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Tier Definitions

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

Tier I Methods And Concepts 26 / 27 Credits

TIER I exposes students to the main branches of knowledge that Eastern faculty have determined to be essential to a strong liberal arts education. Students will select courses in which they will be required to master a body of introductory-level knowledge within a particular field, and become familiar with the history, ethics, values, methods, and academic standards of inquiry and analysis within that field. In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary that students engage curricular material presented in TIER I courses actively, and when possible, experientially. While modes of learning will vary in each discipline, TIER I courses will develop critical and analytical modes of thinking as a central learning objective, and will provide ample opportunities for students to communicate and demonstrate their acquisition of material and ideas.

Students will also complete a course in College Writing and select one course from each of the seven Tier I disciplinary categories: Arts and Humanities - Literature And Thought; Arts and Humanities - Arts In Context; Health and Wellness; Historical Perspectives; Mathematics; Natural Sciences; and Social Sciences.

First Year Liberal Arts Introduction - 3 Credits

To assist first-year students in becoming engaged in the intellectual life of the university, they will enroll in one of many discussion-oriented First Year Introductions that explore a broad, contemporary theme developed from the expertise and interests of the instructor. Each FYI 100 consists of a small group of students who will become active learners working closely with a faculty mentor , a student peer mentor and each other to develop the skills of good scholarship - critical reading, logical thinking, and effective communication - that are the keys to a successful academic career and a productive life beyond the university.

College Writing - 3 Credits

Students will be placed in an English composition class that appropriately assists them to become better, more confident writers.

Must be completed within the first 30 credits.

Arts and Humanities: Arts in Context - 3 Credits

Students learn about one or more arts disciplines, with an emphasis on general concepts and terminology, and within historical and social contexts.

Arts and Humanities: Literature and Thought - 3 Credits

Students learn how to read situations, interpret details, evaluate competing points of view, and form insightful questions-in other words, to develop supple and lively habits of the mind. Readings are selected that will broaden one's perspective on human values and thought.

Health and Wellness - 2 Credits

Students will develop scientifically-based understandings of the physiological, genetic, behavioral, social and cultural factors that support health and wellness.

Must be completed within the first 30 credits.

Historical Perspectives - 3 Credits

Students will study the interrelatedness of various realms of human experience from multiple historical perspectives. They will understand the various ways that the past is different from the present and how the past has an impact on subsequent events and the present. They will understand, value and use historical methods, including the use of primary sources.

Mathematics - 3 Credits

Students will be able to understand and be able to use the arithmetical and algebraic tools needed in mathematics, in other disciplines, and in one's life. Through the study of mathematics students will understand it as a component of human culture and history and appreciate that it has aesthetic dimensions.

Must be completed within the first 30 credits.

Natural Sciences - 3-4 Credits

The natural sciences requirement includes one course in Tier I and one course in Tier II;
a student must pass a Tier I science course before enrolling in a Tier II science course. Either the Tier I or the Tier II science course must include a one-credit laboratory or field component.

In the Tier I natural science courses students will view the natural world with the questioning eye of a scientist. They will learn basic scientific principles and the methods by which scientists develop and validate those principles. In the science laboratory or field component students will gain hands-on experience in planning, making, analyzing, and interpreting scientific observations

Social Sciences - 3 Credits

Students will develop an understanding of the complexity and diversity of human behavior. They will explore the multiple factors and processes that shape individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, institutions and societies.

Tier II Synthesis And Application - 15 / 16 Credits

TIER II builds upon the rigors of students' prior learning experiences as they apply concepts and principles to new and more advanced sets of problems and contexts. While TIER I emphasizes disciplinary knowledge and academic systems and methods, TIER II fosters higher-order thinking and advanced problem-solving capabilities through applied research, collaborative projects, creative problem-solving, and original and innovative modes of expression. Students will apply a range of methodologies to the production, synthesis, and communication of knowledge and inquiry into human affairs.

Upon completing certain foundational TIER I courses students will select one course from each of the following TIER II categories: Application of Information Technology; Creative Expression; Cultural Perspectives; Natural Sciences; and Individuals and Societies. Students will generally complete TIER II courses in their Sophomore or Junior year. Most offerings will be designated at the 200 and 300 levels.

Applied Information Technology - 3 Credits

Students must have passed the Tier I mathematics requirement in order to enroll in courses in this category

Students will explore the application of information technology in one or more areas such as information systems, networks, data analysis, model development, simulations, graphic design, artistic creation, the impact of computers on society or the ethical use of digital information. These courses will enable students to apply information technology in problem-solving, the pursuit of knowledge, and the communication of ideas. Students will recognize when information technology will assist or impede the achievement of a goal.

Creative Expression - 3 Credits

Students must have passed at least one Tier I course in Arts and Humanities in order to enroll in courses in this category.

Students explore the creative process and enhance creative problem-solving skills through hands-on activities and experiences in a specific medium or genre. Building upon knowledge acquired in a foundational arts and humanities course, students will develop analytical abilities toward the goal of individual or collaborative creative expression.

Cultural Perspectives - 3 Credits

Students must have passed at least one Tier I course in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences or Historical Perspectives in order to enroll in courses in this category.

Students will draw from interdisciplinary perspectives in order to understand and critically examine culture. Contemporary perspectives on the meaning, content, and processes of cultural production will be explored.

Individuals and Societies - 3 Credits

Students must have passed a Tier I Social Science course in order to enroll in courses in this category.

Students will examine the nature and function of individuals, social systems, social structures and processes from interdisciplinary perspectives. Individuals, families, groups, organizations, societies and the world will be examined from theoretical and practical perspectives.

Natural Sciences - 3-4 Credits

Students must have passed a Tier I Natural Science course in order to enroll in this category. Students who did not take a laboratory or field component in Tier I must choose a Tier II course with a laboratory or field component.

Tier II natural science courses will build upon students' knowledge of scientific concepts and methodologies gained in the Tier I science course. In Tier II students will expand their base of knowledge and consider the roles of pure, curiosity-driven, scientific research and applied research in addressing societal needs. In the science laboratory or field component students will gain hands-on experience in planning, making, analyzing, and interpreting scientific observations.

Tier III Independent Inquiry - 3 Credits

Students must have passed at least two Tier II courses prior to enrolling in a Tier III course.

As the culminating, integrative liberal arts experience, TIER III represents a critical component of the Eastern Liberal Arts curriculum. TIER III affords students the opportunity to reflect on and apply knowledge and skills acquired in the first two tiers and in their major. Departments may recommend specific options for their majors to complete TIER III or allow students to choose from a variety of options within or outside the major.

Total Liberal Arts Core Curriculum - 46 Credits