Liberal Studies Curriculum
The specific minimum requirements of the Liberal Studies Curriculum (LSC) are:
First Year Seminar (one course)
Foundations in Faith, Values, and Thought:
Fundamental Philosophical Questions (one course)
Study of Christian Traditions and Thought (two courses)
Ethical Decision-Making (fulfilled by a course(s) in the major; every major is designed to fulfill this automatically)
Pathways to Understanding the World:
Global Issues that Impact the Common Good (one course)
Historical Studies (one course)
Literary Studies (one course)
Processes of Scientific Reasoning (one course)
Quantitative Reasoning (one course)
Second Language (zero to two courses depending on placement)
Social and Institutional Dimensions of Human Behavior (one course)
Participatory Learning and Competencies:
Artistic Experience (one half-course or full course)
Experiential Learning (internship, qualifying Service-Learning courses, Faculty-Student Research, Study Abroad or designated co-curricular experiences; may not be fulfilled in the first year of college studies)
Oral Communication (included throughout the curriculum; each major is designed so that the student fulfills this requirement automatically)
Written Communication (included in courses throughout the curriculum, especially in First Year Seminars and in at least one designated course in each major)
At Saint Michael’s, all students must demonstrate entry-level writing proficiency, which we define as the ability to write a short essay with a well-argued point, logical organization, and a minimum of surface errors that interfere with comprehension. This requirement is ordinarily met by demonstration during the First-Year Seminar. Students who do not meet the requirement there are strongly encouraged to take EN 101: College Writing, and to work with a coach in the College’s Writing Center.For further information contact Tim Mackin coordinator, at 802-654-2452
List of LSC courses by category:
First Year Seminar:
Fundamental Philosophical Questions:
Study of Christian Traditions and Thought:
Global Issues that Impact the Common Good:
Processes of Scientific Reasoning:
All students are required to achieve the low-intermediate level of a second-language in order to graduate from the College.
Fulfillment of this second language requirement may be demonstrated by:
a) placing above the second-semester language course level on the college’s language test;
b) passing a second semester language course level at Saint Michael’s College;
c) passing a second semester language course level at another institution (the course has to be pre-approved);
d) passing an Advanced Placement test offered by the College Board with a score of three or higher (four or higher for Latin);
e) passing an SAT II language test at the level specified by the College for that language;
f) submitting a record showing that the student received at least partial secondary education outside the United States in a language other than English
Students who choose option a), b), or c) and studied Spanish or French in high school or learned it at home and want to continue these languages at SMC will be asked to take an on-line language placement test at home early in the summer. Then, during a summer registration day, students will take the written portion of this language placement test.
All other students who want to take a test in a language other than Spanish or French and want to continue the same language and want to choose a), b), or c) will take a different placement test during a summer registration day. Further information on the second language requirement is available from the program’s coordinator, Hideko Furukawa, at 802-654-2760.
Social and Institutional Dimensions of Human Behavior:
Like some other requirements in the Liberal Studies Curriculum, Experiential Learning is not necessarily a separate course, but is an opportunity for students to develop their thinking and skills through activities outside the classroom. This requirement may be fulfilled through credit-bearing or non-credit bearing experiences that enhance student learning through practical application of concepts learned in the liberal studies curriculum, the major or co-curricular activities. For general information on how to pursue an experiential learning opportunity, students will find the contact information listed below in each area. Once students have identified their area of experiential learning, they will work with a specific staff or faculty mentor who will verify for the registrar that the EL requirement has been fulfilled. Generally, the experiences listed below fulfill the EL requirement, though some require specified levels of engagement or achievement.
Internships and Practicums
Academic Internships and Practicum Courses
Academic internships and practicum courses relate to the student’s academic curriculum and/or career goals, are credit bearing, and fall under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. Contact: Joanne LaBrake-Muehlberger, Director of Internships.
Non Credit-Bearing Internships
Off-campus internships completed without direct supervision or mentorship of someone at the College will be treated essentially as a Co-Curricular Individualized Learning experience (see below). Contact: Joanne LaBrake-Muehlberger, Director of Internships
Student Teaching is coordinated through the Education department and thus applicable to Education Majors and those pursuing Licensure. Contact: Professor Mary Beth Doyle, Education Department Chair
Writing Center Coaching
Students are nominated and then selected to take a course that qualifies them to become coaches at the college’s writing center. Contact: Tim Mackin, Director of the Writing Center
The Defender is the student designed and produced campus newspaper. Certain positions related to the Defender are designed to meet the Experiential Learning requirement. Contact: Associate Professor Traci Griffith, Department of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts Chair
Study Abroad/Study Away
Study abroad for a semester, a year, the summer or for shorter study away opportunities, including study trips led by Saint Michael’s faculty. Contact: Peggy Imai, Director of Study Abroad
Extended Service Trips
The College’s M.O.V.E program offers students the chance to work among some of the world’s most destitute peoples through International Extended Service Trips. Contact: Heidi St. Peter, Director of M.O.V.E.
Independent research with faculty
Students and faculty work together; leading to publication and/or presentations at academic conferences. Projects may be for credit or not-for-credit, and involve individual research with a faculty member, either during the academic year or the summer.
Summer research funded by an External Agency
Summer research either at Saint Michael’s College, at a research university, or at a national laboratory, with funding provided by an external agency at the state, regional or national level. Examples of research opportunities include:
Vermont EPSCoR’s summer internship program
National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
NASA VT EPSCoR Summer Research
US Department of Energy National Undergraduate Fellowship
Contact: Faculty members in your area of study
Summer research funded by Saint Michael’s College
Vice President for Academic Affairs Research Grants for directed summer research on campus. All academic fields, including Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences are eligible. Contact: Office of the VPAA
Summer research through the Center for Social Science Research
Research fellowships are available to students who wish to pursue an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. These projects are funded and include a stipend of up to $3,700 for students working full time on a project for at least two months in the summer. Contact: Professor Herbert Kessel, Department of Economics.
Community Engaged Learning
A number of courses at Saint Michael’s have a Community-Engaged Learning component, including local, domestic and international learning opportunities. In many of these courses, the Community-Engaged component is significant enough to fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement. These courses are designated as such in the catalog. First-year seminars may not be used to fulfill the EL requirement. Contact: Joan Wagner, Director of Community Engaged Learning
Community service engages students in activities that primarily focus on freely providing time, talent, and energy to address human and community needs. As students participate in activities designed to build community and respect the value and dignity of all, they come face-to-face with complex societal issues and their role in creating a more just world. Opportunities for formal learning may arise through orientation, training, and reflection activities provided by MOVE or a partnering organization. Designated levels of activity in community service qualify to fulfill the EL requirement. Contact: Heidi St. Peter, Director of M.O.V.E.
Students at Saint Michael’s will find a wide array of opportunities to develop a broad view of the world and a deeper understanding of themselves through co-curricular Leadership Development in a variety of programs on campus. Achieving specified leadership levels in the co-curricular areas listed below fulfills the EL requirement. For information on these opportunities contact the following:
Edmundite Campus Ministry: Anna Lester
Fire and Rescue Program: Peter Soons
Intercollegiate Athletics: Zaf Bludevich
Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts: Heidi St. Peter
Onion River Review: Prof. Will Marquess
Orientation Leadership and Student Association: Grace Kelly
Residence Life: Lou Dimasi
Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC
Wilderness Program: Todd Wright
Individualized learning is a monitored work or service experience (internship or community service project, for example) that relates to the student’s academic curriculum and/or career goals but does not carry academic credit. It may satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement and is customized by and for students. Examples of individualized experiences for students include off-campus work experiences, service related projects and on-campus experiences that are not under the auspices of programs listed above.
Students selecting this option for completing the Experiential Learning Requirement will coordinate with a faculty or staff mentor. Together with the mentor, learning objectives, assignments and job responsibilities generally will be identified in advance. While assignments will be customized to fit the individual needs of the student, typical assignments may include: journals, analysis papers, reflection papers and/or supervisor’s evaluation. When all work is completed, the mentor notifies the Registrar’s Office. Guidelines for Individualized Learning will be available to mentors and students.
For more information on pursuing individualized learning, the student should first consult with his or her academic advisor, and then contact Joan Wagner if there are further questions.