Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Liberal Arts

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Liberal Arts Department Mission

The Liberal Arts Department develops aspiring artists + designers as scholars, professionals, informed human beings, and engaged global citizens prepared to flourish in a complex world empowered with skills in critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, as well as communication, rhetoric, and the multiple genres of writing.

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 a 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 to 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.

Program Outcomes

Liberal Arts Program Learning Outcomes Rubric   

  • Students demonstrate critical thinking skills, defined as the capacity to challenge assumptions, contextualize information, identify problems, and 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.

Liberal Arts Department Vision Statements

The Art History courses support the departmental mission by educating artists + designers in critical visual thinking skills, and by developing their visual and written communication skills with scholarly, interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the history, production, and reception of global art and visual culture.

The Communication + Critical Thinking courses support the departmental mission of acquiring communication skills that foster awareness, listening, and speech. In addition, students will develop proficiency in global consciousness and critical thought while examining clear analytical and rhetorical methods in elevating the level of insight through reading and writing.

The multi-disciplinary Humanities courses support the departmental mission by inspiring artists + designers with the muses of History, Philosophy, and Religion to expand global and cultural awareness while grounding students in critical thinking to develop competent writers and engaged, socially conscious citizens.

The Social + Behavioral Sciences courses support the departmental mission of disseminating knowledge, assisting students in developing an understanding of societal issues, and cultivating ethical artists + designers who are robust critical thinkers and communicators, and respect diversity, perspectives, and cultures.

The Mathematics and Physical + Natural Science courses support the departmental mission to develop critical problem-solving skills through mathematical and scientific principles that frame the business and natural worlds to develop fiscally astute and environmentally responsible artists + designers.

The Liberal Arts Department will actively contribute to our institutional, local, national, and global communities by advocating for, supporting, and collaborating with artists + designers, and organizations to support a sustainable and just world for all.  

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