering an array of essays on a variety of disciplines, A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts will certainly assist students in this task. But it may prove even more useful to faculty and administrators committed to understanding for themselves and presenting to their students the breadth and the unity of the liberal arts."

----Thomas Hibbs, Boston College

"At a time when the humanities are beset by skepticism, this attractive volume gives the student both a theoretical and a practical understanding of what the liberal arts are and how they should be studied. Inspired by a classical perspective on human knowledge, A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts contains material on specific disciplines, including mathematics and science. The authors are experienced and inspiring teachers of undergraduates. They answer questions that the students really do have. The book is a must for college students."

----Robert Sokolowski, Catholic University of America

"A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts offers the college-bound student an overview of, and a rationale for, a liberal arts education. This book can be profitably read by professors, parents, guidance counselors, faculty, advisors--anyone interested in undergraduate education as an integrated experience. The authors of the essays, as scholars in their disciplines and seasoned teachers, give us equal parts information about, and enthusiasm for, their fields."

----Denise Carmody, University of Santa Clara

"These are the very questions for which students seek answers in deciding what they want to do with their lives. In a sense, the essays are practical roadmaps for careers, since each author explains how a disciplinary area has some relevance to life. Parents, students, administrators, and faculty persons will read this book and come away with a clearer understanding of what the liberal arts are all about. "

----Milton Horne, William Jewell College

"Most 18-year-olds entering college haven't much idea of what they're getting into or even why they're doing it, aside from the fact that their parents expect them to and that doing so will provide an essential credential for their later working lives. A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts assumes this innocence and provides its readers with an invaluable head start on what will be among the most important years of their lives. It maps the assumptions, goals, and procedures of the bodies of knowledge these new students will spend four years grappling with, and does so briskly, clearly, and interestingly, with the additional bonus of suggesting the practical usefulness of mastering these intellectual tools. No attentive reader will come away from it without seeing the land ahead more clearly, and he or she will be better prepared to lay out the itinerary for this life-changing journey more efficiently, purposefully, and pleasurably."

----John Raeburn, University of Iowa

"For incoming students, Stancil and his team of sages offer a traveler's guide to a new country--the liberal arts disciplines. What does each region (discipline) offer? What's there for me? If I decide to visit (by taking a course), how might I optimize my experience? With its big picture perspective, A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts offers helpful answers."

----David G. Myers, Hope College

WILBURN T. STANCIL is an associate professor of theology at Rockhurst University.