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«........ ~....... Welcome from the President Welcome to Southeast Missouri State University and our University Studies program! As a ...»

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University Studies Program

Southeast Missouri State University

Table of Contents

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from the President

Welcome to Southeast Missouri State University and our University Studies


As a new student at Southeast, you are beginning a great adventure and you

are being offered a great opportunity. The adventure comes in opening yourself to

new ideas and new experiences -- making changes in your understanding of the world around you and expanding the range of considered possibilities, both intellectually and in how you view your future. Probably never again in your life will you enjoy the luxury of having the time to study a wide range of topics covering the full range of human experiences. Giving you that opportunity -- guiding you through that adventure -- is the purpose of University Studies.

Of course, you are here to receive professional training that will lead to a rewarding and profitable career after college. You will find that our professional programs at Southeast are as good as you could find anywhere, and our graduates do find rewarding careers.

But do not think of University Studies as requirements to "get out of the way" so you can get on with the business of learning about a profession. It is through your contact with our outstanding faculty members in this general education program that you will become a truly educated human being, able to function in the global village of the 21st century. I predict that in later years you will conclude that the broad background you received in University Studies was at least as important to you in your career as the professional skills which prepared you for your first job.

This is an exciting time in your life, and also in' mine, as I assume the presidency of this University. Our work at Southeast will be, for both of us, a great challenge, a great opportunity, and a great adventure. With dedication and diligence, it will also be a great success.

I wish you the best -- during your Southeast years and always.

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Program Description Oeneral or liberal education programs at most colleges and universities normally comprise about one-third of the baccalaureate curriculum. These programs are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and experiences which are necessary to enable students to lead full and productive lives as educated men and women. At Southeast Missouri State University the liberal education program is called University Studies and the theme of this program is Enhancing the Humanity of the Student.

The University Studies program consists of an introductory course (OS-101), a core curriculum of 12 courses at the 100-200 level and 3 upper-level interdisciplinary courses.

The program is outlined on page 7.

University Studies begins its third year this fall semester and consists of 78 courses in the core curriculum and over 50 courses in the interdisciplinary curriculum. Each of these courses was designed to provide you with opportunities to address the 9 University Studies objectives. These objectives are listed on pages 8 and 9. As you progress through the program you will approach these objectives from many different directions and in many different ways. For example, you will be exposed to critical thinking from the point of view of the biologist, the historian, the philosopher, the economist, the artist, the linguist and the librarian. In each case you will have an opportunity to understand how the various disciplines acquire, organize, manipulate, evaluate and communicate information. In short, you will develop critical thinking skills. Upon completion of the program you should be able to demonstrate a significant level of expertise in each of the objectives at which time the University will certify that you are indeed liberally educated.

Periodically you nlay be asked to participate in an assessnlent test designed to measure your progress. These tests are a part of your graduation requirenlents and are in compliance with state regulations. Your cooperation in these tests is essential for,us to continue to make changes designed to improve the program as well as to certify to the state that you are making adequate academic progress.

Core courses in the University Studies program are listed on pages 10 and 11.

Recall that one course is required in each of the 12 categories in the 100-200 core curriculum. Page 12 is a checklist on which you may indicate courses as you enroll in them.

Following this are descriptions of all University Studies core courses available this academic year. These descriptions have been prepared by the faculty in order to assist you in selecting the most appropriate course in each category. Attempts have been made to ensure that courses are more or less equivalent in each category and you are strongly urged to select courses on the basis of your own particular needs and your academic goals rather than perceived rigor. Indeed, one nleasure of an educated person is the recognition of one's strengths and weaknesses as well as a sense of how to enhance the one and correct the other.

The School of University Studies welcomes you to this program. In developing these courses the faculty was primarily concerned with selecting the information and skills that educated people should possess in order to become as fully human as possible. I urge you to approach these courses with this same concern.

–  –  –

One fundamental purpose of a liberal education is to ensure the acquisition of knowledge common to educated people and to equip students to integrate acquired knowledge in order to produce interconnections of thoughts and ideas.

The goal of the program is to provide students with the information, ideas and skills they need to have in order to live a happier and more intellectually rewarding life.

The program is based upon nine University Studies Objectives:

Objective No. 1 Demonstrate the ability to locate and gather information This objective addresses the ways to search for, find and retrieve the ever increasing information available in a technological society.

Objective No. 2 Demonstrate capabilities for critical thinking, reasoning and analyzing Students today cannot learn all the information that is produced. Therefore, they must be able to evaluate, analyze and synthesize information. They must be able to effectively process large anl0unts of information.

Objective No. 3 Demonstrate effective communication skills The ability to understand and manipulate verbal and mathematical symbols is a fundamental requirement in any society, especially one that thrives upon the free exchange of ideas and information. Functional literacy is not the goal, rather, students must attain a high level of proficiency in order to be effective and happy citizens.

Objective No. 4 Demonstrate an understanding of human experiences and the ability to relate them to the present The degree to which individuals and societies assimilate the accrued knowledge of previous generations is indicative of the degree to which they will be able to use their creative and intellectual abilities to enrich their lives and the culture of which they are a part.

Objective No. 5 Demonstrate an understanding of various cultures and their interrelationships Understanding how other people live and think gives one a broader base of experience upon which to draw in the quest to become educated. As we become more proficient in information gathering, critical thinking, communication, and understanding our past, our need to understand other cultures beconles greater.

Objective No. 6 Demonstrate the ability to integrate the breadth and diversity of knowledge and experience This objective deals not merely with the possession of isolated facts and basic concepts, but also the correlation and synthesis of disparate knowledge into a coherent, meaningful whole.

University Studies Objectives (continued) Objective No. 7 Demonstrate the ability to make informed, intelligent value decisions Valuing is the ability to make informed decisions after considering ethical, moral, aesthetic and practical implications. It involves assessing the consequences of one's actions, assuming responsibility for them, and understanding and respecting the value perspective of others.

Objective No. 8 Demonstrate the ability to make informed, sensitive aesthetic responses A concern for beauty is a universal characteristic of human culture.

Aesthetics, while usually associated with the fine arts, can be broadly defined to include all areas of human endeavor, for example, science, history, business and sport.

Objective No.9 Demonstrate the ability to function responsibly in one's natural, social and political environment Students must learn to interact responsibly with their natural, social and political environments in order to assure continued interrelationships among persons and things. This objective presupposes an educated, enlightened citizenry that accepts its responsibility to understand and participate in the political and social process.

–  –  –

Perspectives on Individual Expression Artistic Expression Literary Expression Oral Expression Written Expression Perspectives on Natural Systems Behavioral Systems Living Systems Logical Systems Physical Systems Perspectives on Human Institutions Development of a Major Civilization _ Economic Systems Political Systems Social Systenls

–  –  –

First Year Introductory Course GS-101 Creative and Critical Thinking Most universities in this country, and many in other countries, have "freshman seminar" courses which are designed to assist beginning students in making a successful adjustment to university life. The fundamental purpose of colleges and universities is scholarly activity. Indeed, universities are communities of scholars. Therefore, the development of a scholarly approach is essential if you are to have a successful university experience.

Accordingly, 0S-101 Creative and Critical Thinking has three purposes:

1. To assist you in developing scholarly skills appropriate to the university, 2. To assist you in effectively locating and using the many resources available to you in your development as a student, and 3. To assist you in making a successful transition to the university environment.

Course Content 1. GS-101 will assist you in getting acquainted with a peer-group and a faculty merrlber who will function as your advisor and resource person.

2. The course will introduce you to those creative and critical thinking skills that are essential to academic success in any university program, in the University Studies program, and in the various majors and minors.

3. Communication skills are emphasized throughout GS-101. Initially the course emphasizes the development of listening and discussion skills. Later writing skills are emphasized.

4. One of the components of the course involves planning a scholarly approach to life. This part of the course will assist you in choosing an appropriate major, designing a plan for graduation, and discussing a life-long learning plan.

Nature of Course GS-101 utilizes an atmosphere which is designed to promote faculty-student interaction. Often discussions are developed which lead to reading assignments and written reports about interesting issues in student life and society at large.

The course is taught by faculty from different acadenlic backgrounds who have been specifically prepared to address the needs of beginning students. Each section of the course will vary from others both in the order in which activities are scheduled and in the subject matter that is used to develop skills. However, all students will be exposed to the same skills and will work toward the same major learning objectives.

Student Expectations Because of the nature of this course your attendance and participation are very important. In order to actively participate in discussions you must complete assignments and attend class every day. Evaluation of students is based on participation, written assignnlents, and a variety of forms of testing.

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Ceramics, one of mankind's oldest and lasting handicrafts, provides us with a record of human needs and aspirations through the ages. Pottery and other clay artifacts will be examined and compared in function, design, technique and decoration to gain enhanced understanding of the cultures that produced and used them.

Course Content 1. Slide presentations of ceramics in history 2. Guest lectures by archaeologist 3. Written research reports on ceramics from assigned cultures 4. Group oral and visual presentations 5. Hands on experience forming and firing pottery 6. Archaeological field trip digs Museum study Student Expectations 1. Participation in all class sessions 2. Essay examinations on the four course content areas 3. Participation in field trips which will include archaeological digs and museum studies (may involve a fee) 4. Participation in group activities which will include oral class presentations, clay prospecting, and primitive pottery firing 5. Two library research reports will be required 6. Hands on pottery forming assignments 7. Comprehensive final examination (essay)

–  –  –

Nature of Course

There will be a balanced emphasis among the following:

1. The teaching format will include a balanced mix among:

a. presentation and discussion of course goals, expectations, and resources.

b. lectures (based on text, video-tapes, slides, current art events in daily life, and up-coming art exhibits off-campus).

c. question and answer dialogue with students in lectures, visual presentations, panel sessions, museum visits, etc.

d. solicitation of student opinions and beliefs during daily class activities.

Student Expectations The following will be adapted to the standards of general students (i.e. non­ art majors). The following will be adapted to what would be reasonably expected in a 100 level three semester hours course.

1. A daily notebook of a) key concepts developed in daily class activities and

b) personal written reactions and reflections on these concepts.

2. A course paper involving library research and using periodicals and texts.

Topic to be chosen by the student based on area of interest.

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