Liberal Arts Approach
The Economics and Business Department equips students to serve and lead in dynamic settings with a major that is: distinctively broad – integrating the essential components of economics and business, and deeply engaging – challenging students to address contemporary issues with critical thinking, personal conviction, and a Christian perspective.
We offer a rigorous undergraduate curriculum that explicitly integrates a decidedly Christian perspective to a broad range of concepts and terminology from both the economics and business fields of study. The college and faculty are committed to the classic liberal arts - educating the whole person for life-long learning and growth - personally, spiritually, and professionally. Many institutions offer separate degrees in economics or business. WESTMONT intentionally blends these fields to demonstrate the timeless synergies between the core tenets of economic theory, and the functional disciplines of business venturing, such that all models, graphics, terminology, constructs, and simulations are explored from the integrative perspectives of both the economist and the business manager. This breadth is widely preferred by both top B-schools - such as Stanford, UCLA, Chicago, NYU, and Harvard - and by leading corporations worldwide, when compared to more specialized majors in management, finance, or marketing.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a broad liberal arts education is preferred for future CEOs – blending knowledge of history, culture, philosophy, and economic policy, with international experience and problem-solving (April 15, 2005).
A. G. Lafley, Procter & Gamble’s CEO, went to Hamilton in Clinton, NY to get a solid liberal-arts education. A history major who graduated in 1969, he was elected president of his sophomore class and spent his junior year studying in France. “I learned to think, to communicate, to lead, to get things done...those qualities are what I seek in job candidates for P&G”.
Paul Dominski, Sr. Recruiter for May Company Department Stores, states: "We look for people who can think critically and analytically. If you can do those, we can teach you our business". He emphasizes that "the breadth and depth of a liberal education allows new hires to benefit the organization immediately".
A National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2000 survey found employers focus on "finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major, as a new employee with the right skills can easily learn the specifics of an industry". Employers desire "transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace, and these are characteristic of a liberal arts education".
A 2001 AT&T survey found that liberal arts students "advance more quickly to middle and senior management positions than their colleagues who pursued other fields of study . . . these graduates become employees that are ready to learn".
The University of Chicago’s MBA Admissions office "seeks applicants with leadership skills, demonstrated teamwork abilities, intellectual curiosity, superior communication skills, and a clear career vision . . . we attract students who have studied medicine, law, liberal arts, and other fields outside the business world".
USA-Today reported thay 15% of CEOs at Fortune-500 companies have an undergraduate liberal arts degree (July 31, 2001), including such notables as: Disney’s Michael Eisner (English & Theatre - Denison), HP’s Carly Fiorina (History & Philosophy - Stanford), Miramar Systems’ Neal Rabin (Creative Writing - UCLA), Michael Dell (Pre-med/Biology - Texas), Corning’s John Loose (East Asian History - Earlham), Travelocity.com’s Terry Jones (Philosophy - Denison), and UPoc’s Gordon Gould (Environmental Studies - Pitzer).
That’s the WESTMONT Department of Economics and Business. We are an intergative department within a liberal arts college, where all courses are taught by faculty members. We are not a Business School within a university, there are no graduate-student teaching assistants, we offer no graduate degrees, and we don’t have majors such as: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, or Strategy. Instead, your study of the indivisible interaction of economics and business within a liberal arts framework is designed specifically for full-time, residential, undergraduate students, grounding students in the noblest competencies, to understand and function in all forms of economic activity and enterprise development, in both public and private sectors. These competencies include:
- Critical Thinking
- Original Inquiry
- Research and Analysis
The WESTMONT Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business offers a unique opportunity to develop proficiency in, and understand the various types of interaction between, economics and business – grounded in a Christian perspective, and demonstrating the best of what it truly means to be liberally educated and prepared for a journey of life-long learning.