Liberal Arts Electives
The Liberal Arts department provides a wide variety of courses to undergraduates at NEC, with topics extending from literature to mathematics.
Liberal Arts in the First Year of Study
In their first semester, NEC students enroll in a pair of courses that help students build essential college-level skills in critical reading and thinking, writing, and public speaking:
»LARTS 111 – College Writing (2 credits)
»LARTS 221 – Liberal Arts Seminar (2 credits)
In these paired courses, students explore focused topics of study through intellectually challenging readings and class discussions. Seminar and Writing classes are both small in size (15 students maximum), providing students with a great deal of individual attention as they work on their writing and public speaking skills in a relaxed, supportive environment. (Note that non-native English speakers who have scored below 230 on the TOEFL (CBT) will not register for a Liberal Arts Seminar in the first semester).
Seminar participants are challenged through group presentations to work on interpersonal relations skills, independently resolving issues of leadership and accountability as they form a coherent panel that can successfully field questions from both their instructors and the other students in the seminar. In midterm and final written projects, students work on improving their analytical writing skills by creating a thesis, developing it in a series of logical paragraphs, and placing it in academic discourse through the skillful use of multiple sources.
Although the Seminar and Writing courses are independent, the teachers of both work closely together to support each other’s course plans and thus provide a practical model to their students of the value of collaboration. Seminar and Writing teachers schedule individual conferences with their students twice per year (or more often if necessary) and work closely with the NEC Writing & Learning Center in order to ensure that each student’s particular academic needs are being met in this crucial first year of study at NEC.