The Liberal Studies major is required of all students seeking elementary certification (PreK-6) through the College’s approved licensing program. The major consists of a curriculum designed to meet the competencies mandated for teacher licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia and many of the College’s General Education requirements. The program includes a core of required courses and a minor which must be selected by the sophomore year. Students seeking admission to the Liberal Studies major must fulfill all entrance requirements for the teacher preparation program, including submission of passing Praxis I scores. In addition, students must meet the Education Department’s professional studies requirements to be eligible for the degree which requires that students complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (see Education Department listings). Due to the heavy time commitment demanded by this major, students are encouraged to begin the program early in their academic career. This major is open only to those students seeking elementary licensure (PreK-6) and who are prepared to commit to the fifth year MAT program. Liberal Studies majors will be invited to participate in graduation with their class, but will not receive their Bachelor of Arts degree at that time. It will be indicated on the commencement program that they are candidates for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. At the end of their fifth year, when all MAT requirements are completed, Liberal Studies majors will receive both their Bachelor of Arts degree and their Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
The Liberal Studies Major
(48-53+ semester hours)
BIOL 103 (4) Life Science by Inquiry
ENGL 317 (3) History of the English Language
ENVR 143 (4) Physical Geography: Landscapes
GOVT 159 (3) Introduction to American Government
HIST 135 (3) America, Origins to 1877
HIST 136 (3) The United States, 1877 to the Present
MATH 211 (3) Fundamental Mathematics I
MATH 213 (3) Fundamental Mathematics II
PHYS 103 (4) Physical Science by Inquiry
PSYC 201 (3) Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood
INTD 452 (3) Senior Seminar for Liberal Studies
Choose 1 of the following:
HIST 103 (3) Introduction to History: Intoxication and Addiction in America
HIST 104 (3) Introduction to History: Medieval Heroes: Myth or History
HIST 105 (3) Introduction to History: Doing Sweet Briar History
HIST 107 (3) Introduction to History: Stalin and Hitler
Majors will complete a minor (or a second major) which must include at least one three-credit course at the 200-level or above, and at least two three-credit courses at the 300-level or above.
In addition to the completion of the Liberal Studies major requirements, students seeking elementary licensure must also complete the required Professional Studies and Field Experience courses listed under the Education Department.
Prerequisite: Declared major in liberal studies or permission of the instructor. Students will examine aspects of the scientific method including careful observation, experimental design, and data analysis using life science concepts. Topics will include organismal biology, ecology, cell biology, evolution, and genetics. Students will conduct hands-on, inquiry-based investigations and gain experience in independent investigation and the development and implementation of an independent scientific research project. This course may not be counted towards the major or minor in biology.
Prerequisite: Sophomores with permission. A study of the continuing development of English words, grammar, and syntax, including sources of vocabulary and changes of form, sound, and meaning. Offered alternate years. V.1
A study of the geologic processes that shape the Earth's surface, including natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, and climate change. The nature and distribution of landforms, rocks, and soils are explored, along with their relationship to human society. Lab involves hands-on investigation of these topics, including map interpretation and field exercises. V.8ab
Introduces the study of American government and politics using political science methods. Includes examination of political analysis models, authority systems, American political culture, U.S. constitutional origins, federalism, political parties, and elections. Also studies the influence of media and public opinion, while focusing on the president, Congress, and judiciary. Explores how courts interpret civil rights and liberties. V.7
Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. This course explores the realm of historical explanation using the Sweet Briar archives. Each step in historical construction will be illustrated by short projects: locating sources, determining their contexts, analyzing sources with reference to their use as historical evidence, forming theory in response to evidence, and constructing narrative. Each student will combine these short projects to create a history of a topic of her choice. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.5
Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. An examination of the careers of Stalin and Hitler, with particular emphasis on that period (1933-1945) during which both were in power. Topics include each man’s role as leader of his country, his ideology, and his domestic and foreign policies. Special attention will be paid to the Holocaust and to the related question of whether the Soviet experience of the Gulag is in any way comparable. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1
An exploration of the origins and development of the American nation from the colonial period through the end of Reconstruction. This course will inquire into the nature of colonial society, the meaning of the American Revolution, and the emergence of a capitalist social order. Other topics include the rise of slavery and the origins and aftermath of the Civil War. V.1
The second half of the two-course sequence explores major developments, forces, and crises that have shaped American history since 1877. Particular attention will be paid to industrialism and immigration, the history of race relations, intensifying international engagement, and the emergence of–and challenges to–a liberal political agenda. V.1
This capstone course is co-requisite for intern teachers seeking elementary licensure in the Liberal Studies major. Pre-service teachers will develop and refine their professional portfolios based upThis capstone course is co-requisite for intern teachers seeking elementary licensure in the Liberal Studies major. Pre-service teachers will develop and refine their professional portfolios based upon INTASC standards. III.O, III.W
Prerequisite: not open to first-year students. A course for prospective elementary teachers covering the methods of instruction of mathematics and emphasizing a hands-on approach. topics include number systems, elementary number theory, ratio, proportion, and percent.
Prerequisite: not open to first-year students. A course for prospective elementary teachers covering the methods of instruction of mathematics and emphasizing a hands-on approach. topics include mathematical reasoning, geometry, and probability and statistics.
Prerequisite: Priority given to declared majors in Liberal Studies. Not open to first-year students. An examination of fundamental physical science concepts through hands-on, inquiry-based explorations. Using appropriate tools and equipment, students build an understanding of energy sources, chemical and physical change, electricity, and magnetism. Students also gain experience in independent investigation and the development and implementation of their own exercises and experiments. Six hours of lecture/laboratory per week. V.8ab
Prerequisite: PSYC 101. The study of human cognitive, psychosocial, and physical development from conception through childhood.