Syllabus for LAP-500



This course seeks to define the liberal arts and explore their relevance in today's world. Proceeding from the past to modern times, the course provides a broad overview of the liberal arts throughout the world, including history, the arts and sciences, literature, the social sciences and philosophy/religion. With graduate mentor guidance, students will conduct independent research and will relate their findings to workplace or community experiences.  As its major objective, this course examines the content, meaning, and interrelationship of the liberal arts and their direct relevance to the intellectual and moral formation of the working professional. Students will explore a selection of texts that illuminate fundamental issues outside of the workplace, in which professionals exercise their responsibilities.

As part of the MALS curriculum, this course provides a basis for subsequent courses by:


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Explore the relevance of the liberal arts to professional life.
  2. Develop an understanding of the diverse dimensions of professional life and the relation of these to one another.
  3. Explore the realization that professional leadership requires not only cognitive and affective skills but ethical sensitivities as well.
  4. Evaluate the community values, goals and aspirations of professional life
  5. Assess the conflicts between personal and institutional values and identify possible solutions to those conflicts.
  6. Summarize the value of cultural and moral diversity and the demands they entail for professional leadership.
  7. Evaluate the nature and justification of change and stability in professional environments.
  8. Improve skills of analysis, synthesis, and argumentation and thereby enhance capacity to render sensitive, responsive, comprehensive professional judgments.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.  Many textbooks also have online versions.

Required Textbooks

ISBN 13: 9781585426393

ISBN 13: 9780230603912

ISBN 13: 9780691154480

ISBN 13: 9780130647603

ISBN 13: 9780787974589

Supplementary Material

Links to select Internet articles, blogs, videos, etc. are provided in the individual modules.


Liberal Arts and Professional Life is a three-credit online course, consisting of twelve modules. Modules include study materials and activities. Module titles are listed below.

PART 1: The Liberal Arts vis-a-vis the Professional

PART 2:  History of Professionalism

PART 3:  Living in Diverse Moral Environments:  Private Versus Public Ethics

PART 4: Critical Thinking

PART 5: The Humanities in a Technological Era


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums and complete essays. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in eleven graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion assignments.


You are required to complete four essays. The essays are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.  In general, each essay will be 4-6 pages in length.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Website is the short paper rubric used to aid in the grading of all research exercises within this course.

Final Paper

You are required at the end of the semester to submit a final paper of 8-10 pages in length.  In your paper, you will draw on one key element you’ve learned from each of the elven modules in the course and formulate a response to this question:  How does a study of the liberal arts influence my profession or expected profession?

For details regarding this paper, consult the Module 12 area of the course.  Consult the Course Calendar for the due date.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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