A liberal education emphasizes breadth and balance in developing intellectual resources and cultural perspectives. It encourages the student to achieve the fullest possible development as a person and as a member of society. It also promotes enlightened citizenship and provides basic preparation for students planning to enter professional or graduate schools or embark on a career. Building on an integrated study foundation, this degree allows a specialized emphasis while at the same time encouraging social responsibility.
The general aspects of the curriculum are designed to enhance the student's capacity for thought and effective expression and facilitate both the expansion and the integration of knowledge. Depth of scholarship is developed in the major field of specialization. The goal of a liberal education is the formulation of a philosophy of life based on knowledge and reflection relevant and appropriate to the contemporary world.
All Bachelor's degrees require a minimum of 120 credits. A student must complete a minimum of 40 upper-level credits (300- or 400-level) within the degree program as a requirement for completion of any baccalaureate degree program.
Major. A program of study comprising a coherent set of courses and experiences within a discipline, related disciplines, or a professional area, which represents the curricular content of a bachelor's degree. Normally, a bachelor's degree major consists of at least 30 credit hours. Courses required in the major may not be used to fulfill Integrative Studies requirements unless specified in the program description.
Option. A coherent subset of courses that constitutes a prescribed track within a major. Normally, an option consists of 12 to 48 credit hours.
Specialization. An area of special interest comprising a cluster of related courses that are selected by the student in consultation with an academic advisor. Normally, a specialization consists of 12 to 20 credit hours within a degree option.
Credit. Federal regulation defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than: (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
Academic Program Planning
Education in the liberal arts and sciences and in several professional fields is provided through the College's bachelor's degree programs. These programs include three basic components:
- Integrative Studies Requirements - purposefully and intentionally help students engage ethical issues, approach global issues from multiple perspectives, apply diverse perspectives to their thinking and their actions, and analyze key social and environmental issues confronting us all
- Major/Option/Specialization Requirements - offer depth of scholarship in a field of interest
- Electives - provide the opportunity for a student to complete a minor, fulfill teacher certification requirements, or to choose courses in other areas for personal and professional growth
Because curriculum development is a continuing process, program changes may be made after publication of this catalog. Therefore, the College reserves the right to add, change, or delete curricular offerings and/or make curricular refinements. Some changes are necessitated by agencies that accredit the College or certify students. Check with academic disciplines, the Registrar's Office, Academic and Career Advising, or the Educator Preparation Programs Office to learn of any recent changes.
The minimal requirement for all students with a major in American Studies, Art, Communication, English, Film Studies, Journalism, Music, Theatre and Dance, or Women's and Gender Studies is one course in a foreign language, normally French, Spanish, or German. Students should complete this requirement as early in their college careers as possible.
Those with two or more years of recent high school study in French, Spanish, or German must enroll in 102 or above. Those with three or more years of recent high school study should enroll in 201 or above. Individual student placements will be verified on the basis of a placement test available to students before they register. Students may also satisfy the requirement through AP or CLEP credit.
Those with near-native fluency in a language should consult Modern Languages faculty for appropriate placement.
Students may also fulfill this requirement by enrolling in a study abroad program in a non-English speaking country, provided the program has been approved by their major department in consultation with the Global Education Office.
Students with documented learning disabilities should apply to the Office of Disability Services and then to the chair of Modern Languages to seek a waiver.
101- to 201-level courses completed to satisfy the language requirement may be applied to the Arts and Humanities component of the Integrative Studies Program.
Integrative Studies Program
Students at Keene State College complete two programs of study to earn a degree—the College's Integrative Studies Program and their major program of study.
Keene State College believes in the value of a liberal arts education—that the best way for students to prepare for the future is to develop transferable intellectual and practical skills, including their capacity to think critically and creatively, to communicate effectively, and to make connections between different areas of knowledge. Our approach to integrative teaching and learning enhances students’ major programs of study by empowering them with the understanding, adaptability, and creativity to succeed in academic settings and in their lives beyond school.
Students begin the Program by completing ITW 101 Thinking and Writing (ITW) and the Quantitative Literacy (QL) requirement. Students then take perspectives courses in six academic disciplines in four content areas, the arts (IA), humanities (IH), natural sciences (IN), and social sciences (IS), as well as an interdisciplinary (II) requirement. As students move through the Program, they are encouraged to integrate their learning across four overarching themes: diversity, ethics, global issues, and social and environmental engagement.
Program Objectives and/or Learning Outcomes
Integrative Learning Keene State College students will identify and discuss ways that their learning in one course informs and deepens their learning in one or more other courses, and the ways that their learning in one or more courses is connected to their out-of-class experiences.
Academic Perspectives Keene State College students will demonstrate an understanding of the questions a discipline or an interdisciplinary area asks, the methods it uses to engage those questions, and some of the key explanatory concepts arising from these types of inquiry.
Critical Thinking Keene State College students will evaluate evidence, consider multiple perspectives, choose and defend a position from several alternatives, and analyze complex problems.
Creative Thinking Keene State College students will synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and demonstrate imagination, risk taking, innovation, or divergent thinking in their work.
Writing Keene State College students will effectively form, support, and convey an idea in written format, considering purpose, audience, and context.
Quantitative Literacy Keene State College students will read and interpret quantitative information critically and apply quantitative methods and concepts to solve a problem or support an argument.
Information Literacy Keene State College students will engage in an iterative inquiry process that includes exploring and evaluating diverse perspectives while participating ethically in the information environment.
40 credits minimum
Students complete a total of 40 credits as follows, including a minimum of two courses (8 credits) at the 300 or 400 level. Perspectives or Interdisciplinary (II) courses may require a specific lower level ISP course besides ITW and QL as a prerequisite.
I. Foundations (8 credits)
- Thinking and Writing (4 credits) Students are expected to complete ITW 101 within their first two semesters.
- Quantitative Literacy (4 credits) Students are expected to complete the quantitative literacy (QL) requirement within their first three semesters. Students may meet the QL requirement by successfully completing IQL 101, MATH 120, MATH 130, MATH 135, MATH 141, MATH 151, MATH 172, MATH 175, or MGT 140.
II. Three perspectives courses in the Arts and Humanities (12 credits) Courses must be taken in three different disciplines.
- 1 course in the Humanities (IH)
- 1 course in the Fine and Performing Arts (IA)
- 1 course in either the Humanities or the Fine and Performing Arts (IH or IA)
III. Three perspectives courses in the Sciences (12 credits) Courses must be taken in three different disciplines.
- 1 course in the Natural Sciences (IN)
- 1 course in the Social Sciences (IS)
- 1 course in either the Natural or Social Sciences (IN or IS)
IV. One course in Interdisciplinary Studies (4 credits) Course may be in any academic discipline and must have an Integrative Interdisciplinary (II) prefix.
V. One additional course in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences or Interdisciplinary area (4 credits) This ISP elective may be in any academic discipline or interdisciplinary area that carries an ISP prefix (IA, IH, IN, IS, II).
Upper-Level Course Requirement
A minimum of two upper-level (300 or 400) ISP courses must be completed in areas II, III, IV and V above, one of which must be completed at Keene State College. Students may enroll in upper-level Integrative Studies Program (ISP) courses once they have completed a minimum of 24 credits at the lower-level (100 or 200 level), including ITW 101 and the quantitative literacy (QL) requirement.
College Honors Program
The College Honors Program provides academically motivated students with intellectual stimulation and rich experiences for personal and professional growth by offering courses that prepare them to produce exemplary, creative, and challenging work. As an option for meeting the College's liberal arts requirements, it provides an alternative to the Integrative Studies Program and involves both residential and classroom opportunities. In addition to working closely with fellow students and professors to engage in creative and critical inquiry, honors students integrate and expand on what they are learning in Honors courses by participating in enrichment activities and events both on and off campus.
Residential Honors students will be housed in a Living and Learning Community (LLC) in a College residence hall for their first year and may choose to continue in Living and Learning Communities in later years. The director of the College Honors Program serves as the LLC faculty advisor.
A distinctive feature of the College Honors Program is the requirement that students study abroad. Each year travel study courses led by Keene State College faculty will be made available to sophomore Honors students. See HNRS 301 Global Engagement for details. Honors course requirements cannot be met with Advanced Placement credits or with credits from other institutions.
- HNRSTW 101 Honors Thinking and Writing
- Three Honors Courses (12 credits) in the Arts and Sciences taken from three areas: HNRSA 290 Honors Arts, HNRSH 290 Honors Humanities, HNRSN 290 Honors Natural Sciences, and HNRSS 290 Honors Social Sciences. These Honors courses meet Integrative Studies Program Outcomes and Honors Program outcomes appropriate to the area.
- HNRS 301 Global Engagement
- HNRSI 401 Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar
Admission to the College Honors Program
Students who apply to Keene State College are invited to submit an application and portfolio to the College Honors Program if they have a high school GPA of 3.25 or above. Details of the submission process can be found at the Admissions website: admissions.keene.edu/honors/application/. A subcommittee of the Honors Program Advisory Committee reviews applications and makes decisions on admission.
Beginning in 2011 early in the spring semester, first year non-Honors students at Keene State College who have completed between 16 and 28 credits and who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 will be invited to apply for admission effective in the fall semester. Students admitted after their first semester need not take an Honors Thinking and Writing course, but will be expected to complete other College Honors Program requirements.
College Honors Program students must maintain a semester grade point average of 3.25 during their first semester. At the end of their second semester, they must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 in both Honors and non-Honors courses and maintain that in all subsequent semesters in order to graduate with the designation College Honors Program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.25 at the end of the first semester or 3.50 at the end of the second semester will be on Honors probation for the following semester. Those whose semester GPA remains below the standard for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the Honors Program and will lose Honors scholarship funds. Students have a maximum of two non-consecutive semesters of probation before being dropped from the program.