Why I Study the Liberal Arts: Dr. James Reitter

The tangibles: I learned how to tip, calculate square footage of a house, and balance my finances from math classes. Math also taught me whether I was getting ripped off or not. The sciences taught me that the natural world is incredibly fascinating. I have played mad scientist in Chemistry, controlled the earth in Physics, become aware of my own body and my surroundings in Biology. Once you realize what is around you, you begin to understand how complex and small we all are in relation.

The intangibles: We all laugh, cry, become angry, get depressed, and feel overjoyed at various points. I am not stranger to this, but writing and reading literature is a superbly helpful guide. I’ve learned from the past in History, from the present in Sociology and Political Science, and how I can make my own future in Philosophy. These classes have also taught me a sense of morality, and I’ve learned how to apply it (or question it) in Criminal Justice. Music, Theater, and Art have taught my heart to bleed and my brain to feel. Psychology has helped with understanding how my brain thinks.

I chose English as a major because those courses taught me the most about the world, and about myself. Through English classes at Dominican, you learn how to: solve problems with creative and inspired solutions, to thoroughly understand material presented to you, to articulate your ideas and thought process to others, and to meet external deadlines. These are critical skills in any place of employment. Coming from a family of engineers, accountants, medical professionals, and salesmen, I have witnessed that the people who possess these skills are the ones that get hired and promoted. The ones lacking these skills get left behind or ignored.

The best answer to this “Why I” question is to become wide-eyed.


Dr. James Reitter is an Assistant Professor of English and a member of the Freshmen Directorate. If you have questions about the value of a Liberal Arts degree, Dr. Reitter can be reached at james.reitter@dc.edu or (845) 848-4014.

The Liberal Arts Are More Important Than Ever

Awash in Data but a Drought in Understanding

“Drowning in information but starving for wisdom.” These are the words of E.O. Wilson that address the problem with today’s Information Age. In a recent NY Times article (April 16, 2015), Nicholas Kristof explains that a liberal arts education is what helps society sift through the flood of data to make sense of the world. Kristof writes, “Modern technology puts the world’s information at our fingertips, but what do we do with it? It takes strong critical thinking skills, and the perspective gained from studying a broad range of subjects, to use information wisely. It takes, in other words, a liberal education. Still, pundits, politicians, and the public at large can be skeptical about the merits of education that isn’t obviously vocational. So Kristof offers three reasons why liberal education is good for individuals and for society.

First, an education that includes studies in the arts and humanities is actually quite valuable in the job market. “A broad liberal arts education is a key pathway to success in the twenty-first-century economy,” according to Harvard labor economist Lawrence Katz, who notes that the economic return on pure technical skills is diminishing; the highest returns are now going to graduates who possess both technical, field-specific skills and “soft skills,” such as teamwork and written and oral communication. Another, equally important reason is that “we need people conversant with the humanities to help reach wise public policy decisions, even about the sciences,” Kristof says. Technology does not exist in a vacuum—technical innovations like digital communication and genetic modification bring with them new ethical dilemmas and philosophical issues to consider.

Finally, Kristof says, the arts and humanities offer lessons about human nature, about how to understand the world around us. “Wherever our careers lie, much of our happiness depends upon our interactions with those around us, and there’s some evidence that literature nurtures a richer emotional intelligence,” he says. “In short, it makes eminent sense to study coding and statistics today, but also history and literature.”


Experience limitless job opportunities with a liberal arts degree from Dominican College

lib arts graphicDespite a social push towards specializations and the focus on getting a job after graduation, the liberal arts remain vital to a well-educated society. More than that, a liberal arts degree from Dominican college will increase your market value.   We focus on teaching you the skills employers want the most (communication skills, critical thinking, clear writing, problem solving, cultural understanding).  Private liberal arts colleges like Dominican  College have the power to meet one of the nation’s top priorities:
increasing the number of college graduates who have the skills that employers want.

Don’t believe me? Click here to read what employers look for.
You can also click here to see why understanding various cultures is important to a career such as investment banking.
Click here is read why experts believe that scientists need to trained in the arts, not just STEM programs.

liberal arts votingWhat about power and leadership? Well, we have that covered too. Read about the role of the liberal arts in developing social power and in developing society’s leaders.   You can even find the reason (click here) why the high- tech computer industry sees a need to hire Liberal Arts majors — especially English majors.

Choosing Dominican College and its liberal arts core is an excellent choice to prepare you for the future.  Feel free to contact me with questions about the liberal arts requirements or about a program within the liberal arts disciplines.


Dr. Mark C. Meachem  is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of the Division of Arts and Sciences. If you have questions about the value of a Liberal Arts degree, Dr. Meachem can be reached at mark.meachem@dc.edu or (845) 848-4043


Dominican College Awarded KAB Recycling Grant

Dominican College has been awarded a grant as part of a national recycling bin access program made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation. The College will use the 70 donated bins to ensure that all locations on campus have multiple recycling stations and that recycling efforts are highly visible.

In its 9th year, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges and universities, nonprofits, and local governments, with 35 percent of the total to be used by students in collegiate residence halls.

According to Rachel B. Lerner Colucci, M.Ed, Assistant Dean for Student Development, “As a campus community we are focused on creating a culture of sustainability and are committed to recycling as one way to work toward that goal. Our students want to leave a smaller footprint on the earth. The addition of the KAB bins will ensure that each of our residence halls and student centers reflects our commitment and supports our efforts.”

Coca-Cola has expanded its investment in the bin grant program to include two-year community colleges, with 15 recycling bin grants going to two-year colleges and 28 grants going to traditional four-year colleges and universities nation-wide.

At Dominican College, Chancellor for External Affairs, Sr. Kathleen Sullivan has been working with faculty, staff, and students to bring greater awareness to issues of sustainability. This grant directly supports her efforts and those of Dominican College students to help make the College a greener campus. Said Sister Sullivan, “We are delighted to have been selected and to have our commitment to recycling recognized.”

“Through this program and our more than 50-year partnership with Keep America Beautiful, we are helping to ensure that communities understand the importance of recycling,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America. “Community recycling not only impacts the environment today, but it helps build sustainable communities for the future.”

“By providing recycling bins to communities, organizations, and universities, we can make a difference in increasing recycling in the U.S. and help overcome a main barrier of recycling – convenience,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca-Cola’s continued support and commitment to recycling, and the Recycling Bin Grant Program.”

Recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on criteria including the extent of their need, recycling experience, and their ability to sustain the program in the future. Special outreach was made to colleges and universities through a partnership with the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), a membership organization serving campus recycling managers.

The Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts. Since 2007, the program has placed more than 35,000 recycling bins in over 500 communities across the U.S. A full list of the spring 2014 Recycling Bin Grant recipients and further information about the grant program is available at http://bingrant.org.

About Dominican College
The aim of Dominican College is to promote educational excellence, leadership, and service in an environment characterized by respect for the individual and concern for the community. Committed to building its programs upon a strong liberal arts foundation, the College maintains a student-centered climate and offers an array of degree opportunities in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business, and the professions on the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dominican College is dedicated to the principle that its educational programs and services must be both challenging and supportive, distinguished both by high standards and by attention to the needs and potential of the individual student.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation
Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $660 million to support global sustainable community initiatives, including water stewardship women’s empowerment and well-being. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/foundation_coke.html.

About the College & University Recycling Coalition
The College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) is a membership-based nonprofit organization made up of campus-based recycling and sustainability professionals seeking to exchange technical knowledge and best practices on recycling and waste reduction programs between institutions of higher learning. Originally formed in 1992, CURC became a technical council of the National Recycling Coalition in 1995 before branching off as an independent organization in 2009. Today, CURC counts nearly 900 members and is led by a board of directors made up of recycling and sustainability program managers from universities across the United States. Among other initiatives, CURC supports collegiate recycling programs through a free webinar series, annual workshops, a quarterly e-newsletter, the development of best-practices manuals and toolkits. For more information, go to www.curc3r.org.

Articulation Agreement with Mercer Community College Announced

Dominican College and Mercer Community College in West Windsor and Trenton, NJ have entered into an articulation agreement that will benefit transfer students and the institutions involved.

Mercer County Community College students who graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts with a Social Science concentration, Liberal Arts with a Humanities concentration, or Business Management and who have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 will be granted “junior” or upper-level status at Dominican College.

Each transferring student will be assigned a program faculty advisor, who will assist the student in charting a comprehensive academic program plan – allowing for graduation in the shortest time possible, usually two years of full-time study or its part-time equivalent.

“Dominican College and Mercer Community College share the tenets of excellence, leadership, and service. Both institutions are committed to providing a high-quality education that challenges students and provides them the opportunity to gain critical thinking skills. Both institutions provide a caring, creative, and engaged faculty and staff with a student-centered focus. And both institutions strongly support the civic life of students and service to the community as part of a solid preparation for fully engaged lives. We all look forward to welcoming Mercer Community College students into the Dominican College family”, said Erin deWard, spokesperson for Dominican College.

All Articulation Agreements are listed here >