Jobs: The Economy, Killing Liberal Arts Education?

After the endowment of Centenary College in Shreveport, La., fell by 20 percent from 2007 to 2009, the private school decided to eliminate half of its 44 majors. Over the next three to four years, classic humanities specialities like Latin, German studies, and performing arts will be phased out. It's quite a change from 2007, when NEWSWEEK labeled Centenary the "hottest liberal-arts school you never heard of," extolling its wide range of academics. In their place, the school is considering adding several graduate programs, such as master's degrees in teaching and international business. Such professional programs have proven increasingly popular and profitable at other universities and colleges, especially during economic downturns, a point that the college president tries to downplay. "We're not intentionally trying to chase markets," says David Rowe. "We think the students need to have a grounding in the arts and sciences, but they also probably need some training in a specific area."