"In college, when you are in the world of your professors and their classes, you are awash in a sea of knowledge (Bell 111)". And in this sea of knowledge, should one take a variety of courses to expand their knowledge while opening up new opportunities or should they focus only on one subject and become specialized in that one area? This is the difference between a liberal arts school and a specialized college or university. James Madison is a liberal arts university. There are clusters and packages containing various courses to choose from. Within those clusters and packages, there are courses that students are obligated to take. The James Madison Undergraduate Catalog states that "these courses together challenge students to make connections among disciplines while satisfying all of the learning objectives of each cluster (Shackelford 66)." It also states that "every package forms a coherent and integrated body of knowledge (Shackelford 66)". Those with a liberal arts education have an advantage over those with a specialized education because they have a well-rounded education, they are more open minded, and they obtain more wisdom through their schooling.
Students that attend a liberal arts college or university receive a well-rounded education. Differing from a specialized education, liberal arts requires students to take a wide variety of courses, ranging from business to theater, including, history, literature, government, psychology, communication, mathematics, and science. This allows students to get a glimpse at numerous fields of study, forming a comprehensive education, while opening new opportunities and provoking new thoughts. At a specialized college or university, one may become an expert in a particular field, but he or she would also lack the skills and knowledge that is only provided through a liberal arts education.
A person with a liberal arts education has a much greater advantage over a person that does not.