With national trends of decreased enrollment in liberal arts over recent years, the dean of TCU’s AddRan College of Liberal Arts insisted there are advantages that go beyond a person’s first job.
“[There are] benefits that come from having a broad-based educational background that enables you to do a lot of things,” Dean Andrew Schoolmaster said. “I’d like to think that we’re getting our students ready to be active in jobs that have not been created yet, and I think a lot of those jobs are being fueled by liberal arts majors.”
Katie-Rose Watson, a 2011 TCU liberal arts graduate, decided to do just that.
Three years after Watson graduated, she created The Rose Table, a food and lifestyle website that focuses on original recipes, party menus, farm to table cuisine and more. The Rose Table has over 12,500 readers and is gaining national attention for the “Disney Dinner Party series” that she is hosting this year.
As a lifelong Disney fan and cooking enthusiast, Watson decided to create something that satisfied her love for delicacies and Disney — the results are her Disney Dinners.
“I actually took four or five fairy tale courses at TCU,” Watson said. “At the time, my dad said it was a waste of tuition dollars.”
Following national trends, enrollment in TCU’s AddRan College of Liberal Arts has decreased in recent years. Within the past school year, the percent breakdown shows the college is seeing fewer students enrolled with each passing semester.
In a generation where one of the main motivators to choosing a major is based on future employability, many students find themselves being drawn toward degrees that can promise security post-graduation.
“There’s a national [decline], and I think it was impacted by 2008, 2009 and the recession,” Schoolmaster said. “Many people are very concerned with what can I do with this versus what am I learning.”
He said this decrease stems from people not recognizing all that can be achieved under this major.
“I’ve always loved the depth and the breadth of learning and the knowledge that we cover in the liberal arts,” Schoolmaster said. “The liberal arts are ultimately a benefit.”
Watson’s creations have been featured on various local news stations and websites, but her Disney Dinners are helping her gain national attention. Her video series has more than 50,000 views — a number she is hoping to double with these dinners.
Watson said she ensures that her Liberal Arts degree is being put to good use through her creative cultivations. She said that even though she works as a publicist, the fairy tale courses she took at TCU has an immense relevance to what she does today.
“Disney is such a global phenomenon and if you google Disney Dinners there is really nothing else like this,” Watson said. “It is just a fun theme, so I try to add just a little magic to my day-to-day life.”