The College of Letters and Science remains fully committed to the liberal arts, while simultaneously pursuing new ways of engaging the wider community and providing research and other learning opportunities for our students. As the University’s largest and most varied academic unit, the College offers courses in 36 different majors. The College provides the courses that fulfill the general education requirements for all students at UW Oshkosh.
The College of Letters and Science prepares students for 21st century citizenship through a liberal arts education. This education introduces students to a broad range of knowledge about human cultures and the physical and natural world. The College delivers this education in two ways: providing the majority of the courses in the new University Studies Program and offering courses in 36 different majors. Students benefit from this education by graduating with the ability to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, evaluate aptly competing ideas, and solve problems using teamwork and leadership skills. They also benefit by gaining quantitative literacy along with technology and information literacy. Together, instructors across the College provide numerous opportunities for students to learn in unique, relevant and meaningful ways, including internships, fieldwork, civic engagement opportunities, collaborative research projects with faculty and study abroad experiences. Our students leave our campus understanding the importance of community engagement, intercultural knowledge, sustainability and global citizenship. We promote instructors who make contributions to improving the quality of life, culture and economy in Wisconsin; who educate students, the campus, and the larger community about diverse cultures; who help students explore what it means to be responsible citizens in today’s global context; and who inspire innovative research as well as high academic achievement among students. We believe the potential for enriching our educational environment and for creating new models of engaged learning hinges upon the willingness and ability of faculty to work closely with students and to providing them with the innovative teaching, advising and mentoring they need to succeed.
Ultimately, we provide students with access to a high-quality, affordable and comprehensive education that enables them to develop their general intellectual capacities, specific interests and abilities. To promote such learning among students, we strive for teaching excellence that is characterized by diversity, discovery, engagement, innovation, dialogue and dissemination.
Departments across the College of Letters and Science revised existing courses and developed new ones, capturing the essential goals of the new and highly innovative University Studies Program. The resulting general education curriculum embraces the ideals of civic knowledge and engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, and knowledge of sustainability and its applications. It promises to involve students in learning experiences that heighten their preparation for engaged citizenship and for working and living in a global world.
Students in the Medical Technology Program continued their record of excellence, scoring well above the national average on the Board of Certification exam.
The High School Art Exhibition and Awards Day, hosted by the Department of Art, was attended by over 100 high school students from 14 schools. The student-centered event featured workshops offered by UW Oshkosh art students, providing a dynamic experience for all participants. Art faculty offered verbal and written critiques of the resulting artwork. Students and parents attended a reception and the exhibition featuring approximately 40 pieces selected for viewing at the Steinhilber Gallery. Best of show awards were presented to several student artists.
Faculty members from the Environmental Studies Program, Departments of Religious Studies and Anthropology, and Geology planned the Earth Charter Community Summit in October and the celebration of Earth Week on campus in April. The wide range of activities promoting sustainability and green living included speakers, films, art exhibits, community garden and tree plantings, and panel discussions, all open to the community and to area students.
Professors from science disciplines across the College continued their collaboration on the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, this program provides summer research opportunities utilizing cutting edge equipment to underserved populations of students.
The Department of Biology and Microbiology continued its long standing partnerships with municipalities and private companies to monitor beach water quality and to research water contamination sources.
Students, under the supervision of faculty and staff from various disciplines, participated in a wide array of internships and clinical placements at area organizations and agencies. These internships included work in archives, museums, healthcare facilities, schools, YMCAs, correctional facilities, police departments, municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
The Cooperative Academic Partnership Program (CAPP), an accredited concurrent enrollment program, provided opportunities for over 2,300 students from 50 high schools in the region to take college-level courses.
Faculty and students from each of the four of divisions—Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social Science – collaborated on research and creative endeavors, presenting their results at professional meetings and juried venues across the country.
Faculty from across the College continued to look for new ways to infuse their pedagogy with methods related to global learning and for confronting and discussing issues of sustainability.
New majors in electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and environmental engineering technology were developed and approved. These new programs represent collaborative efforts between UW Oshkosh and UW Green Bay and, jointly, with the Northeastern Wisconsin Education Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) and several business partners. Students graduating from these innovative engineering programs will possess Bachelor of Science engineering degrees rooted in a liberal arts education. They will also be equipped to fill a distinct need within the Wisconsin manufacturing workforce.
Through its partnership with the Viessmann Group, the College took two groups of students to participate in a seminar and as interns at the company’s global headquarters in Germany. A leader in sustainable energies, the Viessmann Group provided an unparalleled experience. Students were enlightened to the workings of this multi-faceted world-wide company and to living and working in a global society.
Likewise, the partnership with the Viessmann Group has resulted in a cutting-edge sustainable energy facility at UW Oshkosh and helped to foster partnerships with two Northeast Wisconsin farms. The success of Viessmann’s Bioferm biodigester on campus has led to similar facilities on Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm and at another family-owned farm in the area. In both instances, large amounts of waste are converted to energy, also producing rich fertilizer as a byproduct. Teaching labs for students have been incorporated in each facility, providing them with hands-on opportunities for lab analysis and to work with state-of-the-art technology.
The Viessmann Endowed Chair for Sustainable Technologies is another outcome of the Viessmann Group’s relationship with the College of Letters and Science. Slated to start working in Summer 2014, this new faculty position will be instrumental in developing and delivering curriculum focused on the goals of sustainability and innovative technologies.