Emerita Faculty Jan Droegkamp
Program Coordinator Andy Egizi
Faculty members from all UIS colleges participate in the Liberal Studies Program 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 to deepen their understandings of the values, meaning, concerns, choices, and commitments that are basic to the quality of life.
Liberal studies (LIS) learners design individualized degree plans consistent with the principles of a liberal education. There are many coursework alternatives that may be part of this plan -- self-assessment, independent study, multidisciplinary courses/studies, and credit for prior learning assessment. Although degree plans must be broad enough to meet the interdisciplinary goals of the program, students may choose a thematic focus for their programs. Examples are international studies, women’s studies, African-American studies, or human resource development. In addition, students may have a minor such as philosophy. Students should be aware that not all of the areas available to students taking classes on campus are available online.
Learners have a good chance for success in the Liberal Studies Program 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.
Students can complete the curriculum in the classroom, entirely online via the Internet, or in combination. All learning formats offer individualized instruction, advising, and support. Liberal Studies Online enables learners to complete course work using the latest computer-assisted technology for increased access to educational resources, advisers, and materials. 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.
Campus-based Students The Liberal Studies Program 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 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 program office.
The request should be approximately two pages and should reflect junior-level writing skills. The request should include:
Whenever possible, students should include details and examples to illustrate their ideas. Any problems in previous academic work should also be addressed. A full explanation of the problem, as well as a description of steps taken to correct it, should be included. This additional detail may increase the length of the request; however, students are nevertheless asked to be concise.
Online Students Entrance to the online program is selective and the number of students admitted each semester is limited. Applicants must complete the online program application process. For details, please contact the program office. An online Liberal Studies applicant must also document to the program's satisfaction his or her ability to succeed in junior level coursework. The program will consider any information provided by the student, but the primary tools used in making this determination are the applicant's written statement and previous coursework. Applicants should have a strong background in general education topics and must have completed two semesters of composition to be admitted to the online program.
Priority dates for online application are March 15 for summer and fall and October 15 for spring. The program will continue considering applications after these dates as long as space remains. Students are conditionally admitted to the LIS program until they successfully complete LIS 301 and the LIS program approves their degree plans.
Online students must have experience using a personal computer and navigating the Internet. For students who encounter problems accessing the courseware, materials, or other course components, the UIS Office of Technology Enhanced Learning provides ongoing technical support. A complete description of program and technology requirements are available on the Liberal Studies Online website at http://lis.uis.edu.
Students without access to a computer and who live in one of the participating Illinois community college districts can obtain information about accessing computers and technical support at their local community colleges though a statewide program called Illinois Virtual Campus (www.ivc.illinois.edu).
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 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 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 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 Program 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.