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The majority of the University's academic departments and programs are housed in one of three colleges. Those that are interdisciplinary are housed in the School of Integrative Studies.
Preparing students for active, meaningful lives and careers that will be spent largely in the twenty-first century calls for an education going beyond the acquisition of knowledge needed simply for career preparation. Rapid social change in a multicultural world requires individual citizens to have an informed and responsible sense of the common good, to grasp as deeply as possible cultures that are radically different, to find larger meanings in a difficult world, to view knowledge as contextual, and to value equally both subjective and objective strategies for knowing reality, most of which cannot be separated from moral learning and imagination. Taken together these conditions and aspirations are the primary forces guiding the mission of the College of Arts and Letters.
Programs of study in the College develop students as citizens and future leaders for our society who can think, communicate and create with reason and imagination; who can speak and write their own language with confidence and eloquence; who are not strangers to the languages and mediums of expression of other peoples; and who can move beyond ancient stereotypes of age, class, ethnicity, gender, and race. Students also learn self confidence and gain individual and collaborative leadership experiences by presenting themselves for public scrutiny through art exhibits, literary readings, mass media broadcasts and publications, music concerts and recitals, or theatre productions. These also contribute to the cultural life of the University and the region. Students who change careers or who choose among a variety of careers confront fundamental adjustments in ways they think about themselves and their relationships with others. The nature of their education in the College of Arts and Letters makes possible such choices and changes.
Students taking liberal education course work or majors in the College of Arts and Letters study with dedicated faculty members who themselves pursue rather than simply transmit the knowledge, understanding, and skills of their disciplines. Many of the faculty have been recognized by their peers locally and nationally for their creativity and scholarship as practicing artists, historians, linguists, musicians, novelists, philosophers, poets, teachers, and social commentators. Faculty encourage students to encounter questions, search for answers, and develop a vision that transcends limited perspectives, leading the inquiring student to fashion a view of life that is spiritually creative and intellectually defensible in this closely linked and highly pluralistic world.
The College includes major programs in Art, Creative and Professional Writing, Design Technology, English, German, History, Humanities, Marketing Communication, Mass Communication, Music, Philosophy, Spanish, and Theatre. Minor programs offered by the College that do not correspond to major field names include Art History, Ojibwe, Religious Studies, and Theatre Production.
Students who complete programs in the College of Professional Studies are ready to begin their careers. Their general preparation and specialized training often include internships in professional situations and prepare them to move immediately into the world of work.
Most careers today take place in the context of the larger society, and it is important for professionals to understand complex social issues inherent in their fields. Majors in Professional Studies take seriously the moral, ethical, aesthetic, and cultural issues through the Liberal Education curriculum and in their area of specialization.
Because Professional Studies graduates frequently find themselves in leadership positions in both their vocational and personal lives, the faculty strive to assist students in understanding the obligations that come with that leadership. Faculty demonstrate teaching excellence through continuing study, scholarship, and professional efforts and strive to exhibit a balance between ideals and the realism of a rich daily life.
The College includes major programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Career and Technical Education, Community Health, Computer Information Systems, Construction Site Technology, Control Engineering Technology, Design Technology, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Exercise Science, Health Education, Industrial Technology, Marketing Communication, Physical Education, Sport Management, Technology Education, and Technology Management; a focused licensure program in Special Education; and the foundations core courses for the Secondary Education major areas. Minor programs offered by the College that do not correspond to major field names include Developmental Adapted Physical Education, Exercise Science, Fraud Examination, Management Information Systems, and Outdoor Education. The Department of Accounting also offers an optional Certified Public Accounting emphasis.
The College also includes the following: Campus Child Care Center, Center for Advanced and Emerging Technologies, Center for Career and Technical Education, Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions Center, and Small Business Development Center.
The foremost function of the College is the preparation of students for professional careers in the social and natural sciences. In addition to classroom studies, the faculty offer students the opportunity to participate in a variety of laboratory activities, field trips, research projects, internships, and other clinical and practical experiences. Faculty members are committed to excellence in teaching and to the general understanding of the natural, behavioral, and social sciences. They are also committed to understanding the role and influence of the sciences in a society that is becoming more dependent on technology and therefore on the fundamentals of science.
While the College emphasizes studies that lead to the development of professional careers, it also feels the responsibility to prepare students to live in this technological society. Each profession needs people who can communicate effectively, reason, be creative, and adapt to a changing world. Graduates of the College are given a broad-based education built on a strong liberal education core. This foundation gives students a better understanding of history, global perspectives, cultural diversity, human behavior, and responsible citizenship on which they can develop their careers.
Programs within the College are committed to serving the educational, cultural and consulting needs of the region. This reflects the belief that through the study and understanding of the human condition, scientists are able to address quality of life issues and offer options for change.
The College includes major programs in Applied Psychology: Human Services, Aquatic Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Laboratory Science, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Science, Social Studies, Social Work, Sociology, and Wilderness Management and Outdoor Recreation Planning. Minor programs offered by the College that do not correspond to major field names include Anthropology, Applied Public Policy, Chemical Dependency, Earth Science, Geology, and Space Studies.
The School of Integrative Studies
Students who enroll in the courses and programs of the School of Integrative Studies will study a variety of topics from multiple perspectives. Students will find that imaginative teaching and interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge are prominent features of their education within the School--an education that moves beyond specialization and complements study in traditional disciplines. The University's Integrative Studies programs draw on knowledge and insights across the disciplines in an effort to foster intellectual synthesis and promote a broader understanding of a variety of cultural and intellectual traditions.
The School includes the Honors program and major programs in Indian Studies and Liberal Studies. The School also includes minor programs in Indian Studies, International Studies, and Women's Studies.