Liberal Studies Program Search System

Explanation of what this site is Posted by Eric Hadley-Ives

This website is a service to programs and schools that are comparable to the LIS and LNT programs at the University of Illinois in Springfield. Without accepting money or asking programs to pay for representation here, we have tried to collect a list of programs similar to ours, and we allow any program similar to ours to control the narrative content of the information delivered on the web page describing their program. If a program hasn't offered a narrative description of their program, we paraphrase what we know about the program or have learned by studying the program's web pages and other authoritative sources. We use official government and university websites to fill in most of the descriptive data. Programs comparable to ours would include: online and campus-based programs in liberal arts; interdisciplinary programs at public liberal arts institutions; liberal arts programs at schools that are members of the Consortium of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC); programs that are members of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP); programs where students self-design their own bachelor's or master's degrees; and liberal arts programs at schools that seem similar to ours despite not being members of COPLAC or AGLSP.

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What Makes a Good Liberal Studies Program

Ranking Systems Posted by Eric Hadley-Ives

There seem to be four main concepts that prospective students use to decide where they will attend a college: 1) quality; 2) value; 3) fit to personal needs; 4) convenience. The first of these, quality, is a difficult thing to measure. The single best proxy for quality is probably completion rates (usually measured by us as a ratio between those completing a degree or certificate and those admitted in a given time frame). There are other more sophisticated ways to estimate quality, but completion rates are part of most formulas for quality estimates. The second of the four concepts, value, involves some sort of an estimation of the ratio between cost and quality, but just as quality is a difficult and controversial thing to measure, so is value. How can we determine how well a program fits a student's needs? First of all, we need to know something about a student's needs and how a program delivers its education, and what content it delivers. This website offers some information to help students consider their needs and understand what the various programs listed here could offer them. A program's convenience will depend partly on physical location or type of online offerings, partly on degree requirements and course delivery style, and partly on campus climate or organizational dynamics within a program and its school. We hope the information in this website will help prospective students estimate the convenience of attending the various programs listed here.

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How to Use This Search System

Using this website Posted by Eric Hadley-Ives

We have collected information on approximately 200 programs comparable to our own, mostly programs in general studies, liberal arts, humanities, or self-designed degrees. We offer five versions of complete lists of all the programs here (the lists in which all programs are presented in some form of ranked order), and twelve sub-lists of programs according to type or region. In each list, you can click on a school name, and be taken to a web page that contains information about that school and the program in that school that is comparable to the liberal arts or liberal and integrative studies programs at the University of Illinois in Springfield.