Main Content

Liberal Education Program (LEP)

A great college education is transformative. For our students, the cornerstones of this transformation are a student’s major and the Liberal Education Program (LEP).  With students' needs in mind, the faculty at Southern Connecticut State University has developed a general education curriculum that will prepare SCSU undergraduates for the 21st century.

What do you need to be successful in today's society, and in the future? What does it take to become an engaged citizen in the world?

These are big questions, but they are the kinds of questions you will begin to think about as you embark upon your college experience.

Students develop the specific skills and depth of knowledge required for expertise within a particular field or profession through their major. Students gain the foundational skills and exposure to different ways of thinking that are required of flexible, creative citizens through the LEP.   This program, shared by all students on campus, is designed to balance the major’s narrowing effects with exposure to a wide range of people, ideas and attitudes. 

We encourage students to embrace the LEP as an opportunity to learn about themselves, explore new interests and look for yet unidentified abilities.  Core skills are developed in the Tier 1 courses.  These skills are applied in Tier 2 courses as students explore the breadth and diversity of the university. The Tier 3 (capstone) course is a chance to step back and connect all that one has learned.

Advising information for Fall 2019

Read the Fall 2018 version of the LEP Advising Guide.

New policy starting Fall 2019:  All Tier 1 courses and 6 of the 8 Tier 2 courses must be completed before completing the Tier 3 capstone. 
In other words, students may take a Tier 3 course after completing 6 Tier 2 courses.  In addition, all Tier 1 courses must either be completed prior to taking a Tier 3 course or be taken concurrently with Tier 3.

Please take the following into consideration when planning coursework for Spring 2019 registration.
In Spring 2019, all Tier 3 courses will continue to have the current prerequisite that at least 6 of the 8 Tier 2 courses be completed prior to registering for Tier 3.  Spring and Summer 2019 will be the last time that all Tier 3 courses do not explicitly have a Tier 1 prerequisite.
In Fall 2019, in addition to the “6 of the 8 Tier 2 courses” prerequisite, the Tier 1 prerequisite will be implemented.  This can mean one of two things.

  • A student who has completed all of Tier 1 and 6 of 8 Tier 2 courses will be able to register for a Tier 3 course (assuming they meet all other departmental prerequisites for the course).
  • A student who has some outstanding Tier 1 requirements and who has completed 6 of 8 Tier 2 courses can register for a Tier 3 course, if they also register for the remaining Tier 1 courses at the same time. 

Students will need to plan for when their Tier 1 courses will be completed, depending on their placement into World Languages, Mathematics, and English. 

The LEP is sequential, based on building blocks known as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. Here's how it works:

Tier 1

Academic expectations are different in college than they are in high school. Tier 1 builds a college-level foundation so that you have the skills you need to succeed in your university courses. In your Tier 1 courses, you'll strengthen your quantitative and literacy skills -- skills you will need in any career you choose to pursue.

Tier 2

Areas of knowledge prepare students for active citizenry and serve as the basis for lifelong learning. Tier 2 courses continue to develop and reinforce the skills introduced in Tier 1. 

Tier 3

The LEP Capstone Seminar integrates your skills (Tier 1) and areas of knowledge and experience (Tier 2) with discussions of values. It addresses both the role of values in decision-making and relationships among the values. Particular focus is on a substantial contemporary issue and how values inform one's perspective on the issue. The course emphasizes all of the skills you've acquired, but especially critical thinking with analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The LEP seminar allows students to integrate their liberal education learning experiences and may involve a community or service component.

Why a Liberal Education Program?

Southern is not unique in developing a Liberal Education Program for its students -- many forward-thinking universities in the United States are creating similar programs as they consider what their students will need to succeed after graduation.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) sees liberal education as "a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of value, ethics, and civic engagement."

Southern believes that such an education can be transformative and empowering as well as practical. A curriculum based on this philosophy is a curriculum for a new generation!