Learning Domains represent an organization of courses around content and teaching methods that may transcend departmental boundaries. Students should be exposed to courses in each of the Learning Domains to insure that they receive an adequate breadth of educational experiences while at the College. The Learning Domains form the foundations of a liberal arts education, much as reading, writing, and arithmetic form the foundation of secondary education.
The courses with a Learning Domain code that are taken by a student should satisfy the following criteria:
- Each of the Learning Domains must be represented.
- The student must take two Natural Science Inquiry courses, and one or both must be a laboratory course.
Courses that may be used to satisfy each of these Learning Domain requirements are designated by the two-letter code that appears by each Domain title below. These codes also appear in the course schedule and with course descriptions found under Academic Departments and Programs. Transfer courses may be considered for Learning Domain credits. However, for a transfer course to be awarded domain credit, it must be the equivalent of at least three (3) semester hours. For courses with two listed Learning Domains, the student can choose which Learning Domain code is applied. Cross-listed courses appear in both of the relevant disciplines. Check the Office of the Registrar for more information.
Below are the learning goals for each Learning Domain to provide more details about how each Domain contributes to a liberal arts education.
A. Expressive Arts (EA) - one course
Through successful participation in an Expressive Arts coded course, students:
- Engage with the methods and cultural context of works of art.
- Appreciate and interpret meaning in works of art.
- Articulate how art communicates and how art aids in the development of empathy.
B. Historical Perspectives (HP) - one course
Through successful participation in a Historical Perspectives coded course, students:
- Engage critically with historical evidence to analyze change and continuity in cultures, periods, or events.
- Examine social and cultural contexts that shape, and are shaped by, historical periods or events.
- Evaluate their own understanding of the past using historical analysis and knowledge.
C. Literary Studies (LS) - one course
Through successful participation in a Literary Studies coded course, students:
- Analyze how a text's form, language, and content create meanings and experiences.
- Craft interpretations of texts through study and deliberation.
- Explain how a text can work to shape one's perceptions and imaginations.
D. Natural Science Inquiry (NS, NS-L) - two courses, one course must be a laboratory course
Through successful participation in a Natural Science Inquiry coded course, students:
- Recognize how models explain the natural world by identifying the role of observation and experiment in the development of those models.
- Assess the degree of agreement between models and observations of phenomena determined by natural laws.
- Evaluate and articulate strengths and limitations of scientific models.
- NS-L: Employ scientific tools and techniques to make observations to enhance understanding of these models.
E. Social and Behavioral Analysis (SB) - one course
Through successful participation in a Social and Behavioral Analysis coded course, students:
- Identify factors relating to one or more areas of human behavior and interaction.
- Explore and examine those factors with appropriate techniques.
- Apply this knowledge to real-world situations.
F. Values, Beliefs and Ethics (VA) - one course
Through successful participation in a Values, Beliefs, and Ethics coded course, students:
- Identify and engage questions about existence, understanding, and values.
- Explore and examine ways of reasoning, thinking, and making meaning.
- Encounter and articulate different perspectives and worldviews.