Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Course Descriptions

CCR-610: Change, Conflict, and Resolution (3 credits)
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This graduate-level course examines change, conflict, and resolution in both historic and contemporary contexts and invites students to apply these concepts to personal and professional lives while reflecting on their local, national, and global significance. Through assigned texts and readings, class discussions, and independent research in interdisciplinary subject areas, students will develop an understanding of change, conflict, and resolution as they relate to diverse cultures and eras, including the civil rights movement, women's rights, civil disobedience, working within the system, and revolution. The course will provide students with practical insights culled from a deep understanding of global change and will empower them with tools to steer and manage change in their lives and communities.
LAP-500: Liberal Arts and Professional Life (3 credits)
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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 Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) curriculum, this course provides a basis for subsequent courses by encouraging an appreciation of the liberal arts as a formative influence in Western history and culture and establishing a common understanding of the implications of the professions and professionalism.
SAM-501: Sense of Community I: Art and Morality (3 credits)
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This course examines art and morality through the unique perspective that "reading" artifacts can give to a true understanding of the development of communities in time. The course explores how art gives us access to commune with those here before us as well as those who exist with us, thus enhancing our senses of community and communications. Through this phenomenological approach, the course raises questions about the nature of what we create as both an expression of who we are and an influence that transforms us as new values (including morals and ethics) and realms of experience are created. The course defines "culture" as the interactive growth that brings out and develops uniquely human possibilities and develops sensitivity to the development of ideas and institutions as creative projects. Students will explore selected cultures that coexist with us in time as well as those that may have existed before us and are no more. The course emphasizes how this approach allows us to nurture our own possibilities out of the limitless depths of imagination and expressions as well as the magic power of art to produce understanding. Students will be prepared to incorporate their own imaginative abilities in the creation of individualized projects.
SAM-502: Sense of Community II: Faith and Reason (3 credits)
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This course explores the character and quality of human discourse as it tries to describe what it means to be human in the great dialogues between faith and reason. This course is designed to help overcome perceptual obstacles to cross-cultural understanding through comparing and contrasting philosophical, scientific, and religious texts of Eastern, Western, and Native American cultures. Thus, students will gain a greater sense of being part of a larger global community while attaining a better understanding of their own cultural influences. Students will identify examples and case studies in their professional lives that relate to issues arising from the discussions of the texts and will use the lessons of human discourse as a platform to broaden their vision and create practical applications in the workplace and community. During this process of exploration, students will be expected to articulate their own values and beliefs with an understanding of how these may be influenced by their own cultural biases and perceptions.
SIC-520: The Species, the Individual, and Community (3 credits)
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In this interdisciplinary course, students explore "human nature" using theories and tools from biology and from many of the social sciences, including archeology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Students will learn the theories by reading both classic texts and recent scholarly works, including a novel about human evolution set in the Ice Age, and by watching videos, visiting websites, and writing several short papers. Ultimately, students will be asked to formulate their own understanding of "human nature" and to apply their insights to social situations at home, school, work, or the wider community.
THC-625: Technology and the Human Community: Challenges and Responses (3 credits)
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Technology and the Human Community: Challenges and Responses looks at technology historically and philosophically. The course focuses on technological issues affecting contemporary and emerging professional, public, and private structures. A central issue is the role of the citizen in dealing with political, economic, and social pressures related to technology. A key purpose of this course is for students to exchange views by engaging in and discussing serious social and technological issues with a view toward their resolution.


Final Capstone Project
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MLS-700: Capstone I (3 credits)
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This is the first of two courses needed to complete the Capstone Project for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. The proposal is not the project itself but the foundation on which the student will create the project. The Capstone project represents new work and ideas. Although the idea may come from an issue or report previously undertaken, the project gives the student the opportunity to apply and interpret the ideas, practices, and/or skills learned during the MALS program.
MLS-710: Capstone II (3 credits)
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This is the second of two courses needed to complete the Capstone project for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. The Capstone project represents new work and ideas. Although the idea may come from an issue or report previously undertaken, the project gives the student the opportunity to apply and interpret the ideas, practices, and/or skills learned during the MALS program.

Note: Students must successfully complete the requirements of MLS-700: Capstone I before enrolling in MLS-710: Capstone II.