Education for the Common Good
The New England College General Education Program reflects the values and commitments of a liberal arts education as reflected in a humanizing curriculum that supports engaged and responsible learning and teaching.
By placing the Common Good at the center of our Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Core Curriculum, New England College recognizes the importance of understanding and strengthening the interdependencies that form the basis of community and promote life, and human flourishing. As the nucleus of our general education program, the LAS Core Curriculum provides a course of study that demonstrates how each of the disciplines of knowledge contributes to this understanding. Through the application of ideas to real world challenges, LAS seminars encourage responsible, ethical action in service to preserving and maintaining our natural and civic environments as the foundations of our collective well‐being.
Upon completing the Liberal Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum students will be able to:
- Describe the interdependence between human culture and the natural world;
- Explain how concepts of sustainability are connected to issues of social justice, the environment, and the economy;
- Explain the relationship between freedom of inquiry in the pursuit of knowledge and democratic/free societies;
- Discuss the inter‐relationships among the disciplines;
- Apply critical and creative thinking, quantitative reasoning, and information literacy skills in the pursuit of knowledge;
- Apply course content (theory) to the world beyond the classroom (practice);
- Articulate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of knowledge and action.
New England College proudly embraces its role as a Liberal Arts college. Each degree program has a Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Certain programs may follow a variation of the core curriculum. Those that do are noted in the individual program pages. Information about the requirements for each degree can be found here.
Core Curriculum by Degree
WR 1015 - Writing in the Liberal Arts and Sciences I
The goals of this course are, first, to develop the students’ critical and analytical thinking skills in the context of a sound rhetorical approach to written communication; and, second, to instill a fundamental sensitivity to and facility with language. Areas of study include the nature of the writing process, situation and audience, problem definition, invention techniques, thesis statements, organization, drafting, revisions, and the fundamentals of editing. Assignments follow thematic sequences leading students from experience‐based, issue-oriented arguments to the essentials of formal academic research. This course is offered every semester and is required of all students to meet institutional graduation requirements. 4 credits
WR 1020 - Writing in the Liberal Arts and Sciences II
The goal of this course is to teach academic research as a tool for critical thinking that provides the basis for well-developed arguments. This course requires synthesis, analysis, and application of information through writing in a variety of rhetorical forms for a variety of audiences. Students are asked to research and discuss a variety of social issues through the use of selected readings from modern essayists and the available library resources. This course is offered every semester and is required of all students to meet institutional graduation requirements. 4 credits
In these courses, students will learn to:
- Read, discern, and evaluate texts critically
- Reflect upon, analyze, and respond to a variety of texts pertaining to the civic and the natural world
- Identify a target audience
- Apply the compositional process (observe, reflect, investigate, brainstorm, outline, write, revise, edit, and proofread) to a variety of writing forms
- Understand the importance of and the process for proper documentation
- Plan, draft, revise, and edit their texts according to the conventions of composition;
- Utilize different rhetorical strategies in writing: narrative, descriptive, expository, argumentative, and persuasive;
- Compile a comprehensive portfolio that demonstrates competency in compositional skill and process.
Students will be expected to demonstrate competency in quantitative literacy. This can be accomplished by successful completion of a course approved as satisfying the Quantitative Literacy Requirement. Math courses numbered 1020 or higher meet this requirement. 4 credits
- Number sense and estimation;
- Statistical interpretation and basic probability;
- Interpretation of graphs and models;
- Logic, critical thinking, and problem solving.
LAS 1 - On Being Human
This seminar is designed to introduce students to the meaning and purpose of an education rooted in the liberal arts and sciences by presenting the fundamental question that reverberates throughout the program’s curriculum, “What does it mean to be human?” LAS 1 seminars represent a variety of disciplines and topics related to the seminar theme. Regardless of instructor or disciplinary focus, each LAS 1 seminar prompts students to think about what it means to be human, individually and collectively. Students will consider what our shared obligations and responsibilities are as human beings, despite differences in race, class, gender, ethnicity, or other factors. 4 credits
LAS 2 - Communities in America
This course grows out of the foundation provided in LAS 1110. LAS 2 seminars will address human nature in context. Students will ask, what constitutes community and how can diverse communities coexist in a pluralistic world? In addition, the seminar allows for consideration of the role of the ‘outsider’ or ‘other’ within communities and society as a whole. With a focus on American culture these seminars will explore how different communities can both succeed within and challenge the principles of democratic society.
From the meaning of social identity and difference to the significance of political, professional and religious affiliations, to the facts of disability, discrimination, and prejudice, these seminars will look at the social construction of difference and the challenges and opportunities of diversity. 4 credits
LAS 3 - The Creative Arts
LAS 3 covers the Creative Arts, exposing students to the innovative, imaginative side of human experience; these seminars are experientially based, promoting individual creativity, aesthetic awareness, and artistic appreciation. These courses embrace the process of conception, execution, and analysis. Students will leave having created and presented a portfolio of related works. 4 credits
Students will demonstrate ability to:
- Develop and practice skills needed to produce a specific artistic form;
- Craft a portfolio of artworks/series of performances/texts or their equivalents;
- Apply the vocabulary of analysis in peer evaluation in the creative arts as well as the vocabulary of the discipline to self and peer evaluation;
- Demonstrate conceptual competency in the discipline.
LAS 4 - Social Sciences
The social sciences are concerned with relationships among individuals in, and to, a broader societal structure. Born of the Age of Enlightenment, the social sciences seek truth, through critical thinking and the use of scientific methodology, to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience. Social scientists in the disciplines of criminal justice, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology strive to explain the human experience with the goal of improving the social condition. 4 credits
Students will demonstrate ability to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of how developments in social and intellectual history shape and affect human values and institutions;
- Articulate foundational theories specific to the social science under consideration;
- Explain the significance of policies and regulations in the social sciences;
- Identify ethical considerations and dilemmas that arise in the social sciences;
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic social science research methods; acquire and use appropriate professional social science terminology.
LAS 5 - Lab Science
This course covers a broad range of current environmental problems including population growth, global climate change, famine and food resources, global warming, and the loss of biodiversity. The laboratory portion of the course provides students with hands-on field and laboratory experiences that introduce a variety of methods and techniques used to examine natural communities and air and water quality. 4 credits
Students will demonstrate ability to:
- Apply scientific methods to develop and test hypotheses in the laboratory or the field;
- Apply qualitative/quantitative reasoning to the scientific process.
LAS 6 - Humanities
These courses develop the student’s ability to appreciate beauty and elegance in the search for truth and encourage the ability of the student to connect discrete fields of study by analyzing context and connections. Exposure to the interrelated nature in the fine arts, as well as the performing arts, literature, philosophy, art history, and history enhances the student’s understanding of our shared humanity as ethical and creative beings. 4 credits
- Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the humanities;
- Produce work that exhibits a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge;
- Articulate how the humanities informs our understanding of what it means to be human.
LAS 7 - Global Perspectives
By addressing global issues that impact the human race and the biotic community of which we are a part, student awareness and critical skills will be heightened in the interest of finding answers to global challenges, and inspiring further inquiry. Ultimately, the purpose of LAS 7, in combination with all previously taken LAS seminars, is for students to engage multiple perspectives in their quest to understand and define what it means to be human, both individually and collectively, in order that they may demonstrate, in whatever field they pursue, an open‐minded, well‐informed critical, creative, and ethical perspective - one capable of transforming themselves and others for the greater good as they go on to become citizens of the world. 4 credits
- Apply multi-disciplinary approaches to analyze course topics;
- Articulate the relationship and interdependencies between the local and global community relevant to course content.