Lessons Learned from a Small Departments Attempt to Structure Curriculum


We commonly tell our undergraduate students that we want to prepare them in a variety of ways. We want them to be able to understand data, think critically, write well, and know how to construct an argument. These goals should arguably be central components of a liberal arts education and political science major. However, it is difficult to directly impart these skills on students unless they are consistently part of ones program of study. In this analysis, we compare the curricula in a small department that provides flexibility to students on course scheduling and highlight areas of potential growth for building these skills throughout the 4-year degree. We find the need for further conversation regarding class design and skills developed as an important goal. Further, we highlight the importance of a multi-class approach to teaching students research design, statistical literacy, and academic writing.



Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting and Discussion Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .