Our Commitment to the Liberal Arts in Practice
The central focus of the liberal arts tradition has always been on preparing individuals to face the responsibility of freedom. Indeed, the Latin artes liberales refers to the areas of study required for living as a free person. The greatest opportunity faced by free persons is also the greatest burden: Free persons must choose. Choosing well requires knowledge, understanding, and, above all, judgment.
The premise of our curriculum at Hartwick College is that a liberal arts education addressing the interplay between the theoretical and the practical is the best way to develop the integrative forms of knowledge, understanding, and judgment necessary for choosing well.
In establishing a curriculum for Hartwick College, we
- Recognize profound cultural and natural diversity and interconnectedness, and thus seek to build a deeper understanding of similarities and differences across time and space;
- Affirm the necessity of human interaction and thus seek to develop familiarity with diverse ways of knowing and facility with diverse forms of communication;
- Acknowledge the significance of individual and collective actions and thus seek to foster the capacity for critical thinking, ethical action, and reflection;
- Take inspiration from the artifacts of human ingenuity and the beauty and workings of nature and thus seek to nurture creativity in all its varied forms;
- Value the transformative potential of experience, and thus seek to integrate learning and doing, both inside and outside the classroom; and
- Posit that inquiry, discovery and self-examination promote strength of mind and purpose over the course of a lifetime and thus seek to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.
Our commitment to the Liberal Arts in Practice fosters active student participation in the academic endeavor, helping our students, as free people, develop the knowledge, understanding, and judgment needed to make meaningful contributions to present and future communities throughout the world.
The Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum was implemented beginning in the fall of 2008 as a requirement for the entering first year class (the Class of 2012) and subsequent classes, and as an option for all other students who will graduate after September 2008.