Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Studies

Mission and Vision

Mission Statement

The Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies provides excellent integrated education to students at UALR. We encourage students to approach education as a life-long learning process and as an end in itself by creating a rich mentoring environment and a challenging, rewarding curriculum. We emphasize the necessity of all students to learn critical thinking skills, to write well, and to read well. We foster situations in which students have opportunities to apply these invaluable skills with case-based learning techniques and with continual discussion of real-world scenarios. The Department strongly supports diversity in curriculum and education and aims to maintain that commitment through supplemental and extra-curricular activities, supporting student engagement across campus, and explicitly recognizing our roles as student educational advocates.

Department Vision

The Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies is committed to strengthening its commitment to student success and broadening its recognition for excellence in teaching and community service.

Teaching

We will maintain a philosophically relevant, rigorous curriculum and work to build our base of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies majors and minors. We will strive to enhance our curriculum with state of the art technological advances in on-line and face to face instruction and will keep our program responsive to disciplinary, professional, and economic pressures. We will continue to enhance student learning by improving upon and adding to additional Departmental facilities and space. A designated student lounge will be available to students and will include computer access, at least three work spaces, areas for student organization and club activities, and a small library. We will work to increase book donations to the Department library.

Community Outreach and Recruitment

Further, we will continue to build our already rich community outreach activities by increasing high school administrator, teacher, and student involvement in the Arkansas Regional High School Ethics Bowl, as well as increasing our UALR recruitment efforts for the UALR Ethics Bowl Team. We will continue to host the Arkansas Regional High School Ethics Bowl and will work to secure other regional events, like an Arkansas Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and an Arkansas Regional Community College Ethics Bowl. Further, for each of these events, we will foster relationships with leaders of the Urban community of which UALR is a part by inviting guests to campus to attend and participate in these events. We will commit to partnering with community organizations when relevant to do so on all conference and related activities.

Mentoring

We will continue to foster contexts in which students are encouraged to spend time outside of the classroom, involved in extra-curricular activities, and Department sponsored events with faculty. We will remain active participants in our studentsā€™ academic lives.

Implementation of Mission and Vision

Specific, measurable steps to achieve the vision and mission above

Student Learning Goals, Exit Outcomes

Student Learning Goals are split up over several categories: 1) critical thinking and foundational knowledge; 2) historical awareness; and 3) Process, Skills, Reading, and Writing.

  1. Critical Thinking and Foundational Knowledge
    Upon completion of the BA in Philosophy, students will:

    • Have a broad vocabulary in argumentation, critical thinking, and philosophy
    • Be able to comprehend structures of argumentation and general philosophical concepts
    • Be able to critically evaluate spoken or written positions (academic discourse and public opinion, discourse)
    • Effectively communicate positions to people in a public as well as in an academic context

     

  2. Historical Awareness
    Upon completion of the BA in Philosophy, students will:

    • Have broad familiarity with at least three distinct historical periods in the discipline of Philosophy
    • Be able to place historical figures within appropriate historical and philosophical contexts
    • Identify major trends in Philosophy correlated to three respective historical periods within Philosophy

     

  3. Process, Skills, Reading, Writing
    Upon completion of the BA in Philosophy, students will:

    • Be able to read and interpret Philosophical texts
    • Be able to cogently respond to Philosophical texts in speech and in writing
    • Be able to formulate philosophical arguments and communicate them in speech or in writing
    • Write philosophical essays using an acceptable style-guide

     

Assessment
  1. Evaluation of processes:
    • course content and design integration
    • portfolio analysis
    • pre/post learning evaluations
  2. Surveys of graduates
  3. Standards and benchmarks