LS 300 Liberal Studies Readings and Portfolio Development
In this course students learn how to develop a personal portfolio that will function as a metacognitive record of their intellectual and experiential development in the Liberal Studies program. Readings from important figures in the humanities and sciences are discussed to foster development of critical thinking skills and an understanding of the interrelationships among the liberal studies disciplines. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)
LS 400 Liberal Studies Internship
Senior students are placed in an internship with a cooperating employer in the Washington metropolitan area. The internship is monitored by a supervising professor and a representative of the employing firm. May be fulfilled through portfolio assessment by students with significant work history. Prerequisite: approval of the dean of Arts and Sciences. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (3-6)
LS 420 Senior Seminar
Examines ways to integrate learning in the two chosen concentrations. Using computer technology, the student conducts research to identify a suitable topic for a major thesis paper requiring scholarly support in both concentrations. When the thesis is completed, the student is required to present and defend it orally to the class and the instructor prior to submission in writing. Prerequisite: EN 102, LS 300, and senior status. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: INQ, WI. (3)
LS 421 Project
Senior students examine ways to integrate learning in the two chosen concentrations. Using computer technology, students conduct research to identify a suitable topic for major thesis paper requiring scholarly support in both concentrations. When the thesis is completed, students are required to present and defend it orally to the class and the instructor prior to submission in writing. Prerequisities: EN 102, LS 300, and senior status. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. WI. (3)
Liberal Studies majors have completed coveted internships, including jobs on Capitol Hill, in political campaigns, and for UNICEF overseas. Students work closely with the Center for Career Services who help secure and administer the internships.
Transfer students with significant work experience need not take an internship. With the approval of the dean of Arts and Sciences, they can elect to take LS 400 PACE (Portfolio Assessment and Credit by Examination). The student can choose to write a 15-page paper for 3 credits or a 25-page paper for 6 credits.
In LS 420, the Senior capstone course, building on their LS 300 portfolios, students set out to create an e-portfolio of experiential and scholarly writings, including a lengthy senior thesis which combines the student’s two fields of inquiry. The e-Portfolio is often sent to prospective employers to demonstrate the student’s high level of research and writing skills and knowledge of current issues in his/her fields of concentration.
Liberal Studies prepares students to carry out research, to think critically, to organize ideas, to write, and to present findings in oral presentations.
A recent survey of CEOs by the Association of American Colleges and Universities reported by CNBC found that 75% of American businesses prefer liberal arts graduates and that 95% said “they look for college graduates who can think clearly and solve problems and be able to translate their ideas with good oral and communication skills”—the very goals of the Liberal Studies Program.
Liberal Studies has a formalized agreement with the Center for Career Services, working together through the junior and senior experience, both within and outside the Liberal Studies classroom, to prepare students for their professional lives. Getting students to transition easily into the workforce is a primary goal.