Liberal Arts in Action

Message from the Dean

Politicians often point to liberal arts degrees as less useful than professional degrees, but we know that’s not true. We know that today’s graduates are likely to be employed in many jobs before they retire; some statistics cite seven to 10, so narrow job training won’t serve most people because it doesn’t develop the flexibility of mind and the analytical tools necessary to teach themselves new skills for jobs that may not yet even exist. Moreover, we know that liberal arts graduates perform very competitively in salary comparisons with their professional counterparts, especially by mid-career, so we can’t always judge their success by their first job. But let’s not forget that job placement and salary, while important, are not the only considerations in job and life satisfaction. We spend almost of a third of our lives working, and we hope that something more is at stake than an income. Job satisfaction requires a sense that we are doing something meaningful, providing a valuable service. Degrees in the liberal arts not only open up a wide array of career opportunities, but they also prod us to challenge ourselves and to continue to grow so that our jobs are more than sources of income; they are part of our life’s work.   


Classroom to Career panelists

The 10 Best Tips from This Year's "Classroom to Career" Alumni Panel

If you want advice on how to navigate today’s tough job market and find rewarding careers, listen to the personal stories of three inspiring alumni from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.



Julie Cracco and Mary Christensen

Alumna and Associate Professor Coauthor French Language Workbook

Though Julie Cracco studied television and radio production as a New Paltz undergraduate, she realized that the language and culture of her beloved France spoke to her with greater urgency.