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Liberal Studies Electives

Syllabi for courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Electives requirement must provide course content that meets each of the three Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (EUSLOs): Informed Learners; Empowered Learners; and Responsible Learners.

Secondarily, Liberal Studies Electives must also meet the EUSLOs for at least one of the following six competencies of the Liberal Studies Curriculum: global citizenship, information literacy, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, scientific literacy, and technological literacy. The goal of these competencies is to strengthen those aspects of the Liberal Studies Curriculum that ensure that our students will become lifelong learners and be able to contribute in an active way to their communities. To repeat, the core of the course should be Liberal Studies Elective content, and the competencies serve to provide a supporting role to the core.

Liberal Studies Electives will, by their nature, have a great deal of variety in the ways that they meet the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes. For example, the Informed Learners EUSLO may list as possibilities various ways of demonstrating knowledge and understanding such as modeling the natural world or the interrelationships within and across disciplines. However, it is understood that an individual course will meet that EUSLO in its own distinctive way. The bullets listed with any EUSLO are examples of ways to meet the outcome, and no one course is expected to cover all of the bullets/possibilities listed.

Proposals will need to include a justification for the exclusion of an Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcome (in whole or in part) that has been designated as “required” in a particular course or curricular category.

Liberal Studies Electives Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (EUSLOs)

All Liberal Studies Courses must meet the three EUSLOs. Proposals will need to include a justification for the exclusion of any of the three EUSLOs (in whole or in part). Remember that your proposal does not have to meet each of the bulleted items, although it may, by its nature, meet more than one. For example, your course might meet the Informed Learners Outcome by providing course content for the bullet “the interrelationships within and across disciplines” only or it may also meet that bullet and “the aesthetic facets of human experience” bullet.

Informed Learners understand nature and society through forms of inquiry fundamental to the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Learners are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice.

Informed Learners demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways of modeling the natural, social, and technical worlds
  • the aesthetic facets of human experience
  • the past and present from historical, philosophical, and social perspectives
  • the human imagination, expression, and traditions of many cultures
  • the interrelationships within and across cultures and global communities
  • the interrelationships within and across disciplines

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

Empowered Learners demonstrate:

  • problem solving skills using a variety of methods and tools
  • the ability to transform information into knowledge and knowledge into judgment and action
  • the ability to work within complex systems and with diverse groups
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation
  • reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

Responsible Learners demonstrate:

  • intellectual honesty
  • concern for social justice
  • civic engagement
  • an understanding of the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions on themselves, on society, and on the physical world
  • an understanding of themselves and a respect for the identities, histories, and cultures of others

Liberal Studies Electives Required Course Content

Proposals for courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Elective requirement must:

  • include the ways in which students are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice
  • provide course content that addresses issues of diversity, including the contributions of ethnic and racial minorities and of women
  • address critical-thinking and scholarly discourse

Liberal Studies Electives Competencies Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

All Liberal Studies Electives must meet the EUSLOs from at least ONE of the following SIX competencies:

Global Citizenship

Differentiating the Global Citizenship competency and the Global and Multicultural Awareness category

The primary difference between the two is essentially a matter of scope and emphasis. Global Citizenship is a competency and a subsidiary component of a Liberal Studies (LS) Elective course. In other words, the primary focus of the LS Elective course is the course content, only a portion needs to pertain to the interconnectedness of individuals, institutions, and/or countries. For example, an Anthropology or a Food and Nutrition course could note how choices made by individuals in their local supermarket could have global implications. An Economics or Business course could address how some aspects of the global economy are affected by policy decisions (What if Greece defaults on its loans? What if the United States discourages outsourcing of U.S. jobs?). When paired with assignments that increase students’ recognition of the importance of civic engagement, this sort of content would satisfy the criteria for Global Citizenship. However, it would not satisfy the criteria for a Global and Multicultural Awareness (GMA) course, which requires a deeper, more comprehensive treatment of a variety of cultures or global situations throughout the course.

Global and Multicultural Awareness (GMA) is a stand-alone type of LS course rather than a subsidiary component. Liberal Studies GMA courses require a more thorough exploration of global themes than Liberal Studies courses with a global citizenship competency, giving students significant exposure to knowledge that will enable them to critically evaluate the world in which they live. For example, a Sociology course could focus on waves and patterns of immigration to the United States and include an examination of the ways that diverse immigrant groups perceive and experience American society. An Anthropology course could examine how human behaviors and actions can have very different meanings in different cultures. Another course might examine how variations in government economic policies (or the initial endowments of natural resources) among a number of countries might explain differences in the standards of living of people in those countries. Such content must be highlighted as the organizing theme of the syllabus of record and should be clearly indicated in the catalog description for the course.

Global Citizenship: Introduction

Syllabi for courses designed to address the Global Citizenship competency must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Global Citizenship Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Informed Learners understand nature and society through forms of inquiry fundamental to the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Learners are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice.

As Informed Learners, students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interrelationships within and across cultures and global communities

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • information literacy skills, including the ability to access, evaluate, interpret, and use information from a variety of sources
  • critical thinking skills including analysis, application, and evaluation
  • reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

As Responsible Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • intellectual honesty
  • concern for social justice
  • civic engagement
  • an understanding of the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions on themselves, on society, and on the physical world
  • an understanding of themselves and a respect for the identities, histories, and cultures of others

Proposals for courses designed to address global citizenship must include:

  • an examination of global issues (such as diversity in gender, religion, politics, ethnicity, economics, or the arts; environmental sustainability, social responsibility in global business, inequities in education, or global literacy)
  • content that increases students’ understanding of issues related to social justice, equity, and civic engagement; students should actively participate in citizenship opportunities

Information Literacy

Liberal Studies elective courses designed to address information literacy must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Information Literacy Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • effective oral and written communication abilities
  • ease with textual, visual, and electronically-mediated literacies
  • information literacy skills, including the ability to access, evaluate, interpret, and use information from a variety of sources
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

As Responsible Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • intellectual honesty

Proposals for courses designed to address information literacy must include:

  • assignments that require students to use a variety of print and non-print resources (including, but not limited to, books, newspaper articles, journal articles, online periodical databases, government documents, web pages, etc.)
  • course content that addresses the legal and ethical use of information

Oral Communication

Liberal Studies elective courses designed to address oral communication must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Oral Communication Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meang from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • effective oral and written communication abilities
  • information literacy skills, including the ability to access, evaluate, interpret, and use information from a variety of sources
  • reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas

Proposals for courses designed to address oral communication must include:

  • oral communication activities that are integrated into the course content
  • guidance for students on researching and organizing the content of oral communication activities

Quantitative Reasoning

Liberal Studies elective courses designed to address quantitative reasoning must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Quantitative Reasoning Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Informed Learners understand nature and society through forms of inquiry fundamental to the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Learners are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice.

As Informed Learners, students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways of modeling the natural, social, and technical worlds

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • problem solving skills using a variety of methods and tools
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation

Proposals for courses designed to address quantitative reasoning must:

  • engage students in the interpretation, analysis, and use of numerical and graphical data
  • apply quantitative techniques to address problems within a specific discipline
  • develop non-deductive or deductive reasoning

Scientific Literacy

Liberal Studies elective courses designed to address scientific literacy must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Scientific Literacy Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Informed Learners understand nature and society through forms of inquiry fundamental to the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Learners are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice.

As Informed Learners, students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interrelationships within and across disciplines

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • problem solving skills using a variety of methods and tools
  • information literacy skills, including the ability to access, evaluate, interpret, and use information from a variety of sources
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

As Responsible Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions on themselves, on society, and on the physical world

Proposals for courses designed to address scientific literacy must:

  • investigate relevance, application, and impact of science to student’s life or field of study
  • apply problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • transform information to explore hypotheses and draw conclusions

Technological Literacy

Liberal Studies elective courses designed to address technical literacy must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Liberal Studies Electives Technological Literacy Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • ease with textual, visual, and electronically-mediated literacies
  • problem solving skills using a variety of methods and tools
  • information literacy skills, including the ability to access, evaluate, interpret, and use information from a variety of sources
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

As Responsible Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • intellectual honesty
  • an understanding of the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions on themselves, on society, and on the physical world

Proposals for courses designed to address technical literacy must include content and instruction:

  • related to the use of productivity software* or technological devices that provides opportunities for students to achieve the required student learning outcomes
  • that provides opportunities for students to understand how information technology impacts ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions

*Productivity software could include word processing, database management, spreadsheets, presentation software, web-based technologies, and other applications packages.

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