The Cornerstones General Education Program is an experimental General Education curriculum designed to provide students with a foundational, liberal arts-focused core based on three categories of course experiences:
The Cornerstones: two linked courses in First (FYEP 101 and FYEP 190) and Sophomore Years (SYEP 201 and SYEP 202). The first-year courses are thematic, often incorporating contemporary issues as a way to hone academic reading and writing skills and abilities while learning effectively in collaborative classroom communities. The second-year courses build on these experiences, asking students to explore “big enough questions” while engaging with PLU themes around diversity, justice, and sustainability, civic engagement, and vocation.
A Distributive Core: the full range of the liberal arts are represented through courses taken in the Humanities (English, Languages, Philosophy, and Religion), the Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work), the Arts (Art & Design, Music, Theatre), the Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics), and Mathematics. Students will take one course in each of these categories.
A Minor: a minor in the Humanities (English, Philosophy, Languages and Literatures, or Religion), Humanities-focused Social Sciences (Anthropology and History), or Interdisciplinary Studies (Children’s Literature & Culture, Chinese Studies, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Publishing and Printing Arts, Scandinavian Area Studies, or Women’s & Gender Studies) provides students with an opportunity to take a closer look at a particular discipline in ways that complement and extend their intended major.
Additionally, in the final year of the program (year three), Cornerstones students will submit artifacts built on these experiences and reflections in an online e-portfolio. This e-portfolio will be developed over all three years in the program, but will culminate in a 1 credit e-portfolio design and reflection course taken during the student’s third year (fall or spring).