Cluster Four: Social and Cultural Processes (2 courses)

Interim Cluster Four Coordinator: TBA

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.

REQUIREMENTS

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.

THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

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. JUST 225 frames questions regarding historic and contemporary events in terms of issues of justice, highlighting how societal structures interact with individual lives and vice versa.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

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.
  • Primary sources from diverse perspectives relating to American history, political institutions and society.
  • The evolution of intellectual concepts shaping American democratic institutions, including issues involving power, inequity, and justice.
  • The complexity and diversity of American politics, society and culture.
  • Intentions and consequences of America’s engagement in global affairs.
  • How the historical exclusion of various social identities influences political, social, cultural and economic development.

COURSE OPTIONS (complete one of the following)

  • HIST 225: U.S. History
  • JUST 225: Justice and American Society  
  • POSC 225: U.S. Government
THE GLOBAL EXPERIENCE

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 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 OUTCOMES

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.
  • Issues involved in analyzing societies different from one's own.
  • Strategies to achieve diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and access both locally and globally.
  • Diverse theoretical models to analyze global problems.
  • The value and complexity of global diversity in all its forms.

COURSE OPTIONS (complete one of the following)

  • AAAD 200: Introduction to African, African American and Diaspora Studies
  • ANTH 195: Cultural Anthropology
  • ECON 200: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • GEOG 200: Geography: The Global Dimension
  • POSC 200: Global Politics
  • SOCI 110: Social Issues in a Global Context  

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