Liberal Arts Department Mission
The Liberal Arts Department at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is committed to promoting academic excellence through rigorous and engaged pedagogical practices. Through our own professional development, as academics and educators, Liberal Arts provides the necessary skills for artists to develop as professionals, engaged citizens, and actualized human beings prepared to flourish in a complex global world. Students in Liberal Arts engage a variety of academic disciplines that emphasize the skills necessary for informed, meaningful, and effective writing and the capacity to think critically about their lives, their work, and the larger world.
Liberal Arts Program Description
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is proud of its strong Liberal Arts tradition. About one-third of each student’s degree plan is comprised of courses within the Liberal Arts, which emphasize a broad course of study in a variety of academic disciplines, while providing students with the necessary tools to develop critical thinking and communication skills for their intellectual, creative, and personal growth.
The Liberal Arts curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, academic writing, and creative inquiry. Through an engagement with a variety of academic disciplines, students acquire multiple perspectives for perceiving complexities of thought, contextualizing knowledge, and becoming self-directed learners with the capacity for thoughtful action in the world and in their lives.
Students begin the Composition + Critical thought sequence in their first year, which initially emphasizes the emerging writer’s voice, process, and competencies, but proceeds to a greater focus on academic texts and formal writing skills, culminating in a research project by the end of the second term of the sequence.
Art History is a crucial component of the Liberal Arts curriculum. In the Art History sequence, students broaden their understanding of art through historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts. Art History places a great deal of emphasis on critical thinking and discipline-specific formal writing, providing students with breadth of coverage and a greater understanding of Art History as an academic discipline.
The Humanities sequence complements the Art History curriculum with a similar interest in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts, but with a primary interest in literature, philosophy, social movements, and intellectual history.
As part of their Liberal Arts education, students are also required take courses in Mathematics, Social + Behavioral Science, and Natural + Physical Sciences. Additionally, students may elect to take an additional course in the Humanities or Social Behavioral Sciences, which are topics-based courses.
The philosophy of a Liberal Arts education is to provide students with an intellectual and ethical basis for self-directed learning and active global citizenship. The Liberal Arts Department is committed to supporting the college’s mission, vision, and values as well as the Diversity Statement and the Diversity within the Curriculum clause.
Students demonstrate critical thinking skills, defined as the capacity to challenge assumptions, contextualize information, identify problems, conceptualize responses.
Students demonstrate writing skills, which encompass thesis statement, organization, conclusion, grammar, syntax, and spelling.
Students demonstrate scholarly research skills.
Students demonstrate public speaking skills.
Students demonstrate critical engagement in theory through discussion and writing.
Students demonstrate discipline specific knowledge.
Students demonstrate acquaintance with major artistic, cultural, and intellectual accomplishments throughout history.
Students demonstrate awareness of and apply methodology, which the department defines as the logic that brings the research together.
Students demonstrate competence in discipline-specific citation styles.