A Liberal Arts Curriculum

General education is the portion of our Catholic liberal arts curriculum that addresses the dispositions, skills, and knowledge of educated persons.

Aligned with our mission and institutional learning outcomes, the Foundations, Explorations, & Vocations general education curriculum provides you with the foundation necessary to make thoughtful choices to learn, act, and contribute to society throughout your life.

Foundations, Explorations, and Vocations

A Developmental Approach

You will take general education courses throughout your four years, allowing you to develop interdisciplinary problem-solving skills as you continue to deepen your knowledge in your major field. This curricular approach strengthens your critical thinking skills.

Loras Student Dispositions

The Loras experience fosters the development of:

Active Learners

Loras students demonstrate their ability to learn in active ways.

Reflective Thinkers

Loras students demonstrate their ability to think reflectively.

Ethical Decision-Makers

Loras students demonstrate their ability to decide matters ethically.

Responsible Contributors

Loras students demonstrate that they contribute in responsible ways.

Skills for Lifelong Learning

In conjunction with a student’s major, the Foundations, Explorations, & Vocations General Education Curriculum will develop intellectual skills in these areas:

1. Written and Oral Communication

  • Students will learn to use informal writing and oral communication as a tool to develop knowledge and to

    1. Express creative or inventive thinking
    2. Learn course content
    3. Encourage self-reflection
    4. Express a first understanding of research topics
    5. Integrate knowledge

  • Students will learn to use formal written and oral communication to:

    1. Support ideas with evidence
    2. Display creativity, voice, and a sense of audience
    3. Organize writing and speeches in ways consistent with the purpose of the paper or speech
    4. Demonstrate critical thinking
    5. Use standard English and an effective prose or verbal style

2. Critical Thinking and Reading

Students will learn to formulate questions and to set goals for an inquiry to:
  1. Gather factual information and apply it to a given problem in a manner that is relevant, clear, comprehensive, and conscious of possible bias in the information selected whether the information is print or electronic, qualitative or quantitative
  2. Imagine and seek out a variety of possible goals, assumptions, interpretations, or perspectives which can give alternate meanings or solutions to given situations or problems; to analyze the problem from more than one disciplinary perspective; to integrate knowledge into a larger context
  3. Analyze the logical connections among facts, goals, and implicit assumptions relevant to a problem or a claim and to generate and evaluate the implications which follow from them
  4. Recognize and articulate the value assumptions which underlie and affect decisions, interpretations, analyses, and evaluations made by themselves and others; to use the analysis of values to make ethical decisions

3. Information Literacy

Students will have the ability to:

    • Identify a core of major information resources and construct a research strategy

    • Locate various sources of appropriate information for a research topic, evaluate the credibility of sources, and correctly cite them

    • Use appropriate library resources, print and or/electronic, to collect information

    • Recognize when to use information technology, and how to use it to collect, analyze, and present data in a meaningful way

    • Adapt to changes in information technology and to differences in technological resources between separate occupational environments

    • Demonstrate ability with major information technology resources used for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, information presentation, electronic communication, web authoring, and electronic search

May Term

May term courses are designed to be an intense, in-depth three-week learning experience. Courses emphasize experiential learning—an approach that connects classroom study with learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

These may include participation in simulations, on-site or field studies, research with a faculty member, trips away from campus, performance or studio art, and many other hands-on learning assignments.

You will successfully complete at least two May term courses as part of the graduation requirements. These courses may be electives, major courses, or general education courses.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning initiatives dramatically expand the dimensions of a Loras education by working with students to integrate their knowledge, experience, skills, and capacities. Through structured learning experiences in other countries, cities, communities, and working environments, students are encouraged to design and pursue their learning objectives outside the traditional classroom.

The Center for Experiential Learning works with you to reflect critically on their experiences and to articulate what they have learned from their experiences through portfolios.

  • Academic Internships
  • Education Abroad
  • Community-based Learning
  • Career Exploration and Planning