About the Bachelor of Arts Completion Program
The School of Undergraduate Studies (SUS) offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Bachelor of Arts Completion (BAC) Program. Our mission is to offer Bachelor's level degree completion programs and to facilitate the academic success, retention, and holistic development of students from recruitment to graduation. We provide a liberal arts education using integrative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative learning approaches. In SUS, we create learning environments that reflect values of equity and justice; that nurture the unique perspective of each participant; that build collective and community-based knowledge; that challenge oppressive assumptions and structures; and expose participants to new ways of thinking, through contact with new knowledge, belief systems, theories and community practices.
In the School of Undergraduate Studies, we believe that what we teach and how we teach work in synergy to create a unique and sophisticated undergraduate learning environment.
What We Teach
We offer students a core curriculum that focuses on three themes: Self and Society, Integral Learning, and Modern Perspectives (semester one); Culture and Community, Knowledge and Inquiry, and Research and Development (semester two); and Global Studies, Social Change, and Senior Project (semester three). The themes of each semester are taught from an interrelated perspective; each semester builds on the next, adding to the critical frameworks through which students examine themselves and their relationship to the world.
How We Teach
Our approach to teaching is based on critical pedagogy, which attempts to move away from teacher- and text-centered curricula. We draw upon subject matters from students' own lives, languages, and cultures to enrich the curriculum. Below we highlight key aspects of our pedagogy that enhance students' capacity to learn both individually and collectively.
Relationship-building is the foundation for creating a safe and collaborative learning environment in which students develop an openness and willingness to fully and deeply engage in the learning process.
Praxis refers to the cycle of action and reflection. The program asks students to engage in a set of activities and exercises over the course of their education, and to reflect on the learning that occurred. We believe that reflection enhances students' critical understanding of the themes of the semester, and their ability to assess their own values, goals, and progress.
Situated knowledge challenges the claims of detached observation in favor of a more located and relational understanding. We ask students to situate themselves, or consider who they are in relation to the texts, materials, and subject matter they encounter in their studies. By developing a situated approach to knowledge, we propose that we develop a more nuanced, and textured relationship to the subject being studied.
The co-creation of knowledge is an essential aspect of our pedagogy. We believe that knowledge is not stagnant, not something one can pick up and memorize; knowledge is created through interaction and dialogue, and by engaging multiple perspectives. In our program, both students and faculty ask questions and together attempt to answer them.
Integral learning is embedded in our curriculum. By integral we mean that we teach from multiple disciplines and a variety of modalities of learning: creative, cognitive, visual, interactive, and somatic. We believe that by engaging multiple viewpoints, students learn in a more complex, more embodied, and multi-dimensional manner.