Wartburg Plan of Essential Education
The general education plan at Wartburg College is refered to as The Wartburg Plan of Essential Education. As a basis of a Wartburg College education, the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education is designed to create liberally educated, ethically minded citizens for the 21st century by:
- Helping students develop critical thinking and communication skills.
- Helping students see connections among academic disciplines.
- Helping students integrate faith with learning.
- Helping students develop literacies in information literacy, diversity, speaking, writing, and ethics.
The Wartburg Plan emphasizes thinking strategies, reasoning skills, fundamental literacies, faith and reflection, health and wellness, and a capstone course.
Thinking Strategies: The Three Levels
On the introductory level, IS (Inquiry Studies) courses help students to develop critical inquiry and communication skills as they take responsibility for their Wartburg education and actions within the context of becoming liberally educated persons and lifelong learners. IS 101 and IS 201 teach students to recognize challenges and opportunities of living in a world characterized by a complex array of cultures and subcultures and to connect this widened view of the world to liberal learning. Drawing from a variety of disciplines in the humanities/fine arts, social sciences, and natural sciences, IS courses emphasize broad processes of inquiry and articulation.
On the second level, IC (Interconnected) courses introduce students to the interdependence of academic disciplines as well as to their unique contributions to human understanding of themes, issues, and fields of knowledge. These courses in the humanities/fine arts , social sciences , and natural sciences allow students to experience varied approaches, processes, and vocabularies, thus exposing them to new and useful insights.
On the third level, ID (Interdisciplinary Studies ) courses require students to synthesize knowledge and pay attention to the assumptions and methods of specific disciplines as they examine a major ethical, cultural, or intellectual phenomenon or problem. Students draw upon work in their major(s) and experiences in IS and IC courses as they integrate concepts and skills from the humanities/fine arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. This integration helps students gain a more thorough understanding of complex social, historical, or philosophical issues.
The Wartburg Plan focuses on verbal reasoning (writing and speech), mathematical reasoning , and scientific reasoning . Wartburg believes that competency in these three areas is essential to liberal learning, which in turn produces good citizenship and leads to career success.
The Wartburg Plan emphasizes literacies required of a liberally educated person. Special courses integrate information literacy ; diversity across the curriculum , including foreign language ; oral communication across the curriculum ; and writing across the curriculum . These courses reinforce skills introduced at the IS level as well as in composition, scientific reasoning, and oral communication courses.
Faith and Reflection
The Wartburg Plan requires two courses in faith and reflection . As a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wartburg takes seriously its duty to foster spiritual as well as intellectual growth and to help students integrate the two. Students take two religion/philosophy courses, one during the first two years and one during years three and four. The first course offers in-depth study of the Biblical tradition. The second course, chosen from several options, considers how Christian traditions or the Western philosophical traditions have addressed ultimate questions of being and value in human experience.
Health and Wellness
The Wartburg Plan includes an emphasis on health and wellness to nurture body as well as mind and spirit. A half-term course required of all students promotes life-affirming choices regarding physical health.
As the final component of the Wartburg Plan, the capstone is the only Essential Education course specifically included in the student’s major. It completes the process of integration as students synthesize their learning to address issues in their major.
Essential Education Requirements by Degree
Candidates for the BACHELOR OF ARTS (B.A.) degree take courses that fulfill the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education (see requirements table here ) and courses that complete a major as listed by each academic department.
Candidates for the BACHELOR OF MUSIC (B.M.) degree take courses that complete a music major and all but three courses required to fulfill the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education (see requirements table here ).
Candidates for the BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION (B.M.E.) degree take courses that complete a music education major and all but three courses required to fulfill the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education (see requirements table here ).
Candidates for the BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION/Music Therapy (B.M.E.) degree take courses that complete a music education major and all but three courses required to fulfill the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education (see requirements table here ).
Candidates for the BACHELOR OF APPLIED ARTS (B.A.A.) or BACHELOR OF APPLIED SCIENCE (B.A.S.) degree take courses to fulfill the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education (see requirements table here ) EXCEPT IS 101 , IS 201 , and one Faith and Reflection course. The Associate degree substitutes for the major.
Essential Education Courses by Requirement
Below are the courses as approved by the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) to meet each requirement in the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education.