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Active Learning

Experiential education is the foundation of your Liberal Studies degree.

When you’re ready for rigorous academics that put the humanities into action, you’re ready for active learning that’s central to your BA in Liberal Studies.

You’ll be among peers and faculty who value inquiry and discovery in each class you take. You’ll work with faculty mentors who understand community-based learning and how to combine it with classroom knowledge for education that sticks.

No matter which optional academic concentration you choose – or whether you pursue an individualized track – you’ll engage in project-based learning for resume-building skills.

Active learning is deep learning.

You’ll work one-on-one with your Liberal Studies academic adviser throughout your degree to design a curriculum that advances your personal and professional goals.

Propose courses for independent study. Explore on-campus and community-based outlets that extend classroom learning. With guidance from your faculty mentor, design your senior project and junior practicum experience for pragmatic coursework.

But don’t stop there.

Embedded in your Liberal Studies classes are opportunities to reflect on your education. Take stock of what you learn by tackling questions that train you to think, plan and navigate projects as professionals do. You’ll assess obstacles and make alternate plans. You’ll document successes for deep learning that matters.

Active learning is practical.

Is a writing career in your future? Begin training now by joining the APU Journal, the student-run campus newspaper. Gain online journalism experience and learn supervisory skills in positions like newsroom editor, photographer, graphic designer, multi-media producer or copyeditor.

Refine your analytical ability by joining a team of Liberal Studies peers to compete in the Alaska Ethics Bowl. Held annually in the spring, the bowl is a competitive forum that engages Liberal Studies majors and teams from neighboring schools in debate on ethics case studies.

Maybe your dream job is in environmental outreach. Consider enrolling in Eco-League courses for challenging studies and hands-on fieldwork. Because APU is part of the Eco-League consortium, credits earned at an Eco-League campus will apply to your BA in Liberal Studies.

Student musicians and vocalists gain one-on-one and group training from Liberal Studies faculty for performance as the University Ensemble. Gain experience by performing on- and off-campus. Challenge yourself by learning a new instrument or technique, including improvisation.

Earn literature credit toward your BA by seeing the world on a Liberal Studies Travel Course. Held annually over the winter break, the Travel Course educates you in the culture, customs and history of your destination so that you’ll appreciate sights and sounds as a local might. Recent courses have toured Greece, the Riviera and Cuba.

Apply your interest in politics, law or justice by pursuing internships at local, regional or national venues, including summer programs as near as the APU campus or as far away as Washington, D.C.

Reward your curiosity about the world and collaborate with Liberal Studies faculty by taking part in the Difficult Dialogs and Books of the Year projects. Initiated with support from the Ford Foundation, these annual events bring nationally and internationally ranked scholars to APU. Recent topics have focused on Islam, immigration, Alaska Native ways of knowing, and the working poor, among others.

Active learning is rewarding.

Your BA in Liberal Studies is challenging, distinctive education for a world that rewards applied knowledge.

We call it active learning. You’ll call it serious fun.