Apr 10, 2020  
Mansfield University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mansfield University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Arts

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Offered by the Department of Academic and Human Development
Assistant Professors: Iseri, Rotella (chairperson)
Instructor: Cummings, Phillips, Roscoe, Sax


The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BA.LS) degree program is to offer flexibility in planning a program of study to meet individual, personal, and career interests.   The BA.LS degree program provides a unique opportunity for students to combine fields of study and self-construct specialty programs in areas for which the university does not grant degrees.  The program fosters creativity among students with established learning goals and also validates the previous learning of students who opt to pursue this option late in their academic journey.  Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide an individualized education, based in the tradition of the liberal arts (the humanities, the arts, languages, mathematics, and natural and social sciences). The program is committed to the development of the independent lifelong learner.


The Bachelor of Arts of Liberal Studies program intent is to produce effective and productive citizens and leaders in a challenging and rapidly changing global society.

Additional Information and Degree Requirements:

Mansfield University offers over 50 academic minors, thus Liberal Arts majors may select fields of study from a broad range of disciplines.

Students in Liberal Studies fulfill the University’s general education program requirements (see General Education), including a comprehensive capstone course or experience, and may choose between two paths 1)  Complete one or more academic minors or 2)  Earn a second-year proficiency in a foreign language. Second year language proficiency is defined as successful completion of the 2202 level of a foreign language.  Additionally, students who have completed the capstone course or experience in another program are exempt from completing an additional capstone course or experience in Liberal Studies.

The program fosters creativity among students with established learning goals and also validates the previous learning of students who opt to pursue this possibility late in their academic journey.  The faculty academic advisor of record, assist students in the purposeful planning of an undergraduate liberal education that contributes to the acquisition of knowledge and skills which promotes academic and personal growth consistent with the program goals below.

Beyond the general education requirements, there are no specific course requirements for the Liberal Studies degree.  However, no more than 24 credit hours in any individual prefix area can be counted towards the number of hours needed for graduation (120). (Note that:  BUS, MGT, FIN, ACC, MU ART, ED and ELE are each separate course prefix areas). 

Program Goals

To impart general knowledge and enhance critical thinking skills and intellectual capabilities

  • To enable the student to pursue broad interests or to develop specialized program in a discipline unavailable as an undergraduate degree at the University
  • To provide the student the opportunity to engage fully in shaping an education best suited to individual needs and interests
  • To empower the student with the necessary skills and knowledge to be an effective and productive citizen and leader in a challenging and rapidly changing global society

Program Outcomes

·            The acquisition of knowledge of:

  • Western culture and its relationship to non-western cultures
  • The foundations and characteristics of educated discourse
  • The unity and diversity of humanity
  • Fine arts and aesthetics
  • The intricate complexities of life on the planet
  • Scientific information as it is applied to personal and social decisions
  • The approaches of the liberal arts disciplines

·            The demonstration of skills in:

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Effective written and oral communication
  • The use of more than one language
  • Inquiry and research
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Problem solving

·            The development of dispositions to:

  • Form a coherent, independent philosophy of life
  • Make socially responsible and personally fulfilling life choices
  • Live sustainably
  • Value knowledge and continuing growth
  • Form opinions and modify positions based on evidence
  • Reason ethically and act with integrity
  • Promote social justice and peace

Interested students should contact the chairperson, Professor Deborah Rotella (570-662-4824) for information.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Each student will successfully demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and apply areas of general education knowledge and their specialized area of academic study (academic minor or foreign language proficiency).
  • Each students will be able to describe “What is means to have a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies” and demonstrate well developed critical thinking and research Skills through a writing assignment to be included in the Liberal Studies Capstone Portfolio
  • Student will demonstrate their advanced ability to communicate in writing by compiling a Liberal Studies Capstone Portfolio which will include artifacts as evidence.  



Program Requirements: Liberal Studies (B.A.): 120 s.h.

General Education Outline

A. Foundations of Knowledge (12 credits)

  • First Year Seminar (3)
  • Written Communication (6)
  • Oral Communication (3)

B. Approaches to Knowledge (18-20 credits)

  • Humanities (6) (Courses must have a different prefix)
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (3-4) (Must have a laboratory component)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6) (Courses must have a different prefix)Mathematics (3-4)

C. Unity and Diversity of Humanity (12 credits)

  •  Global Perspectives (6) 

o   Option 1: Language other than English (6) (Must be two consecutive courses of the same language)

o   Option 2: Western and Non-Western Global Cultures (6) (Courses must have a different prefix)

  • Themes (6 from at least two strands)

1. Ethics and Civic Responsibility (3)
2. Environmental, Economic, Social, and Personal Sustainability (1-3)
3. Arts & the Human Experience (1-3)

D. A program of study based on learning outcomes, designed in collaboration with a faculty advisor and not exceeding 24 credit hours in courses with the same prefix.

E. Capstone Project accomplished within the major. It may take any appropriate form, e.g., portfolio, research paper, performance, etc.


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