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Liberal Studies

Mission

Our mission is to provide flexible, innovative degree programs to students whose needs and interests are not limited to a single discipline.

Vision 

We believe that students educated in the Liberal Arts tradition will have the skills to meet the many challenges of today's workplace. Moreover, students who have the flexibility to choose advanced classes in multiple disciplines can design a major that better addresses their individual career goals. Liberal Studies is committed to helping students create their own paths to degree-completion, career success, and ultimately a more fulfilling quality of life. We envision our program, students, and graduates helping to shape a community that is intellectually engaged, globally connected, environmentally responsible, diverse and inclusive.

Degree Completion Program 

Liberal Studies is a degree-completion program; students who have 45-60 credits can finish their Bachelor of Arts degree on evenings and weekends with additional courses offered in hybrid or online capacities. Students interested in pursuing Liberal Studies to complete their degree can follow the general guidelines below to determine how close their qualifications parallel our program's expectations for success. Note: These are only general guidelines, a more complete picture of your likelihood of success will require you to consult with our Advisor who can evaluate your particular academic record and discuss your options in more detail.

Michael Johnson, Ph.D.
RITA 258
(262) 595-2298
johnsom2@uwp.edu

GREEN

30 credits remaining to degree completion.
Language requirement met.
Earned an Associate of Arts

ORANGE

60 credits remaining to degree completion.
Language & diversity requirements incomplete.

RED

90 credits remaining to degree completion.
General Education requirement incomplete.
Language & diversity requirement not met.

Important Links
Academics
Catalog Information
Concentrations
  • A Humanities concentration offers an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking, writing/communication development skills, and a heightened understanding of global perspectives. Students interested in pursuing this concentration typically have an affinity for subjects like, art, music, graphic design, classical studies, literature, and the performing and visual arts. For example, courses in this concentration include the Communication, English, History, Humanities and Political Science disciplines.
  • A Social Science Studies concentration offers students the option to meet with an adviser and design an individual plan of study surrounding a concept within the social or behavioral sciences. This concentration offers a high degree of flexibility to students with an academic record that reflects a wide array of interdisciplinary intellectual interests.
  • An Organizational Studies concentration provides students with opportunities to understand and experience the complexities of structures and organizational methods applicable in both the public and private sector. Courses in this concentration include Geography, History/Ethnic Studies, Psychology, Sociology and Communications to name a few. Many students in business related fields have found Organizational Studies particularly applicable to their professional and career development.
  • A Cinema and Film Studies concentration explores the social impact of visual narrative art as it contributes to and shapes cultural identity. This is an interdisciplinary concentration invested in literary and performing arts, as well as historical, aesthetic, compositional, or cultural impacts, depending on the scholarly interests of the student. Courses in Art, Theatre, Humanities and English are well represented in this concentration.
  • A Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies concentration provides students the opportunity to study the development and evolution of gender, class, race, and power, and the resulting marginalization and oppression stemming from such social constructs. Students create a plan to examine the injustices/inequalities that influence the world and the ways we exist within it.
Sample Course Syllabi
Course
Title
Instructor
Term
LBST 100 Introduction to the Disciplines Swiderski Fall-2017 
LBST 101 Introduction to Humanities: World Cultures to 1500 Ravnikar Spring-2015
LBST 102 Introduction to Humanities: World Cultures 1500 to Present Bruce Spring-2015
LBST 103 Diversity in the United States Andersen Spring-2015
LBST 108 Prior Learning Assessment Johnson Fall-2017
LBST 168 Student Leadership Staff N/A
LBST 200 Humanistic Studies Staff N/A
LBST 252 Introduction to Film McRoy Fall-2017
LBST 290 Special Topics Staff N/A
LBST 297 Crossroads into Liberal Studies Staff N/A
LBST 468 Holocaust Studies Vopat Spring-2014
LBST 490 Special Topics Staff N/A
LBST 494 Internship in Liberal Studies Staff N/A
LBST 498 Senior Seminar Johnson Fall-2017
LBST 499 Independent Study Staff N/A
Scholarships

Piken Scholarship is open to any newly admitted students pursing a degree in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Link Scholarship is offered to students with a declaird major in the College of Arts and Humanities, have completed sixity (60) credits with a GPA of at least 2.75, and have resided in Kenosha County when completing high school (or equivalent)

Curriculum Goals & Competencies
Communication
  • Students will have read and performed detailed interpretation of a wide variety of texts (construed broadly to include non-written works, audio-visual multimedia, and performative narratives).
  • Students will skillfully synthesize a variety of complex, and often disparate, ideas.
  • Students will adroitly construct and articulate coherent, organized, reasoned and substantive arguments possessing persuasive, supporting evidence.
  • Student will demonstrate an awareness and application of disciplinary conventions, as appropriate.
Problem Solving and Creative Thinking
  • Students will efficiently and effectively construct clear and insightful problem statements with evidence of all relevant contextual factors.
  • Students will competently integrate alternate, divergent or contradictory perspectives or ideas fully and completely even when in opposition to their personally held beliefs.
  • Students will methodically investigate a novel or unique idea, question, format, solution or product to create new knowledge or knowledge that crosses traditional, contemporary, disciplinary or intellectual boundaries.
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness that confidence in final conclusions is limited by assumptions and the accuracy of information.
Inquiry, Analysis and Critical Thinking
  • Students will successfully select and use information to investigate a point of view or conclusion, using interpretation, evaluation, analysis and synthesis in their assessment.
  • Students will precisely organize and synthesize evidence to reveal insightful patterns, differences or similarities.
  • Students will competently and capably identify and develop elements of the methodological or theoretical framework appropriate to the discipline.
  • Students will effectively define the scope of a question or thesis while accurately determining key concepts
  • Students will judiciously chose sources and types of information selected that directly relate to concepts or that answer questions.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • Students will integrate and apply approaches/tools/skills from multiple disciplines to solve problems of varying complexity.
  • Students will explore, analyze, synthesize, and integrate economic, social, and cultural structures to demonstrate fluency across multiple disciplines and across multiple time periods.
  • Students will cogently recognize ethical issues when presented in complex, multi-layered context and will recognize cross-relationships among the disciplines.
Intercultural Knowledge
  • Students will demonstrate the identification, articulation, comparison, and analysis of multiple world views, power structures and histories.
  • Students will persuasively articulate sophisticated comprehension of the complexity of competing narratives, including one's own, that individuals and groups use to shape perspectives and concepts of history, culture, gender, race, class and other modes of socio-cultural organization.
  • Students will thoroughly, systematically and methodically analyze their own and others' assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position sensitive to their analyses.
  • Students will ask complex questions about other cultures, and seek out and articulate answers to these questions that reflect multiple cultural perspectives.
Program History
Liberal Studies Discipline
The study of the liberal arts as a discipline originates from the study of the liberal arts curricula during the medieval era in Europe. The term “liberal” in “Liberal Arts” comes from the “Latin word liberalis, meaning ‘appropriate for free men’ (1). Initially ‘Liberal’ came to represent the kinds of skills and general knowledge needed by the elite echelon of society, whereas the ‘servile arts’ represented specialized tradesman skills and knowledge needed by persons who were employed by the elite” which we commonly call a “vocational” education found in primarily in community colleges. Contrary to contemporary society, where the term "liberal" is fraught with political meaning, "liberal arts" historical definition was instead understood to mean "liberation" from ignorance. History tells us that the “Liberal arts curricula in Europe started to broaden during the age of the Renaissance, when the most famous and celebrated of the day, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, chose not to focus entirely upon one course of study or work, but to cross disciplinary lines consistently and study a variety of pursuits”. In the United States however, the Yale Report of 1828 was written which would change the future of higher education forever. The report concluded that a “liberal arts curriculum, in which students were prepared for many different aspects of life, was the most beneficial”:
 
In laying the foundation of a thorough education, it is necessary that all the important mental faculties be brought into exercise…The mind never attains its full perfection, unless its various powers are so trained as to give them the fair proportions which nature designed… In the course of instruction in this college, it has been an object to maintain such a proportion between the different branches of literature and science, as to form in the student a proper balance of character. ... Our object is not to teach that which is peculiar to any one of the professions; but to lay the foundation which is common to them all (2).


Leading the way, Yale University thus became one of the first schools to implement a liberal arts curriculum, which was then reproduced by other higher education institutions throughout the U.S. Since its publication, The Yale Report (3) became the classic argument for a liberal education and liberal arts colleges in the United States. Our program offers both an Associates and Bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Studies whose curriculum aspires to continue the tradition of a traditionally comprehensive education, originally conceived of in the 1828 report while adapting to the needs and desires of today’s technologically savvy student of the 21st Century by offering a high degree of flexibility. (4).

Reference Notes

  1. Philip L. Harriman, "Antecedents of the Liberal-Arts College," The Journal of Higher Education 6(2) (1935): 63-71.
  2. The Yale Report of 1828 • Part I The Collegiate Way. Retrieved July 10, 2008.
  3. Stacey A. Jacob, Liberal Arts Colleges Encyclopedia of Education (The Gale Group, 2002).
  4. New World Encyclopedia contributors, "Liberal arts college," New World Encyclopedia, , http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Liberal_arts_college&oldid=983378 (accessed November 2, 2017).
Liberal Studies At Parkside 
The Liberal Studies degree program began at UW Parkside with an idea. It was originally a concept that followed close upon the development of interdisciplinary thought in the early 1960s and 1970s and found fruition under the leadership of then Dean Donald Cress, Ph.D.. At the conclusion of his tenure his replacement, Dr. Dean Yohnk, continued to support the development of the Center from 2012 - 2014. After his departure for the University of Wisconsin - Superior, Interim Dean Megan Mullan, Ph.D. took over the leadership of the College of Arts and Humanities.  Soon thereafter Dr. Lesley Heins-Walker took her place as permanent Dean of the college, with direct leadership for the Center for Liberal Studies delegated to Dr. Teresa Coronado our current Director, under whose tenure the Center has expanded.
Career Information & Forecasts

Students majoring in Liberal Studies have obtained positions in a wide array of professional fields. A brief review of the Alumni section of this website will illustrate just some of these.  However, Liberal Studies prefers to rely upon rigorous data to inform how our curriculmn adapts to society's emerging needs. Thus we've included a short summary of  career fields that yield results for our graduates, as well as data that suggest strong hiring trends of the future. Thus we've included some information from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development below. This first image is a chart which reflects both the historical and current unemployment rates divided between our state and the Nation:

Image of Wisconsin Employment Chart

Additionally, long term state projections indicate a few specific areas of future growth that are especially applicable to students with interdisciplinary academic degrees like Liberal Studies, which include Education and Health Services, Government, Liesure and Hospitality as well as Professional and Business Services. This chart indicates that the likelihood of unemployment decreases with an increase in higher education attainment at the Bachelor's level and above:

Education and Unemployment

Alumni

The Center for Liberal Studies has accumulated approximately 300 alumni over the years since its inception.  The Liberal Studies alumni remain a vitally important component of our continuing commitment to the principles of community outreach and inclusion as shared participants in our vision of the future.  To that end, we hope to include much more detailed information about the accomplishment of our alumni through this website feature in the future.  We hope to include photos, multimedia clips and additional linked materials to illustrate to the world, our UWP community, and potential majors, the kinds of careers one can achieve with a Liberal Studies degree. Moreover we hope to celebrate the impressive accomplishments one can obtain with an education in our interdisciplinary program, while highlighting the continuing benefits that our program creates through its production of intellectually sophisticated, media savvy, non-profit and business professionals fully committed to participating in their local communities, state and nation. 

Steering Committee
Name Phone Building/Room Department
Bruce, David 2316 MOLN 123 History
Mcroy, Jimmy "Jay" xxxx RITA 228 Literatures and Languages
Benson, Josef D. xxxx RITA 232 Literatures and Languages
Kornestsky, Lisa 2352 RITA 286 Theatre Arts
Keefe, Jennifer 2465 GRNQ 203 Philosophy/Political Science
Johnson Jr., Michael 2609 RITA 258 Liberal Studies
       

900 Wood Road · P.O. Box 2000 · Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 P 262-595-2345

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