The purpose of the Liberal Arts Core (LAC) is to actively engage students to become self-aware participants in their own personal development through thoughtful and informed decision making, promotion of life-long learning, enlarging the scope of their world to global issues and diverse cultures, and increasing their strategies for solving complex problems they will encounter in the future.
The LAC draws from UNI's Academic Master Plan to “develop critical thinking and creative abilities, advance intercultural literacy and a global perspective, foster community engagement and civic responsibility, and nurture curiosity, imagination, and lifelong learning”. A strong liberal arts foundation helps students develop a sense of social responsibility as well as intellectual and practical skills. Students need to be equipped with broad knowledge in a variety of areas, in addition to knowledge in a specific major, in order to gain the necessary skill set expected in real-world settings. The following are examples of what a high-quality 21st century education should emphasize:
- BROAD LEARNING about science, society, technology, human diversity, and global cultures and interdependence
- INTELLECTUAL SKILLS that support evidence-based reasoning and innovation— including analysis, communication, critical and creative thinking, quantitative fluency, information literacy, and collaborative problem solving
- PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY including ethical reasoning, civic and democratic knowledge and engagement, global acumen, and the capacity to work productively with diverse people and perspectives
- INTEGRATIVE AND ADAPTIVE LEARNING including the demonstrated ability to apply knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to complex problems and new settings