Integrated Cultural Context (C)

University Studies Program
Integrated Cultural Context (C)
(October 3, 2002)
(updated January 9, 2003)
Courses that provide an integrated cultural context bring together elements of the
humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. As humanities courses, they address ideas
we have about our nature, our place in the world, and the ethical dimensions of our
action. As social science courses, they examine human social experience, belief systems,
and cultural practices from both contemporary and historical perspectives. Finally, as
arts courses they use the language of images, symbols, gestures, and sounds to delve into
those expressive activities that mark our role as makers and/or performers. In light of this
definition, participation in the creation, design, and implementation of C courses is
invited from and between all departments, programs, and colleges in the university.
Courses in the Integrated Cultural Context category encourage the habits of mind of a
life-long learner. They introduce students to interdisciplinary perspectives as a means of
examining the breadth of human social experience. By offering an integration of the
humanities, social sciences, and arts, they break down some of the barriers between
intuitive insight and deductive reasoning. This expands each learner’s capacity for
Criteria for Approval of University Studies Courses:
Courses approved to fulfill the C requirement of the core curriculum will include
elements of at least two of the three traditional cultural context categories--the
humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. They should introduce students to a number
of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields and reveal the relationships between
these areas. C courses will offer students the opportunity to develop an understanding of
the multiplicity of values, attitudes, and interpretations human beings bring to experience.
These courses will also help students to become aware of how values are shaped by
culture and to critically examine personal values and attitudes. Finally, C courses will
provide both a contemporary and historical look at human activity.
Fulfilling the Requirement:
Integrated Cultural Context (C) courses may be taken to fulfill the USP requirement in
cultural context. The cultural context category asks students to complete nine hours of
coursework--three hours of humanities (CH), three of social science (CS), and three of
arts (CA). Students who complete three hours of C coursework may fulfill the cultural
context requirement by completing two of the remaining three categories (CH, CS, or
CA). Students who complete six hours of C coursework may fulfill the requirement by
completing one of the remaining three categories. Students who complete nine hours of
C coursework have fulfilled the cultural context requirement.
Program Assessment:
The University Studies Program encourages a variety of assessment techniques. Students
may be asked to keep portfolios and/or journals, to write critical papers or reviews, to
design projects based on the course subject, to engage in service learning that links the
course material to community needs, or to present the results of their learning to class
members and/or to groups outside the class or outside the university.
Whatever the form of assessment in an individual course, it should be based on the
goals of the course and on the mission of the university. It should ascertain that students
have understood course content, can assess and analyze this material, and can present
clearly and cogently the results of the work done in the course. Assessment techniques
are dependent on the discipline and the instructor, and they may change over time.
1. C courses reflect USP’s commitment to faculty professional development. This
means that faculty members are encouraged to expand their fields of interest and
expertise in the design of C courses.
2. C courses make use of teams of faculty members to develop course syllabi and
3. C courses be designed to encourage team teaching.
4. C courses may address both the second writing (WB) criteria of the USP embedded
components and either the Global Awareness (G) or Diversity in the United States (D)
embedded components. When C courses are certified to fulfill three USP requirements,
such courses would normally be offered for four credit hours or more.
5. C courses make use of broad thematic perspectives as a means to examine several
aspects of experience.
6. C courses may be offered in traditional humanities, social sciences, and arts programs
and departments as well as in disciplines and interdisciplinary programs throughout the
Using the University Studies Program criteria and outcomes, a sub-committee of three
selected from the membership of the University Studies Committee will evaluate each
course submitted for credit within the Integrated Cultural Context category (C) and will
make recommendations to the full committee.
University Studies Program
Criteria Review Sheet
Integrated Cultural Context (C)
Integrated cultural context (C) courses respond to the philosophy of the University
Studies program. In bringing together the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts,
they try to serve an array of related purposes. Among these, they:
1. encourage the habits of mind of life-long learners;
2. examine issues human beings face in society whether those societies are relatively
homogeneous or wildly diverse;
3. address the traditions and practices of contemporary and/or historical political, social,
and economic systems;
4. encourage a culture of learning that breaks down barriers—academic, personal,
social—and so builds collegiality in many aspects of university life.
C courses call both for analyzing ideas, and for creative participation in the world of
ideas—making things whether those things are concepts, sounds, objects, or texts.
At the completion of a C course, students should have a clear sense of the nature of and
relationships between at least two of the traditional cultural context categories. For more
information on these, please see the USP program descriptions and criteria review sheets
for the humanities (CH), social sciences (CS), and arts (CA).
While there is no requirement that students take coursework in the C category, students
may use C courses in the fulfillment of one or more of the cultural context categories—
CH, CS, CA. Students who complete three hours of C coursework may fulfill the cultural
context requirement by completing two of the remaining three categories. Students who
complete six hours of C coursework may fulfill the requirement by completing one of the
remaining three categories. Students who complete nine hours of C coursework have
fulfilled the cultural context requirement.
Course Prefix & Number:
Credit Hours:
Course Title:
Please attach a detailed course syllabus that includes the objectives or outcomes for the
course and the means to assess the extent that students reach them.
List any prerequisites:
What cultural context disciplines or subject areas are addressed in this course?
How does this course fit the integrated cultural context definition for C?
Using information from the syllabus, please describe how this course meets the
learning goals and criteria for the C category.
A. How does the course help students to address the relationships between the
two or three cultural context categories the course addresses?
B. How will students present their ideas and analyses in ways that encourage
both intuitive and deductive/inductive modes of thought?
C. How will the course design and size allow for substantial student
D. How does the course encourage students to actively shape their
relationship to the material (are there student directed projects,
collaborative projects, vehicles for student input into the work done in the
E. How does this course address other learning goals listed in the individual
cultural context categories—humanities, social sciences, arts?
Explain how the assessment method(s) used for this course demonstrate student
achievement given the definition and rationale for the C category. Explain how
this assessment might provide information that can be used to improve student
learning in this category.
Does this course include an embedded USP component? If yes, which
embeddable component is included, and how are the outcomes of the embedded
component appropriately addressed in the course proposal?
What other factors should the committee consider?