Students are required to complete three (3) credits from an approved menu of literature course options.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE, 1999) and the Association of Departments of English (ADE, 2009) recommend enrollment limits of thirty-five students to allow an appropriate level of group-work and class interaction.

Literature Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Syllabi for courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Literature requirement 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.

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 aesthetic facets of human experience.
  • the human imagination, expression, and traditions of many cultures.

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:

  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation.
  • reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas.
  • ease with textual, visual, and/or electronically-mediated literacies.

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 themselves and a respect for the identities, histories, and cultures of others.

Literature Required Course Content

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

  • works of imaginative literature, both poetry and fiction (whether novel, short story, or dramatic text); works that introduce students to a mixture of literary genres and are not limited to a single genre or form.
  • works by ethnic and racial minorities and women.
  • techniques that foster students' ability to sustain engagement with a variety of literary works.
  • techniques that foster students' ability to analyze and interpret literature independently and collaboratively.

Individuals or departments proposing courses designed to fulfill any Liberal Studies Literature course are encouraged to include content from both English-language literatures and as relevant, literatures in translation, and content that will:

  • focus on literatures from around the world.
  • focus on a particular theme.
  • include works of creative nonfiction.
  • include a mix of historical periods and historical cultures.

Literature Common Learning Objectives

All courses meeting the Liberal Studies literature requirement will establish the following common learning objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the course, the student should be able to:
    • Understand aesthetic and imaginative facets of human experience by being able to:
      • discuss the purposes and functions of literature within society.
      • recognize the power of finely controlled language beyond its informational dimension, such as its auditory, imagistic, affective, symbolic, and hermeneutic possibilities.
      • appreciate the ways in which one text can form the basis for multiple, sometimes competing, interpretations.
    • Demonstrate critical and reflective thinking skills by being able to:
      • articulate and effectively communicate how a text has become meaningful.
      • formulate questions appropriate to the understanding of literary texts.
      • develop interpretations of literary texts that are grounded in careful reading strategies and in any of many literary or theoretical approaches.
      • understand literature as a reflection of or challenge to the culture and time in which it was produced.

Association of Departments of English. (Winter-Spring 2009). “ADE Guidelines for Class Size and Workload for College and University Teachers of English,” Retrieved November 9, 2009

National Council of Teachers of English. (1999). “NCTE Position on Class Size and Teacher Workload, Kindergarten to College.” Retrieved November 9, 2009