To the Editor:
As the president of the Fashion Institute of Technology, a career-oriented college, I was struck by your article on the new focus on career services at some liberal-arts colleges (“From Liberal Arts to Making a Living,” The Chronicle, October 22). Ironically, here at FIT — where our mission is to prepare students for the workplace — we are more and more emphasizing the value of the liberal arts. The very skills that emanate from liberal arts learning are those that industry leaders consistently tell us they want in their employees: the ability to think critically, to problem solve and communicate well, and to have a sophisticated understanding and appreciation of other cultures so as to navigate successfully in a global economy. That is why at FIT, liberal-arts study is a strategic and integral part of the curriculum — a fundamental building block for all of our programs. And even though, upon arrival, our students enroll in focused programs designed to develop their talents in their chosen field, they increasingly elect to sign up for any of the 24 liberal-arts minors we offer, which range from economics to international politics, ethics and sustainability to Middle East and North African Studies. This is not to suggest that liberal-arts students should not be actively supported with career services — of course they should. But they should also feel confident in their liberal-arts education and see it as an asset as they pursue their own career goals and professional achievements.
Joyce F. Brown
Fashion Institute of Technology