Bridgewater College Makes the Top Liberal Arts School List


Chiedozie Osondu

Bridgewater College was chosen among the other 1,500 schools assessed by U.S News and World Report as one of the top 200 liberal arts colleges in the country. Liberal arts schools provide an education that prepares students in many fields of study, preparing them to be versatile in their futures.

Bailey Fulk, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- On Sept. 12, U.S. News and World Report released their 2022-2023 lists of the top colleges in the nation. One list, top liberal arts colleges, included Bridgewater College, which added to its yearly streak.

Competing against every college in the nation, Bridgewater College was named one of the top 200 liberal arts schools in the U.S. for the 2022-2023 school year, and has been for the past few years. U.S. News and World Report mentions that the experience for students is shaped by the connections they make with faculty members and other students. They are prepared to live, work and thrive in society and become selfless leaders after attending the college.

The Foundation in Liberal Arts program is integrated into the college’s curriculum. It includes four different areas of study: master core skills, engagement in a global society, integration of skills and ideas and engagement of ideas across disciplines. This allows students to not just have experience within their chosen field of study, but to provide them with knowledge so that they leave the college with a diverse education and skill set.

“The FILA program is a huge part of who we are as a college. It allows us to provide a well-rounded education for students so that when they enter their careers and life after college, they have knowledge in various subjects rather than just their own,” said Senior Instructor of Sociology Skip Burzumato.

To come up with the rankings, 17 aspects, including social mobility and graduation rates, are focused on to place the schools in order of academic quality. A total of 1,500 schools were assessed this year, and the outcome of these qualities applies to 40% of the overall score of each school’s ranking.

“BC’s recognition as a place where what a liberal arts education fosters–critical thinking, problem-solving and communication– is prioritized, and where the baseline expectation that learning ought to extend beyond the classroom, is a wonderful acknowledgement of what we’ve known all along about BC,” said Dean of Student Leslie Frere. “This is a place that helps make students become the best version of themselves.”

Being a small liberal arts school in a rural area, the purpose and qualities of a liberal arts school may be unclear.

“Lots of people don’t necessarily know at first blush what being a ‘liberal arts’ institution means,” said Frere. “The more conversations we as friends, families and community members can have around what it means to receive a liberal arts education, the better. I think when people see BC connected with doing this amazing thing really well, it’s a good conversation starter, and attracts positive attention,”

What really makes a liberal arts education, is the fact that the class to instructor ratio is low, providing a more personable experience.

“The relationships between faculty and students here is astounding and so easy to achieve. It plays a large part in what makes our college so unique. As professors, we’re able to create deeper connections with students that we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do if there were larger enrollment rates,” said Burzumato.