Miami Plan Principles

Most students admitted to Miami University prior to Fall 2010, regardless of major, will continue to participate in the Miami Plan for Liberal Education or may opt to switch to the Global Miami Plan. Students admitted to Miami University Fall 2010 and after, regardless of major, are required to participate in the Global Miami Plan. In both plans for Liberal Education, course work and co-curricular programming emphasize four basic goals:

Thinking Critically

Students learn how to develop critical thinking skills that enable them to carefully identify problems worth studying; to examine pros and cons about issues; to develop skills for examining evidence and counter-arguments; to analyze research and other information; to explore underlying assumptions about multiple positions and arguments; and to draw solid conclusions after examining all sides of an issue or problem.

Understanding Contexts

Students learn how to understand contexts that inform how we make meaning out of issues and events. They may explore political, social, economic, historical, or other contexts that surround problems or issues confronted. They learn that contextual analysis and understanding opens up new ways of knowing not only about the world in which one lives, but also about oneself.

Engaging with Other Learners

The Miami Plan and the Global Miami Plan are based on the firm belief that we learn from one another, from people different than ourselves, and from a wide variety of others. A healthy exchange of different ideas and viewpoints encourages rethinking of accepted perspectives. Thus, students learn to think critically and to understand contexts through in- and out-of-class activities designed to engage them with other learners: other students, other faculty or staff, and other learners outside of the university. Students learn how to work effectively in group settings, how to listen actively to the ideas of others, and how to negotiate a shared understanding of complex issues and tasks.

Reflecting and Acting

Finally, the Miami Plan and the Global Miami Plan encourage students to both reflect upon and act on the new knowledge, understanding, and commitments made. Students learn how to make decisions about complex intellectual, ethical and personal issues; to think about the meaning of coursework for themselves, and to commit to informed action as global citizens.