2019-2020 Catalog

Liberal Arts (A.A.)

Associate in Arts

Program Advisor: Matthew Müller

413-236-4584 • mmuller@berkshirecc.edu

The goal of the Liberal Arts Program is to develop students’ foundational knowledge and skills through a wide variety of academic disciplines in preparation for informed engagement in their communities, the ever-changing economic landscape, and successful transfer to a four-year institution. Through the study of subjects like history, science, languages, mathematics, and the arts, this program fosters independently motivated, complex thinkers who are able to affect positive change in the overlapping contexts of community, politics, family life, the workplace, and society.

If you are a student who:

  • wants to prepare yourself for an ever-changing job market, the Liberal Arts Program gives you transferable skills that employers value across many fields.
  • plans to transfer to a four-year institution, the Liberal Arts Program gives you the flexibility to explore your options, focus your interests, and gain foundational knowledge in a wide range of disciplines.
  • is interested in creating social and political change in your community, the Liberal Arts Program gives you the theoretical, historical, civic, and social knowledge to impact community life.
  • is undecided about a specific career path, the Liberal Arts Program provides you with a solid foundation and time to explore courses in the arts and sciences.
  • appreciates interdisciplinary learning, The Liberal Arts Program provides you with a framework for developing connections between a wide range of fields.

Students in Liberal Arts may pursue the related majors at the baccalaureate level: anthropology, area studies, behavioral and social sciences, communications, economics, education, English, foreign languages, general studies, liberal arts, geography, geology, history, linguistics, mathematics, media, music, nursing, peace studies, philosophy, physical education, physics, psychology, radio and television, science and theatre arts.

This is a MassTransfer eligible program.

Expected Outcomes

  • Information Literacy:
    • Navigate rapidly growing information environment through use of digital technology, purpose-driven inquiry, and research.
    • Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from a broad range of discipline-appropriate sources.
  • Scientific Literacy:
    • Comprehend, interpret, and present scientific data, and draw conclusions based on scientific reasoning and evidence.
    • Engage in lab and field work to understand experimental design and analyze and interpret data.
    • Develop environmental awareness through an understanding of our place in nature as a species, our effect on the environment and the renewable and non-renewable resources we rely on, and the ecological services we need to protect.
  • Critical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking:
    • Form relevant, focused, grounded, and challenging questions that guide academic inquiry.
    • Consider, analyze, synthesize, and respond to diverse viewpoints in a variety of academic settings.
    • Develop innovative strategies for problem solving using original and predictive thinking.
    • Work independently and collaboratively to solve problems.
    • Extrapolate from known material to predict outcomes and create scenarios.
  • Quantitative Reasoning
    • Use and develop formulas to analyze data in a variety of fields and real world situations.
    • Translate English into mathematical expressions, equations, and inequalities.
    • Solve equations for an unknown quantity in order to understand complex situations.
    • Analyze and interpret the relationships among data sets via graphs, tables, and equations.
  • Written and Oral Communication:
    • Write with clarity and purpose, demonstrating an awareness for rhetorical context and audience.
    • Present clearly reasoned and persuasive academic arguments with effective use of evidence in a variety of discipline specific formats.
    • Effectively and constructively communicate ideas in individual, small, and large group settings.
  • Global Awareness and Historical Context:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of world cultures and histories.
    • Cultivate familiarity with major artistic, philosophical, and literary movements throughout history.
    • Understand roots and causes of contemporary issues and cultural and social structures.
    • Develop a sense of personal awareness in the context of historical movements and structures and their influence on contemporary live.
    • Develop an awareness and understanding of community needs and problems, both locally and globally.
    • Develop a foundational understanding of physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual wellness.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete all program and general education credits, plus the following Additional Requirements.

Program Courses

ENG-Literature

6

-Free Electives

21

Total Credit Hours:27

General Education Courses

COM-Communication

3

ENG-English Composition/Writing

6

- 

HIS-113Western Civ to 1500

3

-Or

HIS-121World History to 1500

3

- 

HIS-114Western Civilization Since 1500

3

-Or

HIS-122World History Since 1500

3

- 

MAT-Mathematics

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

6

-Environmental Studies

1

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

-Natural or Physical Science

7

Total Credit Hours:35

Environmental Studies: See Footnote 1
Natural or Physical Science: See Footnote 1

Additional Requirements

Core Competencies Portfolio 4 items
FORUM 4 units
Health/Fitness 30 hours
Minimum Cumulative Average Overall 2.000

Suggested Pathway to Graduation

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student’s individual needs.

First Semester

-Free Elective

3

ENG-English Composition/Writing

3

- 

HIS-113Western Civ to 1500

3

-Or

HIS-121World History to 1500

3

- 

MAT-Mathematics

3

-Natural or Physical Science

4

Total Credit Hours:16

Natural or Physical Science: See footnote 1

Second Semester

-Free Electives

6

ENG-English Composition/Writing

3

- 

HIS-114Western Civilization Since 1500

3

-Or

HIS-122World History Since 1500

3

- 

-Environmental Studies

1

-Natural or Physical Science

3

Total Credit Hours:16

Environmental Studies: See Footnote 1
Natural or Physical Science: See Footnote 1

Third Semester

ENG-Literature

3

-Free Elective

3

COM-Communication

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Total Credit Hours:15

Fourth Semester

ENG-Literature

3

-Free Electives

9

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

Total Credit Hours:15

Footnote

  1. The Natural or Physical Science requirement must be fulfilled by one 4-credit laboratory science and one 3-credit non-laboratory science or by two 4-credit laboratory sciences. Completion of an environmentally focused laboratory science, such as BIO-109, BIO-110, ENV-101, or ENV-102, fulfills both the Natural or Physical Science and the Environmental Studies requirements.