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Northwestern College    
 
    
 
  Jul 24, 2017
 
2013-14 Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Integrative General Education (IGE)


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Introduction


At Northwestern, integrative learning is our educational vision for all students. Integrative General Education embodies the goals of the college’s Vision for Learning: that graduates will trust, love, and worship God, engage ideas, connect knowledge and experience, and respond to God’s call.

By encouraging connections across courses, time, communities and learning environments, integrative learning reflects an interconnected view of education. Above all, at Northwestern College, integrative learning means the integration of faith and learning. Integrative learning encourages students to connect knowledge gained from many academic disciplines, engage this knowledge in dialogue with biblical and theological understanding, and apply their knowledge and understanding in a personal sense of calling.

IGE Goals


1. Integrate Learning

The overarching goals of IGE are to:

  • Integrate faith and learning
  • Connect knowledge across disciplines
  • Connect knowledge to life outside the academy

2. Seek Knowledge

Students will discover the knowledge, tools, and traditions that motivate disciplinary work. In particular, students will:

  • Examine the major themes of the Bible and expressions of Reformed theology, and survey the theology of the broader Christian tradition
  • Explore the mosaic of human cultures, human nature, and what it means to be a person
  • Investigate the interdependencies and interconnections of the natural world
  • Establish and nurture a sense of intellectual curiosity as a foundation for lifelong learning

3. Demonstrate Skill

Students will practice integrative habits of mind by engaging research questions and issues that demand multidisciplinary thinking, including dialogue with biblical and theological understanding. In particular, students will:

  • Demonstrate creative, effective, and sophisticated abilities in listening, speaking, writing, and visual communication
  • Develop effective quantitative and qualitative reasoning
  • Engage, interpret, and respond to complex texts and problems
  • Practice effective use of electronic tools and technology in communication and research

4. Live Responsibly

Students will participate in God’s redeeming work by developing a comprehensive view of ethical responsibility that encompasses both individual behavior and responsible action in community. In particular, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the needs of the world and issues of justice, mercy, and humility in keeping with the biblical narrative showing God’s concern for the last, the least, and the lost
  • Articulate and support personal beliefs and engage in respectful dialogue with those who hold differing beliefs
  • Develop a Christian ethic that informs individual choices; a sense of local, national, and global citizenship, and a sense of responsibility to others and to the natural world
  • Discern a calling in which individual abilities and passions serve the church and the needs of the world

IGE Requirements


To graduate with a B.A. or B.S., Northwestern students must complete the IGE requirements, which include a common Integrative Learning Core and a menu of courses in ten Integrative Learning Categories.

Integrative Learning Core

  • First-Year Seminar: Speaking and Writing in Community (4 credits)
  • Christian Story I: Biblical Tradition (4 credits)
  • Christian Story II: Theological Tradition (4 credits)
  • Senior Seminar: Vocation and Social Responsibility (2-4 credits)

Integrative Learning Categories

  • Aesthetic Experience (AE) (3-4 credits)
  • Belief and Reason (BR) (4 credits)
  • Cross-Cultural Engagement (CC) (3-4 credits)
  • Historical Perspectives (HP) (4 credits)
  • Language and Culture (LA) (0-9 credits)
  • Literary Contexts (LC) (4 credits)
  • Physical Wellness (PW) (2-3 credits)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR) (3-4 credits)
  • Science and the Natural World (SN) (4 credits)
  • Self and Society (SS) (4 credits)

Total IGE Credits: 45-60


Students with Earned Degrees


Students who transfer to Northwestern with an associate or baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university must meet the following modified IGE requirements, with these courses to be taken either at the original institution or at Northwestern.

  •  REL150 or REL250 (4 credits)
  • Aesthetic Experience (3-4 credits)
  • Choose courses from two different categories:
    • Historical Perspectives (HP)
    • Literary Contexts (LC)
    • Belief and Reason (BR)
  • Physical Wellness (2-3 credits)
  • Fulfill one category: (3-4 credits)
    • Cross-Cultural Engagement (CC)
    • Language and Culture (LA)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR) (3-4 credits)
  • Science and the Natural World (SN) (4 credits)
  • Self and Society (SS) (4 credits)

Total IGE Credits: 31-35


Integrative Learning Core


IGE101 First-Year Seminar: Speaking and Writing in Community

All degree-seeking students are required to take FYS during their first semester at Northwestern. (For 2013-14, exceptions may be granted to students with transferable credits in writing or speech, transfer students, students with earned degrees, and ESL students.) Enrollment in Honors section of FYS (IGE105) is based on placement in the Scholarship Days competition.

FYS initiates a four-year process in which students form a learning community marked by trust in God and each other; explore some of life’s most profound, enduring questions by grappling with provocative texts; employ the tools of information literacy in pursuing answers; and develop effective practices of reading, writing, and speaking.

After completing the First-Year Seminar, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the nature of a Christian liberal arts education in the Reformed tradition.
  • Engage a broad range of ideas through interdisciplinary writing and conversation.
  • Write effectively to inform, persuade, and delight a particular audience.
  • Speak effectively to inform, persuade, and delight a particular audience.

IGE101L Writing Studio

IGE101L provides additional writing instruction and feedback for students taking IGE101. The FYS Writing Studio engages students in essential practices of college writing through mini-lessons and workshop activities.

Students with an English ACT of 19 or below (Verbal/Critical Reading ACT below 470) are required to take IGE101L in the same semester as IGE101.

REL150 Christian Story I: Biblical Tradition

Through Christian Story I, students learn skills and biblical content that prepare them for a lifetime of critical thinking and faithful living from a biblical-theological perspective. Students should complete this course by the end of their second semester.

After completing Christian Story I, students will:

  • Know and understand the Biblical Story in relation to (a) God and key historical characters, places, and events from the biblical world; (b) the literary contexts of the biblical writings; and (c) the thematic development of God’s story with Israel and the church, through the unfolding of the covenants and their implications for worship, holiness, justice, wisdom, and the kingdom of God.
  • Think critically about and appreciate the Biblical Message through an examination of (a) the significance of the biblical canon in terms of the historical process by which the Bible developed and became authoritative; (b) the contextual nature of the Bible’s historical and literary “worlds” behind, within, and in front of the text; (c) the scholarly methods and tools that strengthen authentic study of the Bible; and (d) the contribution of the experiences of faith communities in responding to God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.
  • Respond to God through Biblical Application as (a) individuals in a manner that promotes Christian virtues such as love, justice, peace, and truth; (b) members of a learning community studying scripture together; and (c) the church empowered by the Spirit to be the presence of Christ in the world.

REL250 Christian Story II: Theological Tradition

Through Christian Story II, students learn skills and theological content that prepare them for a lifetime of critical thinking and faithful living from a biblical-theological perspective. Students should complete this course by the end of their fourth semester.

After completing Christian Story II, students will:

  • Know and understand Christian theology in relation to (a) God, the people of God and the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ; (b) the traditions, councils, and theologians; (c) the cultural contexts of theological reflection from the first century until now; and (d) the mission and growth of the Church as the people of God since the apostolic era.
  • Think critically about and appreciate the content and context of Christian theology through an examination of (a) the significance of Christian theology in terms of the historical process by which it developed within the Church and culture; (b) the nature of Christian theology’s historical, social, economic context; (c) the scholarly methods and tools that strengthen authentic study of theology; and (d) the contribution of Christian communities and experience in responding to God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.
  • Respond to God through theological application as (a) individuals in a manner that responds in faith to the gospel and promotes Christian virtues such as love, justice, peace, and truth; (c) the church empowered by the Spirit for mission and witness to the gospel of Christ in the world.

Senior Seminar: Vocation and Social Responsibility

The Senior Seminar assists students in the integration of faith and learning, vocational and social responsibility as they prepare for life outside academia. All students are required to complete a Senior Seminar in their last three semesters prior to graduation.

The Senior Seminar, which is still under development, may be taught as a capstone to a major, or it may be interdisciplinary.

Integrative Learning Categories


No course may count toward meeting more than one IGE requirement.

Note:


The Aesthetic Experience requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix AE and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Aesthetic Experience (AE) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Engage works of visual or performing art using their senses and intellect.
  • Use appropriate tools and vocabulary to respond critically to works of art.
  • Advocate for the value of the arts in society.
  • Reflect on their experience of artistic creation.
  • Express a thoughtful Christian perspective on the arts.
  • Draw connections between divine and human creation.

 

Note:


The Belief and Reason requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix BR and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Believe and Reason (BR) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Think critically and creatively as they listen, read, and write.
  • Use the tools of logic to recognize, evaluate, and construct arguments both for and against a position.
  • Participate knowledgeably in ongoing conversations about significant philosophical questions.
  • Reflect on their own beliefs and practices with humility and intellectual honesty and examine the beliefs and practices of others with care and charity.
  • Use the resources of the Christian tradition to construct a coherent and plausible account of God, the world, and their place in it.

 

Note:


International students are required to take ESL101, Introduction to American Culture.

The Cross-Cultural Engagement requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix CC and fulfill the following requirements.

The category objectives for this category are still under development.

 

Historical Perspectives (HP)


The current options for meeting the Historical Perspectives requirement are:

Note:


The HP requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Options will vary by semester and instructor. Approved courses in this category will bear the course suffix HP and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Historical Perspectives (HP) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Describe how historical context shapes events and our understanding of events.
  • Evaluate the nature and reliability of historical evidence.
  • Develop a thesis-based argument using properly cited evidence.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a body of historical knowledge.
  • Articulate how faith obliges Christians to  pursue historical truth while acknowledging preconceptions, ideologies, and myths.
  • Describe an approach to history based on the belief that God acted through the incarnation to redeem people made in God’s image.

Language and Culture (LA)


Students have three options for fulfilling the Language and Culture category requirement:

OPTION 3: Participate in an IGEC-approved semester-long immersion experience in a non-English-speaking country.


Notes:


The language placement exam is used to determine initial placement into a modern foreign language sequence prior to taking language courses at Northwestern College. Once a student is in the language sequence, the student must complete the 201-level course in that language to  meet the general education language requirement. A student may repeat the placement exam prior to beginning the language sequence, with the highest score used for placement. Once a student is in the language sequence, the language placement test cannot be used to meet the general education requirement.

Students who claim proficiency at a 201-level in a modern foreign language not taught at Northwestern College may take an appropriate standardized placement test to determine if the student has the level of proficiency needed for exemption from the foreign language requirement. If 201-proficiency is not indicated by the exam, the student may meet the requirement by taking and transferring credits from a college or university offering that language.

Exception: Students who are non-native speakers of English have no additional language requirement.

The Language and Culture requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix LA and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Language and Culture (LA) requirement, students will:

  • Have achieved low intermediate skills in another language
  • Have the confidence to use their non-native language skills beyond the classroom walls.
  • Be able to draw on their non-native language skills to bridge cultural differences.
  • Have an attitude of humility and openness to being blessed by the linguistic and cultural other.
  • Be able to articulate some ways that cultural differences are embedded in language.
  • Have developed a personal view of the relationship between Christian faith and language study.

 

Literary Contexts (LC)


The current options for meeting the Literary Contexts requirement are:

Note:


This requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Options will vary by instructor and semester. Approved courses in this category will bear the course suffix LC and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Literary Contexts (LC) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Imagine other lives, times, and places by reading a variety of texts.
  • Empathize with characters who have diverse stories and perspectives.
  • Analyze different genres of literature using the tools of literary study.
  • Craft a coherent essay with a clear thesis and careful textual analysis.
  • Articulate ways that literature speaks to and informs their own lives.
  • Express delight in God through the beauty of language and literary texts.
  • Witness God’s presence in the world through literature.

 

Physical Wellness (PW)


Students have two options for fulfilling the Physical Wellness category requirement:

Note:


The Physical Wellness requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix PW and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Physical Wellness (PW) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Articulate a Christian perspective on stewardship of the human body.
  • Describe the integrative role of physical wellness in human flourishing.
  • Implement a personal program of physical exercise.
  • Address lifestyle imbalances through nutrition, stress management, and physical activity.
  • Participate knowledgeably in a physical activity.

 

Note:


Students with Math ACT 19 or below (SAT 460 or below) or no ACT or SAT math score must pass MAT090, Basic Algebra (C- or better) or the mathematics department placement exam (70% or better) in order to take a QR course at Northwestern College. Additional prerequisite requirements apply to some mathematics courses.

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix QR and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Interpret and draw conclusions from information presented in formulas, tables, or graphs.
  • Form and evaluate arguments supported by numerical or symbolic reasoning
  • Use quantitative problem-solving skills to pursue both routine and creative approaches to real-world problems.
  • Articulate how mathematical patterns reveal the beauty and power inherent in God’s creation.

 

 

Note:


The Science and the Natural World requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix SN and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Science and the Natural World (SN) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate foundational scientific understanding of basic principles, structures, and processes of the natural world.
  • Apply methods of scientific inquiry to the natural world.
  • Evaluate the reliability of scientific practices and information.
  • Understand and appreciate the interconnectedness in nature.
  • Articulate how scientific reasoning and an understanding of the natural world inform responsible living.
  • Articulate connections between God’s natural and scriptural revelations.

 

 

Note:


The Self and Society requirement may also be met by new IGE courses as they become available. Approved courses in this category will bear the suffix SS and fulfill the following requirements.

After completing the Self and Society (SS) requirement, students will be able to:

  • Investigate the causes and consequences of individual or collective human action.
  • Explain some of the major forces that shape the diversity of human experience
  • Articulate ways in which systematic study of humans informs their own views and actions
  • Articulate some personal and communal implications of being made in the image of God.
  • Describe ways that Christian thought and the social sciences shed light on each other.

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