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Lakeland expects its students to graduate with a heightened awareness of the issues and concepts that define and describe American culture. Courses fulfilling the American Studies requirement focus on the societal and cultural dynamics of the United States, whether in literary, sociological, political, or historical form.
As articulated in the campus compact, Lakeland is a global community, and the curriculum develops international knowledge and intercultural sensitivity through the Cross-Cultural Studies requirement. Courses satisfying this requirement focus on non-U.S. cultures and languages with substantial attention to current topics.
This requirement is waived for international students with a TOEFL score of at least 500 on the paper-based test (61 on the Internet-based test, 173 on the computer-based test) or who have successfully completed Lakeland College's English Language Institute.
Lakeland seeks to produce graduates who are aware of the dynamics that shape the interactions between individuals and societies. Courses fulfilling the Societal Studies requirement cover theories of individual and social human behavior and/or methods of social observation and analysis.
As a covenantal community, Lakeland is committed to providing an environment in which students study the role of spirituality in human life. Courses satisfying the Religious Studies requirement focus on the human understanding of God and the relationship between the divine and the human.
The Lakeland Core sequence is a series of three General Studies courses designed to:
Core courses are small, seminar-style, discussion courses that are built around a common issue and/or class theme. Unlike courses housed within academic departments, which explore an issue from a specific disciplinary or methodological approach, Core courses are interdisciplinary, including readings and discussions that are informed by the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Throughout the Core courses, students hone their critical-thinking skills through oral and written communication skills, while also developing an understanding of the ways current events reflect and have been shaped by timeless questions. All students entering as freshmen must take one course from each of the following categories:
The first level of the General Studies Core uses the theme of self-discovery to integrate the course's critical-thinking and skill-building goals. The course will encourage students to wrestle with questions of identity, frame of reference, and life goals. Students will be introduced to the academic disciplines through readings, discussions, and activities that pertain to the development of a self-concept. They also begin working on the skills they will need to develop in their college careers as a means to the larger goal of developing a sense of personhood and identity. Emphasis will be placed on developing analytical skills in written and oral form, in both informal and formal formats. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Open to students of freshman standing.
Courses at this level examine the central questions of the human condition, using classic and contemporary texts to compare answers to these questions across time periods and cultures. Using the insight about the self learned from Core I, students in Core II begin to see themselves as part of the larger drama of humanity, noting how contemporary questions have been addressed and readdressed throughout time and place and discussing how their individual frames of reference shape their own answers to these questions. Students develop understanding of how such issues have been handled by the different disciplines and will begin to conduct more sophisticated comparisons of points-of-view through formal presentations, analyses, oral debate, and participation. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Open to students of junior standing. One of the following:
The final level of the Core asks students to apply their understanding of individuals and the human condition to a contemporary societal problem. If Core I looks at the present and Core II builds on resources from the past, then Core III looks to the future, helping the student discover the utility of individual civic action. Emphasizing cross-disciplinary perspectives and cross-cultural analysis, Core III uses current events as a springboard for discussion on the future costs and benefits of particular policies, decisions, and choices. Given the writing-intensive designation of this course, the main assessment and critical thinking tool will be a fully researched written proposal or plan of action, but formal presentations and classroom discussion will further hone students' oral skills as well. Students will also be asked to gain some hands-on experience in the area of discussion by participating in and reporting on a service learning experience in the community. This fits with the "Student-as-Practitioner" focus and incorporates earlier ideas about individual actions within one's immediate community. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Open to students of senior standing. One of the following:
Education majors must also complete the following:
All Lakeland graduates, regardless of their major, are required to complete three interdisciplinary Core courses. Student-as-Practitioner experiences in these courses prepare students for professional life by fostering the development of students’ observational, interpersonal, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
Activities in the Core courses are tied to the theme or the readings of the course. For example, Core I (GEN 130) students and faculty have camped together to complement their reading of Into the Wild, a study of a young man who moved to the Alaskan wilderness. Juniors in Core II are required to become critical observers of the concepts they’re studying. Students in the Gender Studies course (GEN 312), for example, are assigned two tasks: 1) looking for and reporting on gender markings in various community locations (such as stores, schools, and restaurants); and 2) deliberately transgressing gendered expectations at one such location and reporting on the reactions they witnessed. Students in another Core II course, Prejudice and Discrimination (GEN 365), have used the input of area school children to develop publicity and programming for events celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Some Core III students have also presented research at the annual conference for the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. These activities require students from all majors to engage with the course concepts outside of the traditional parameters of the classroom and to strengthen their organizational and interpersonal skills.