Skip to Navigation
  • Classroom with Professor
    Northland College
   
 
  Oct 21, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Catalog

General Education: Liberal Education for the Environment & Society


Liberal Education for the Environment & Society

Northland College integrates liberal arts studies with an environmental emphasis, enabling those it serves to address the challenges of the future. Consistent with this mission, the College's Liberal Education for the Environment & Society program prepares students to be leaders in understanding, communicating, and acting upon the complexity of environmental issues, and in working to understand and address societal dynamics that create and are influenced by environmental issues.


The program is designed to assure that students develop . . .

  • foundational skills in written communication and mathematics;
  • a breadth of disciplinary learning characteristic of a liberally educated individual;
  • an understanding of diversity, inequality, prejudice, and discrimination; and
  • an understanding of natural systems and the complex relationships between human endeavors and the natural world.

Completion of the program is a graduation requirement for Northland College students, and those who successfully complete the program will also have satisfied many of the requirements for an environmental studies minor. Courses taken to satisfy requirements in the Liberal Arts Curriculum may also satisfy requirements in the Environmental Curriculum and vice-versa; however, students must earn at least 30 credits overall to complete the Liberal Education for the Environment & Society Program.

Liberal Arts Curriculum


Foundational Skills


To assure a solid foundation in written communication and mathematical skills, students are required to fulfill the following requirements:

ENG 110 College Writing


or equivalent proficiency through assessment

Writing Intensive Courses


Four writing intensive courses are required. These courses may also fulfill other requirements in the liberal arts or environmental sections of the program.

Math Proficiency


An ACT math score of 17 or higher; SAT math score of 470 or higher; or MTH 103 Algebraic Reasoning

Disciplinary Learning


To assure a breadth of disciplinary learning characteristic of a liberally educated individual, students are required to complete two courses, each representing different disciplines, from each of the following categories (6 courses total):

Social Sciences


Two courses required from different disciplines:

Arts & Humanities


Two courses required from different disciplines:

Diversity & Justice


To develop an understanding of diversity and of how inequality, prejudice, and discrimination can undermine justice, students must complete two courses that explore these topics as a substantial focus of their curricula.

Environmental Curriculum


To assure an understanding of the substance and complexity of environmental issues, students must complete five courses from at least three of the following categories: Environmental Narratives, the Science of Environmental Issues, Communities, Policies, and Management of Environmental Issues, and Environmental Applications.  Students who transfer to Northland with sophomore standing or higher are required to complete three courses from at least two of the four environmental curriculum categories.

 

Environmental Narratives


Courses in this category focus on narratives that individuals and cultures have created to describe, understand, and justify their relationships and interactions with the natural world. Through these courses, students develop their ability to recognize, understand, and critique these narratives.

The Science of Environmental Issues


Courses in this category emphasize a scientific perspective on the environment. Through these courses, students develop an ability to apply scientific methodologies to investigations, analyses, quantitative procedures, and understandings of environmental issues.

Communities, Policies, and Management of Environmental Issues


Courses in this category focus on the role that communities, governments, organizations, or groups play in environmental issues. Through these courses, students develop an understanding of how these different entities function as well as an appreciation for how they might contribute to environmental issues and their resolutions.

Environmental Applications


Courses in this category integrate intellectual inquiry with emotional, social, or physical engagement in nature or environmental issues. Through these courses, students develop an appreciation for ways of knowing and understanding beyond those grounded solely in intellectual approaches. They also develop their ability to integrate theoretical and applied learning when addressing complex questions and issues.

Liberal Education Equivalencies


Students who enroll at Northland with college credits earned at other institutions may fulfill some or all of the liberal education requirements through transfer equivalencies. This includes both first-time freshmen who earned college credit while in high school and transfer students.  Individual transfer evaluations will indicate which requirements, if any, have been met through these equivalencies. 

AP and CLEP tests can be utilized to fulfill course requirements.