Lewis & Clark College: An International Liberal Arts Curriculum

Lewis & Clark College: An International Liberal Arts Curriculum


Lewis & Clark College is a liberal arts
college. It is not only a liberal arts focused university that that really is
an undergraduate school; it does have a law school, there is a graduate school,
but the primary focus of this institution is on undergraduate
education. When I’m talking to students and we’re thinking about curriculum in
general and how to decide what kind of institution you want to go to, I actually
push students to think about the curriculum requirements. So here at Lewis & Clark for example, they do have a general
education requirement. The first thing is during the freshman year, students take
two semesters of a sequence to help students adapt to a college environment.
This kind of university education. So the first semester is a
class that everyone takes and everyone reads more or less the same books; those
books may change from year to year. And that is really an introduction to the university academic requirements, helping students
get their writing up to speed. And students are, you know–they have a
professor. Only 19 kids or fewer in each class and the professor can really see
whether the student is ready for all of the demands of the higher level
curriculum. If not, they can get them into a tutoring center and help with the
writing, or the teacher can spend more time with that student. The second
semester is more of a a choice the students can choose lots of different
topics of seminars, whether it’s in the humanities, social sciences, the sciences–and this is another writing intensive course where students are going to be
reading a lot, but every student has to do a major research project–independent
research project–for that semester. So you can see by the time students finish
their freshman year, they’re ready to not only do high level coursework, but
they’re able to do independent research and writing just by the
end of that first year. The other requirements here at at Lewis and Clark
are at least three semesters, or two– actually sorry –two semesters of an
independent in international kind of curriculum. They also–fifty percent of
students study abroad. There’s also a scientific and quantitative reasoning
requirement. So students got to take three semesters of that, one has to be a
lab. And arts, creative arts are required. Fantastic facilities for visual arts, for
theater, for music. Foreign languages. You have to take at least, let’s see, three
semesters of a foreign language. So again, foreign study abroad, that can
help meet that requirement. And then there’s a year-long physical education
requirement. And really this is a perfect place to do it here in the Pacific
Northwest near Portland–it’s actually in Portland. But you have right
behind the camera you’ve got Mount Hood, you’ve got the the ocean
behind me, you’ve got all kinds of possibilities for recreation as well as
the more standard physical education requirements. So that’s what the
requirements are here at Lewis and Clark. It’s important, as you’re looking at each
school–these requirements, yeah, there are some similarities, but there are major
differences. And you can see here at Lewis & Clark there’s a big focus on
international foreign language, that’s kind of a little bit more of what Lewis
and Clark is all about. So make sure when you’re thinking about which college you’re going to apply to, think about that general education
requirement. It helps to define what the college is all about.

One thought on “Lewis & Clark College: An International Liberal Arts Curriculum

  1. Mark, do you provide prospective students with accurate ROI numbers on going to this college verses non traditional routes such as in the trades, in an effort to allow students and parents to accurately weigh how students will do after college in terms of salary, employment rates, etc.?

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