The Arts component focuses on learning through participation in artistic creation. By taking a course that engages students in the act of creation, students will develop an understanding of art as a constructed means for communication, designed to reveal certain meanings and ideas or to elicit specific responses. Students are given the opportunity to develop their imaginations and to develop their ability to express themselves.
Civic Engagement courses focus on citizenship and the rights one gains as a community member. These rights include at a minimum civil liberties, civil rights and the opportunity to participate in the construction of that community through voting, civic conversation, and other forms of participation. Civic engagement involves the values, duties, skills, and responsibilities that are part of positively shaping our communities.
The Diversity and Power in the U.S. requirement prepares students to be engaged citizens by exploring enduring questions about ourselves, civilization, and the world by developing the knowledge, dispositions, and skills necessary to shape and create diverse and just communities in the U.S. It is designed to engage students in recognizing and analyzing the perspective of a less powerful (often minority) group and understanding the differences of experience this power differential engenders.
Ethics and Value Inquiry courses encourage students to think critically about the sources and meanings of their commitments to personal integrity, moral responsibility, and social justice. These courses introduce students to questions about moral values and actions and how they relate to our responsibilities to ourselves and others.
Global Perspectives courses engage students in an exploration of societies outside of the United States. While some courses may deal with a specific problem (e.g., global warming, genocide, human rights), others focus on larger trends over the course of time (e.g., art, religion, politics, history, economics, literature). By acquainting students with the diversity of thoughts, beliefs and values of a society external to their own, these courses encourage a greater appreciation of and sensitivity to global diversity.
The Historical Perspectives in Western Culture component focuses on how Western culture has evolved over time through a range of intellectual, philosophical, religious, and historical currents. A study of the development of Western culture and its past is critical to understand, appreciate or critique it. These courses provide context for the current structures of Western society and assist students in making informed decisions as citizens.
Scientific Reasoning courses provide experiences working with the methods of science, including hypothesis formation and testing, systematic observation, and analysis of quantitative data. Scientific reasoning—in the natural, behavioral, and social sciences—includes the ability to solve problems through the analysis of quantitative empirical data. These methods help students understand how technology and science may affect their lives in areas such as the environment, medicine, human behavior, and scientific ethics.