Cluster Four: Social and Cultural Processes (7 credits)

Cluster Four Coordinator: Dr. Raymond Hyser


Courses in Cluster Four require students to think critically about their own society and its relationship to the larger global community.  These courses develop responsible and enlightened global citizenship by examining a wide variety of the processes that shape the human experience.



Cluster Four consists of two courses that may be taken concurrently or in any order. Students must take one course from both the American Experience and the Global Experience areas of Cluster Four, and the two courses must be from two different disciplines (such as POSC and ANTH). Students may not take POSC 200 AND POSC 225 to complete the Cluster Four requirement.

  • Complete one course from each of the two areas below:
  1. The American Experience
  • HIST 225 U.S. History
  • POSC 225 U.S. Government
  • JUST 225 Justice and American Society  

Each of the American Experience courses provides students with an understanding of the major themes and concepts that structure American life today. HIST 225 does so through a contextual and document-based study of the American historical experience that emphasizes the interaction of people, ideas and social movements. POSC 225 focuses on the evolution and contemporary operation of the American political system by examining its fundamental principles and current dynamics.  JUST225 frames questions regarding historic and contemporary events in terms of issues of justice, highlighting how societal structures interact with individual lives and vice versa.

2. The Global Experience

  • AFST 200:  Introduction to Africana Studies
  • ANTH 195: Cultural Anthropology
  • ECON 200  Macroeconomics
  • GEOG 200  Geography: The Global Dimension
  • POSC 200  Global Politics
  • SOCI 110   Social Issues in a Global Context  

Each of the courses in the Global Experience is an investigation into a series of global issues that are of great importance to the human community. Topics discussed will vary from course to course. Issues are examined in a systemic context that allows students to see connections between disciplines. The unifying theme is an analysis of overarching structures at the global level that condition people's behavior and which are shaped by that behavior. From this perspective the study of global issues requires more than studying current events; it involves placing these global issues in a systemic context.

Learning Objectives:

Students completing an American Experience course of Cluster Four will be able to identify, conceptualize and evaluate:

  • Social and political processes and structures using quantitative and qualitative data
  • Key primary sources relating to American history, political institutions and society
  • The nature and development of the intellectual concepts that structure American political activity
  • The history and operation of American democratic institutions
  • The history and development of American society and culture
  • The history and development of American involvement in world affairs

Students completing a Global Experience course in Cluster Four will be able to identify, conceptualize and evaluate:

  • Basic global problems
  • Global political, social, cultural and economic systems that shape societies
  • The issues involved in analyzing societies different from one's own
  • Theoretical models used in studying global problems
  • The strengths and limitations of solutions to global problems across and within cultures

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