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The Linfield Curriculum (General Education Requirements)

The purpose of the general education requirement called the Linfield Curriculum is to foster the development of wholly-educated persons by providing a coherent experience spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences and social-behavioral sciences.  The Linfield Curriculum seeks to enable students to:

•    communicate effectively
•    appreciate literary, artistic, and historical works
•    be conversant with various philosophical and religious conceptions of humanity
•    understand the role of diversity both globally and nationally
•    analyze how human beings behave individually and socially, and
•    comprehend the methods, accomplishments, and limits of modern science.

The Linfield Curriculum consists of four major components:

1. The Inquiry Seminar (INQS 126)

At the center of the Linfield Curriculum is the Inquiry Seminar, taken by each first- or second-year student. Inquiry Seminars are taught by faculty form many fields and offer a wide range of topics varying from semester to semester.  The Seminar is a collaborative investigation of a compelling subject and models the goals of the entire Linfield Curriculum by developing vital critical thinking skills. 

Because they provide an introduction to thinking and communicating within the academic environment,  Inquiry Seminars do not satisfy requirements for majors and minors.

Courses may be transferred from community colleges or four year colleges and universities to satisfy the Inquiry Seminar. Transfer credits of 4 semester credits (6 quarter credits) or more from courses in English Composition, Research Writing, Professional and Technical Writing will complete the Inquiry Seminar.

2. The Six Modes of Inquiry
The Modes of Inquiry offer six conceptual frames of reference central to the pursuit and construction of modern knowledge:

Creative Studies; Individuals, Systems, and Societies; Natural World; Quantitative Reasoning; Ultimate Questions; and Vital Past.

Each student must complete at least seven approved courses, one in each of the Six Modes of Inquiry and one Upper-Division course. This Upper-Division course must be at the 300 level or above. It may be taken from any of the Modes of Inquiry, but it must be a course from outside the student’s major department. In the case of a student with multiple majors, the Upper Division course must be from outside one of the major departments. In other words, it may not be a course which satisfies the requirements of both majors. In the case of interdisciplinary majors, the Upper Division course must be from outside the student’s field of study.

Courses contributing to the Linfield Curriculum (includes Modes of Inquiry, Diversity Requirements, and Writing-Intensive courses), are normally a minimum of 3 semester credits.  Courses taken to satisfy the prerequisites for majors or major courses themselves may also complete Linfield Curriculum requirements , effectively counting in two places in the bachelor’s degree.

Courses may be transferred from community colleges or four year colleges and universities to satisfy the Six Modes of Inquiry and Diversity Studies requirements.  Any single course transferred from other institutions must be at least 3 semester credits or 4 quarter credits.

3. Writing-Intensive Requirements and Opportunities

Each student is required to complete an Inquiry Seminar and a writing-intensive course in their major (MWI). This requirement serves to enhance students’ mastery of the formats, conventions, and habits of mind appropriate to the major's disciplinary investigations.

Beyond these, the college extends students opportunities to perfect their writing skills in many courses offered across the curriculum, designated WI in departmental listings.

4. Diversity Studies

Diversity Studies within the Linfield Curriculum is meant to ensure that all students examine the cultural and individual differences produced by such factors as gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation. The college thus affirms the benefits of mutual tolerance and civil discussion fostered by a deepened understanding of and respect for human complexity.  Students must take two courses which address facets of cultural diversity such as gender, race, national or geopolitical allegiance, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural mores. One of the two required courses must address Global Pluralisms (GP), and one must explore U.S. Pluralisms (US). This requirement applies to all students regardless of citizenship. It is not met by classes in modern language instruction, though upper division culture classes offered by the Modern Languages Department may satisfy Global Pluralisms.  Courses in Diversity Studies may, but are not mandated to, belong to any of the Modes of Inquiry.  Students may propose experiential learning projects to satisfy half of this requirement; such projects must receive prior approval from the Curriculum Committee.

A. Global Pluralisms (GP)

Courses with this designation focus students’ attention beyond their own national boundaries. The use of analytical frameworks challenges students to address and understand the social, political, ethical, cultural, religious, and/or policy discourses of other countries from a global perspective. These courses also include a consideration of multicultural perspectives within other countries. Curricular offerings focusing on the history or culture of a given nation, group, or region may meet this requirement by including a comparative component for the course. This focus may include comparisons between or among countries, as well as comparisons of different time periods. Through the process of examining Global Pluralisms, students prepare for their participation and citizenship in an increasingly diverse world. Global Pluralisms courses are designated GP.

B. U.S. Pluralisms (US)

Courses with this designation explore the diverse experiences among those living in the United States. Students pursue inquiry into the varied dimensions of human diversity such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, politics, race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or social class. These courses examine how the dominant traditions of American culture have marginalized the voices of those who have typically fallen outside those traditions, using analytical frameworks, or discussion that addresses the social, political, ethical, cultural, philosophical, and/or policy discourses among those groups. Through the process of examining U.S. Pluralisms, students prepare for their participation and citizenship in an increasingly diverse society. U.S. Pluralisms courses are designated US.

Questions about the Linfield Curriculum? Current students should e-mail the Linfield Adult Degree Program or your Academic Advisor. Prospective students should contact an Admission Advisor.