Mary Addison-Lamb, Eric Hadley-Ives, Karen Kirkendall, Rosina Neginsky, Annette Van Dyke
Emerita Faculty Jan Droegkamp
Program Coordinator Andy Egizi
Faculty members from all UIS colleges participate in the Liberal Studies Department as mentors and resource persons.
The Liberal Studies program structure emphasizes the integration of key learning categories with a variety of instructional methods to form a well-rounded and individualized academic experience. Through customized learning activities, the Liberal Studies program assists students in enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, living as an engaged and responsible citizen, considering ethics and consequences of actions, and being familiar with a broad and integrated core of knowledge.
Through careful self-assessment and goal-setting, Liberal Studies students design individual degree plans in consultation with their adviser/instructor in LIS 301 Self-Directed Learning. Students identify learning needs and strategies for meeting those needs through independent study, service learning, and credit for prior learning assessment, and non-credit activities as well as coursework selected from throughout the university. In order to plan a balanced degree, students choose electives that address the following eight broad subject categories: identity, work, nature, institutions, language, heritage, art, and tools.
On completion of LIS 301, degree plans are approved by the Liberal Studies program, although it is expected that the degree plan will change as new courses or ideas emerge for the student. Revisions are approved by the adviser.
Although degree plans must be broad enough to meet the interdisciplinary goals of the degree, students may choose a thematic focus for their degrees, such as international studies or human resource development. In addition, students may have a minor such as philosophy, women and gender studies, or African-American studies. Online students should be aware that not all of the areas available to students taking classes on campus are available online.
Students can complete the curriculum in the classroom, entirely online via the Internet, or in combination. Learners have a good chance for success in the Liberal Studies Department if they are self-directed, able to plan ahead and meet deadlines, disciplined enough to organize individualized programs of study, and able to work independently setting and meeting goals. In addition, students who choose to participate in Liberal Studies Online should be comfortable using networked information technologies, navigating the Internet, using e-mail, and learning from a distance.
On-Campus Students The Liberal Studies degree formally begins with LIS 301 Self-directed Learning, which should be taken during the first semester of a student's junior year. Prior to this, students should work with their advisers to ensure that they have completed the required general education curriculum and the prerequisites necessary to enter their junior year. Campus-based students who begin their degrees at UIS must complete the general education curriculum before receiving permission to enter LIS 301. To receive this permission, campus-based students must submit a written request to the department office. Contact the program office or visit the LIS website for details.
Online Students Entrance to the online program is selective and the number of students admitted each semester is limited. Questions about availability should be directed to the program coordinator.
Before an admission decision can be made, a prospective student must complete the application process:
The statement plays a major role in admission to the online degree. It should be approximately two pages and should reflect junior-level college writing skills.
The statement should include:
Required 6 Hrs.
LIS 301 Self-Directed Learning 4 Hrs.
LIS 451 Senior Seminar 2 Hrs.
LIS electives 4 Hrs.
*LIS 380 Exploration of Learning Resources 2-8 Hrs.
LIS 342 Conducting Liberal Studies Research 2 Hrs.
*LIS 499 Independent Study: Tutorial 2-8 Hrs.
*LIS 471 Honors Thesis 2 Hrs.
LIS 360/460 Special Topics in Liberal Studies 4 Hrs.
BUS 303 Current Issues in Business: A Liberal Studies Perspective 4 Hrs.
COM 458 Media from a Liberal Arts Perspective 4 Hrs.
COM 480 Advanced Topics in Communication: Relational Communication 4 Hrs.
ENG 379 Writing for Social and Behavioral Sciences 4 Hrs.
ENG 474 Professional and Technical Writing 4 Hrs.
PHI 301 Critical Thinking 4 Hrs.
PHI 452 Perspectives on Human Nature 4 Hrs.
PSY 302 Research Methods in Psychology 4 Hrs.
PSY 403 Critical Thinking 4 Hrs.
SOA 302 Understanding Other Cultures 4 Hrs.
UNI 460 Global Experience Seminar 4-12 Hrs.
UNI 470 Global Experience Exchange 8-16 Hrs.
UNI 480 Global Experience Program 6-18 Hrs.
UNI 401 Library Research Methods 3 Hrs.
* There are no classroom meetings for these courses. Students sign independent study contracts with faculty sponsors.
In order to plan a balanced degree program (at least two courses in each area are recommended), students choose electives that address the following eight broad subject categories, also referred to as subject area courses:
Students should consult with advisers in the major for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements.
All competencies necessary to attain the student's goals, including communication skills, are addressed in the degree plan. Assessment of written communication skills occurs when the student conducts a self-assessment in preparing the plan and the LIS 301 instructor assesses his/her written communication skills as documented by the plan. The student plans appropriate learning experiences to acquire any needed skills in consultation with the LIS 301 instructor. These learning experiences are included as part of the degree plan. Completion of the degree plan constitutes certification of communication skills as required by UIS.
Campus policy allows students to choose a traditional grading scale or a credit/no credit option for each course. The Liberal Studies Department conforms to this policy in all courses except LIS 301, LIS 342, LIS 380, LIS 451, and LIS 499, which are offered only on a credit/no credit basis.