Welcome to the handbook for the University Studies program. The University Studies program is the core educational program that Southeast Missouri State University requires all students to complete. University Studies courses are designed to help students achieve the high academic expectations of the university by providing the opportunity to develop the skills and dispositions that are characteristic of educated persons from a variety of academic disciplines. All courses in the program must meet nine University Studies Objectives regarding learning and integrating the knowledge necessary for success in college and beyond. Our University Studies program is nationally recognized as one of the best programs in the country. Descriptions of the University Studies courses are available below in order to help you learn more about the courses you may take to fulfill each requirement.
One fundamental purpose of a liberal education is to ensure the acquisition of knowledge common to educated people and to equip students to integrate acquired knowledge in order to produce interconnections of thoughts and ideas. The goal of the University Studies program is to provide students with the information, ideas and skills they need to have in order to live a happier and more intellectually rewarding life. The program is based upon nine University Studies Objectives:
Demonstrate the ability to locate and gather information. This objective addresses the ways to search for, find and retrieve the ever increasing information available in a technological society.
Demonstrate capabilities for critical thinking, reasoning and analyzing. Students today cannot learn all the information that is produced. Therefore, they must be able to evaluate, analyze and synthesize information. They must be able to effectively process large amounts of information.
Demonstrate effective communication skills. The ability to understand and manipulate verbal and mathematical symbols is a fundamental requirement in any society, especially one that thrives upon the free exchange of ideas and information. Functional literacy is not the goal, rather, students must attain a high level of proficiency in order to be effective and happy citizens.
Demonstrate an understanding of human experiences and the ability to relate them to the present. The degree to which individuals and societies assimilate the accrued knowledge of previous generations is indicative of the degree to which they will be able to use their creative and intellectual abilities to enrich their lives and the culture of which they are a part.
Demonstrate an understanding of various cultures and their interrelationships. Understanding how other people live and think gives one a broader base of experience upon which to draw in the quest to become educated. As we become more proficient in information gathering, critical thinking, communication, and understanding our past, our need to understand other cultures becomes greater.
Demonstrate the ability to integrate the breadth and diversity of knowledge and experience. This objective deals not merely with the possession of isolated facts and basic concepts, but also the correlation and synthesis of disparate knowledge into a coherent, meaningful whole.
Demonstrate the ability to make informed, intelligent value decisions. Valuing is the ability to make informed decisions after considering ethical, moral, aesthetic and practical implications. It involves assessing the consequences of one's actions, assuming responsibility for them, and understanding and respecting the value perspective of others.
Demonstrate the ability to make informed, sensitive aesthetic responses. A concern for beauty is a universal characteristic of human culture. Aesthetics, while usually associated with the fine arts, can be broadly defined to include all areas of human endeavor, for example, science, history, business and sport.
Demonstrate the ability to function responsibly in one's natural, social and political environment. Students must learn to interact responsibly with their natural, social and political environments in order to assure continued interrelationships among persons and things. This objective presupposes an educated, enlightened citizenry that accepts its responsibility to understand and participate in the political and social process.