Three Things Michelle Wieland Values About Her Experience with the MA in Liberal Studies

In Fall 2018, Michelle Wieland earned her MA in Liberal Studies from the University of Michigan Flint. A resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Michelle was looking for a liberal studies program that could help her explore and understand the society in which we live. In her thesis, Michelle provides an analysis of disparities present in American culture, particularly through the lenses of race and gender. It was a transformational experience for a life-long learner like Michelle, who credits her experience “with a change of perspective on life.”

Here are three reasons Michelle values the MA in Liberal Studies at UM-Flint.

The online courses were both rigorous and meaningful.

Michelle is quick to point out that taking courses online brought out the best in her.

“Online discussions made you grow because your writing had to be clear and concise. Being able to read and consider your classmates’ thoughts is also invaluable. I was a bit scared at first, because your writing is open for your peers to comment on, but I loved it because it felt like everyone brought their best every time.”

The professors provided guidance and support.

Michelle explains that faculty in the program talk about the thesis paper from the very beginning. That was a bit unnerving for her, since there were so many possible topics to explore! However, completing the core classes helped solidify her ideas and her professors helped each step of the way.

“I was so inspired by how professors could provide us with information, ask us to think about it in different ways, and then be interested in what we had to say,” Michelle says. “I realized I’ve got this great support system; they would provide gentle corrections and solid guidance.”

The program helped change her perspective on life.

“Prior to the Liberal Studies program, I spent a lot of time just believing what I had been taught and I was raising my family teaching them the same things,” Michelle says. “These classes really helped to open my eyes to see an entirely different way of considering our world. Electives like Women in Work allowed me to peel back the layers of our society and consider that information with the foundation set by the core classes.”

Interested in having transformative experiences like Michelle did in the MA in Liberal Studies program? The application is available online. The program director, Dr. Jan Furman, can be contacted at