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ESP Requirements & Student Learning Outcomes

NOTE: the following information is condensed from the 2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog. For full details about the current Essential Studies Program, to review the ESP requirements in previous catalogs, or to search the latest course schedules, please visit the Academics Course Schedule and Catalog Page.

Philosophy of Essential Studies

Students are members of a broader society dependent on their meaningful contributions for its success. Chadron State College embraces this vision, recognizing the need to serve the region within the context of an increasingly global and more complex world in need of creative solutions to a never-ending supply of challenges and opportunities. The Essential Studies Program at Chadron State provides an integrated, coherent learning experience to prepare students for a life of responsible inquiry.

Essential Studies Structural Criteria

NOTE: these criteria are outlined in the 2015-17 Catalog. Students in earlier catalogs are under different criteria. For a summary of changes, please visit the 2012 to 2015 ESP Requirements Page.

These criteria apply to all students enrolled in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Education degree programs. Essential Studies requirements for the Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree are different; please see the Technical Occupations major for details.

  1. All first year students will take six (6) course credits of interdisciplinary, issue- or theme-based First Year Inquiry (FYI) to orient them to the Essential Studies Program, critical inquiry, and creative problem solving. This experience may be a single 6 course credit, two 3-hour course credit, or other combinations of course credit offered in a variety of formats and academic terms.
    Students will complete the six course credit FYI requirement within the first thirty (30) course credits taken at CSC. Students who fail to meet this requirement will have a hold placed on their registration each semester until they complete the six-course credit FYI requirement. While this hold is in place, students must register for at least one FYI course whenever they register for courses.
  2. Students are required to complete three (3) course credits to satisfy each outcome in the Skills, Modes of Inquiry, Personal and Social Responsibility, and Capstone Integration areas (Outcomes 2-12).
  3. Some Essential Studies courses may be team-taught, six-course credit interdisciplinary courses that have been approved to address two Essential Studies Outcomes (Outcomes 2-12).
  4. A single 3-course credit Essential Studies course may be approved to address a maximum of one Essential Studies Outcome.
  5. Up to nine (9) course credits of Essential Studies Program courses can apply toward any comprehensive major or any minor. No courses required in a subject major (30-36 course credits) can be used to meet Essential Studies Program requirements.
  6. Some degree programs specify Essential Studies Program courses; check the program requirements for the major you are seeking.
  7. Transfer students who possess and Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree are subject to NSCS Board Policy 4430.

Student Learning Outcomes

NOTE: these are the current outcomes for the Essential Studies Program, as they appear in the 2015-17 Catalog. The outcomes for earlier catalogs may be slightly different. For a summary of changes, please visit the 2012 to 2015 ESP Requirements Page.

ESP FRAMEWORK for Student Learning Outcomes
Prior to 2015, the Student Learning Outcomes included additional contextual language, in italics, that was used in the development of their official catalog descriptions. To view these supporting elements, please view the ESP FRAMEWORK document.

First Year Inquiry (FYI) (6 course credits)

  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 1
    Students will practice skills involved in Critical Inquiry and Creative Problem Solving through interdisciplinary, collaborative engagement of a specific issue or theme.

Skills (12 course credits)

Students will develop intellectual and practical skills, including proficiency in written, oral, and visual communication; inquiry techniques; critical and creative thinking; quantitative techniques and applications; information acquisition and assessment; teamwork; and problem-solving.

  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 2
    Students will use writing as a tool for learning and thinking, and will compose texts that address diverse writing situations purposefully, making appropriate use of evidence and conventions, including Standard Edited English.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 3
    Students will demonstrate communication competence in two or more of the following ways: (a) by making oral presentations with supporting materials, (b) by leading and participating in problem-solving teams, (c) by employing a repertoire of communication skills for developing and maintaining professional and personal relationships, or (d) by employing listening skills.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 4
    Students will demonstrate the application of mathematical terminology, expressions, and logical reasoning abilities to model, draw inferences, and to mathematically solve problems within our world.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 5
    Students will practice one or more creative art forms, such as music, theatre, creative writing, visual art, and the design arts.

Modes of Inquiry (9 course credits)

Students will build understanding of the human condition within its social and natural contexts.

  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 6
    Students will employ scientific methodology to analyze and explain how the natural world functions and how humans interact with it.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 7
    Students will examine the human condition by exploring cultural and aesthetic achievements illustrated in at least one of the disciplines in the humanities: visual and performing arts, literature, history, philosophy, or religion.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 8
    Students will study human behavior and social interactions integrating knowledge, theories, methods, or historical perspectives appropriate to the social sciences.

Personal and Social Responsibility (9 course credits)

Students will demonstrate individual and social responsibility through the critical examination of wellness; study of ethical principles and reasoning; application of civic knowledge; interaction with diverse cultures; and engagement with global issues.

  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 9
    Students will apply theories and principles of ethics and citizenship through the study of or participation in civic affairs.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 10
    Students will demonstrate knowledge of human diversity and interconnectedness and will analyze the implications of diversity in its various economic, cultural, social or political forms.
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) 11
    Students will discuss current health issues and incorporate wellness practices that lead to positive personal changes in health and wellness lifestyle.

Capstone Integration (3 course credits)

Students will integrate Essential Studies skills, knowledge and abilities, adapting them to new settings, questions, and responsibilities.

NOTE: Students in catalogs previous to 2015 are required to complete SIX hours of CAP 469 prefix coursework.

  • Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) 12
    Students will complete a culminating experience that illustrates effective application of their Essential Studies skills, modes of inquiry and personal and social responsibility through one of the following projects:
    • An Essential Studies Capstone course (CAP 469 prefix) where students produce a creative or scholarly work requiring broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, interpretation, synthesis, presentation, and reflection that grows out of interdisciplinary, collaborative engagement of a specific issue or theme.
    • A capstone, independent study or other advanced-project course within a specific department or program that meets SLO #12 criteria and has been approved by the Essential Studies Program committee. Successful completion of the project will include a presentation illustrating the application of Capstone Integration outcomes as outlined on the Essential Studies Program website. Approved courses also appear on the Essential Studies Program website.

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