Interview Your School
Every summer, thousands of students and their parents make a pilgrimage to colleges and universities in an expensive, time-consuming effort to learn more about their top picks. Campus visits reveal first-hand the classrooms and laboratories, dorms and dining halls in which students will spend the next four (and, increasingly, five or more) years living and learning. From such an experience even the casual visitor will take away fodder for the imagination: tree-lined sidewalks, science labs filled with equipment, state-of-the-art sports facilities, and residential halls that are increasingly inviting.
The alert visitor, however, will be curious about those features of campus life that are more important, if less obvious, than buildings and grounds. Indeed, curiosity is the most important virtue a student can bring to the classroom. And that virtue is best rewarded when students devote considerable time to studying the liberal arts and sciences, for it is from these disciplines that one amasses sufficient knowledge for the skill of critical thinking to emerge—a feat unobtainable in an intellectual vacuum. Keep in mind that not all books are created equal and seek out wise counsel, such as that found in A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning by James V. Schall, S.J., of Georgetown University. You'll find more information on this and other valuable educational resources from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute at the end of this guide.