Mar 02, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cluster Four: Social and Cultural Processes

Courses in Cluster Four require students to think critically about their own society and its relationship to the larger global community. These courses develop responsible and enlightened global citizenship by examining a wide variety of the processes that shape the human experience. Students will take one course that focuses on the American experience and one course that examines the global experience.

Cluster Four Learning Outcomes

American Experience

Students completing this part of Cluster Four will be able to identify, conceptualize and evaluate:

  • Social and political processes and structures using quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Primary sources relating to American history, political institutions and society.
  • The evolution of intellectual concepts shaping American democratic institutions, including issues involving power, inequity and justice.
  • The complexity and diversity of American politics, society and culture.
  • Intentions and consequences of America’s engagement in global affairs.
  • How the historical exclusion of various social identities influences political, social, cultural and economic development.

Global Experience

Students completing this part of Cluster Four will be able to identify, conceptualize and evaluate:

  • Basic global problems.
  • Global political, social, cultural and economic systems that shape societies.
  • Issues involved in analyzing societies different from one’s own.
  • Strategies to achieve diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and access both locally and globally.
  • The value and complexity of global diversity in all its forms.

Cluster Four Structure

Cluster Four courses are not sequenced so that either part of the cluster may be taken first or they may be taken concurrently. Students may not take POSC 200  and POSC 225  to complete the Cluster Four requirement.

The American Experience

Each American Experience course provides students with an understanding of the major themes and concepts that structure American life today. HIST 225  does so through a contextual and document-based study of the American historical experience that emphasizes the interaction of people, ideas and social movements. JUST 225  frames questions regarding historic and contemporary events in terms of issues of justice, highlighting how societal structures interact with individual lives and vice versa. POSC 225  focuses on the evolution and contemporary operation of the American political system by examining its fundamental principles and current dynamics.

The Global Experience

Each of the courses in the Global Experience is an investigation into a series of global issues that are of great importance to the human community. Topics discussed will vary from course to course. Issues are examined in a systemic context that allows students to see connections between disciplines. The unifying theme is an analysis of overarching structures at the global level that condition people’s behavior and which are shaped by that behavior. From this perspective the study of global issues requires more than studying current events; it involves placing these global issues in a systemic context.