The purpose of the Crossings Program is to allow faculty and students to explore and identify the hidden linkages that exist between disciplines and to provide a venue for students to deliberately explore those connections during their course of study. This program simultaneously expands curricular linkages and ties the theory of those interdisciplinary themes to experience. Groups of faculty design thematic interdisciplinary threads including three or four course opportunities that may fulfill other graduation requirements. Thus, these interdisciplinary programs (i.e. “Crossings”) are smaller than a “minor.” Examples for 2013-14 include Poverty Studies, Human Evolution, and the Study of Crime.
Each of these threads also includes two Odyssey-worthy engaged learning experiences. First, the faculty working together on the thread designs an undergraduate research-based engaged learning experience, which serves as a capstone experience for each Crossing. For this, students will receive Odyssey credit in the Undergraduate Research category for completion of a research project and paper that explores a topic related to their Crossing. Furthermore, students opting to pursue a Crossing will receive Odyssey credit in the Special Projects category for completion of the Crossing coursework and completion of a reflective component designed by the faculty that discusses connections between courses. Finally, completion of an interdisciplinary Crossing will be noted on the students’ Odyssey transcripts.