All undergraduate students admitted in Fall 2013 or later are required to take a minimum of 10 hours in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE), a set of courses tied to UIS’ heritage, mission, vision, and values. These courses provide a distinctive element to the baccalaureate education at UIS, and encourage a commitment to making a difference in the world. Most of the coursework in this category is interdisciplinary and is designed to help students recognize the value of multiple perspectives. ECCE categories help students meet a number of learning outcomes.
Upon completion of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience at UIS, students should be able to:
- Recognize the social responsibility of the individual within a larger community.
- Practice awareness of and respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples in this country and in the world.
- Reflect on the ways involvement, leadership, and respect for community occur at the local, regional, national, or international levels.
- Identify how economic, political, and social systems operate now and have operated in the past.
- Engage in open-minded and ethical decision-making and action.
- Distinguish the possibilities and limitations of social change.
The Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) consists of 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses and includes the following categories:
U.S. Communities (1 course, 3-4 hours)
Courses in this category aim to broaden students’ knowledge about substantial, distinctive, and complex aspects of the history, society, politics, and culture of United States communities.
Global Awareness (1 course, 3-4 hours)
Courses in this category help students to understand and function in an increasingly interdependent and globalizing environment and to develop an appreciation of other cultural perspectives. They foster awareness of other cultures, polities, or natural environments, past or present.
Engagement Experience (3 hours)
This category offers students structured opportunities to integrate knowledge, practice, and reflection in the context of an engaged citizenship experience. Students may fulfill this part of the ECCE curriculum through an Applied Studies Term, Credit for Prior Learning, a service-learning course, a research project, a group project course, or study abroad, among others.
ECCE Elective (3 hours)
This category is designed to provide flexibility in the ECCE curriculum by offering students various opportunities to expand their Engaged Citizenship Common Experience. Electives fall into two areas:
- Experiential Learning, which includes Applied Study Terms, service learning, study abroad, and Credit for Prior Learning, a research project, a group project course, or study abroad, among others;
- Additional coursework related to engaged citizenship, which includes a second ECCE course in U.S. Communities or Global Awareness, an “On-Going Controversies” course, and modern languages (third or fourth semester only). On-going Controversies courses address complex issues of significance to society in a local, national, or global context. They include a range of interdisciplinary perspectives and require students to examine controversial topics, including ethics and values, from scholarly points of view.
ECCE Speakers Series (1-2 hours)
For one semester, students will be required to participate in a series of campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who will exemplify engaged citizenship. Students must take one hour of Speakers Series, but may take an additional hour in a different semester if desired. Lectures will be made available to online students via webcasts, and Blackboard will be utilized for both on-campus and online students.