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Through the Liberal Education Program, Whittier College prepares students to solve problems and communicate ideas in an increasingly complex and interdependent world community. It does this through its emphasis on cultural perspectives and the importance of connections between different fields of knowledge. Both critical thinking (the development of the skills and methods necessary for systematic investigation—i.e., the ability to define, analyze, and synthesize using a variety of methods and technologies) and the practical application of knowledge inform all elements of the program and are central to the transformation that distinguishes Whittier College graduates.
Students interested in an alternative curricular path can apply to the Whittier Scholars Program.
I. Students should develop the ability to make connections across disciplines in order to understand the convergence and divergence of different fields of knowledge and to understand the nature of an academic community.
II. Students should develop an understanding of, and competency in, the use of signs and symbols to construct, create, perceive, and communicate meaning.
III. Students should develop the capacity to entertain multiple perspectives and interpretations.
IV. Students should develop an understanding of culture and the connections between themselves and others in relation to physical, historical, social, and global contexts.
V. Students should develop breadth, defined as familiarity with essential concepts in major fields, and depth, defined as knowledge of at least one field (usually achieved in the major).
The goals of the Liberal Education Program are met by a set of core requirements that are contained in a framework of four categories. The selection of these four categories is a reflection of what we value most here at Whittier College.