Miami Plan 2023 Perspectives Areas

Expand Your Intellectual Toolkit

Perspectives Area courses broaden students’ intellectual skills by equipping them to examine issues from the perspectives of different academic disciplines and interdisciplinary departments and to engage with different cultural and theoretical perspectives. These courses prepare students to bring new perspectives to bear on problems addressed in their future professional and civic life.

Guidelines for PA Courses

  1. MP courses hold only one or two Perspective Areas designations. However, they may not have two designations that are ODHE disciplinary designations (math/reasoning, composition, natural science, arts, humanities, social science). Even if a course is "interdisciplinary," only ONE of these disciplinary designations can be chosen for any given course. 

  2. This rule does NOT apply to DEI (as it is not disciplinary), nor does it apply to Miami-specific attributes such as Global Inquiry or Intercultural Consciousness.. 

  3. Stand-alone Advanced Writing courses may only be ADVW.

  4. "Signature Inquiries" are NOT a Perspectives Area designation - it is a separate component of the Plan.  But they CAN “double dip” with Perspectives Areas, and SI courses can carry PA designations. Thus a Signature Inquiry course could have e.g. Social Science, Intercultural Consciousness, DEI, or any other PA designation. 

  5. 400-level courses may only carry EL or SC designations. Miami-led 400-level Study Away/Study Abroad courses may carry IC or Global. All Perspectives Area courses must align with each SLO that is listed for the sub-area

Identify Your Perspectives Area

Faculty course proposals for one of the MP Perspective Areas should start by identifying which sub-areas are most suited to the proposal.  Each Area and subject includes Student Learning Outcomes, or SLOs.  In the CIM course proposal, you need to engage each SLO for the relevant subject area.  Copy and paste the SLOs into the CIM text box where asked.

400-level courses may only carry EL or SC designations. Miami-led 400-level Study Away/Study Abroad courses may carry IC or Global. All Perspectives Area courses must align with each SLO that is listed for the sub-area

Formal Reasoning and Communication

(9 credits) Includes Composition, Advanced Writing, and Math/Logic/Formal Reasoning

Mathematics and Formal Reasoning (3 credits)

Courses in this area teach students to explore the logical and systematic methodologies used by philosophers, mathematicians, linguists and other scientists to examine and explore the world around us.  They apply logical, formal, or mathematical reasoning to problem solving and pattern finding at the inductive level; formal and abstract reasoning at the deductive level; or, a combination of both forms of arguments. Students will also explore the role of formal reasoning and logic in history, society, and the modern world and their application in formulating well-founded, ethical decisions.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Represent real-world situations using logical and/or quantitative concepts and methods

  2. Identify and evaluate necessary assumptions pertaining to logical and/or quantitative methods used to solve a problem

  3. Create and interpret logical and/or quantitative models or draw inferences based upon the estimation of models

  4. Evaluate solutions to logical and/or quantitative problems in terms of correctness or validity, e.g. estimability, empiricism, the existence of alternative solutions, or optimality - and, where applicable, social and ethical implications  

  5. Communicate solutions to logical and/or quantitative problems through the proper use of technology, spoken and written word, symbols, visual and/or auditory representation.

English Composition (3 credits)

Students must compose a substantial amount and variety of work in order to demonstrate that they have met the first four outcomes. Learning to write and writing to learn are often discrete activities, but both should be part of the writing class.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Rhetorical Knowledge: Demonstrate an ability to write effectively for different contexts, audiences, purposes, and genres, while in the meantime, develop an understanding of how rhetorical devices and moves work to enhance writings on specific communicative situations.
  2. Composing Processes: Develop effective strategies for developing ideas, researching topics, producing drafts, revising, peer responding, editing, and proofreading. Practice delivering writing via both print and digital media.
  3. Inquiry, Invention, and Research: Ask critical questions, conduct research-based inquiries, and use invention techniques effectively to explore ideas, engage differing perspectives, and synthesize findings into sustained arguments or narratives. Learn to locate, evaluate, integrate, and cite secondary sources of information effectively and ethically.
  4. Writing Technologies: Demonstrate a critical awareness of the affordances and limitations of the diverse writing technologies and modalities of communication, both digital and non-digital. Learn to effectively produce, share, and publish your writing by using appropriate technologies of production, editing, commenting, delivery, and sharing.
  5. Reflection and Meta-Cognitive Awareness: Apply concepts and terms from the field of rhetoric and composition to reflect critically on composing practices and rhetorical decisions, especially writing are shaped by and shaping your communities/identities, audiences, and the writing technologies in use.

Advanced Writing (3 credits)

These are 200- or 300-level courses that include both writing experiences and extensive writing instruction, e.g. extensive drafting and revising with instructor feedback followed by revision.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the advanced writing course (or course sequence), students should:

  1. Be able to read academic and/or professional or technical texts and understand how disciplinary conventions and goals shape the texts they read.

  2. Understand and use writing as a means of learning and thinking.

  3. Compose texts that respond to the needs of appropriate audiences, using suitable discourse conventions to shape those texts. Use academic conventions of format and structure when appropriate.

  4. Locate, evaluate, organize, and use appropriate primary and secondary research material.

  5. Compose texts that integrate the writer’s ideas with those from academic sources and other documents.

  6. Engage in extended drafting and revision of extended and formal texts using appropriate technologies and modalities

Departments can request input and assistance for courses they would like to be designated as ADVW. They can also advise their majors to take approved Advanced Writing courses taught by other departments. For further information, please visit the Howe Center for Writing Excellence Writing Across the Curriculum page. For general Proposal submission information, see below.

Science and Society

(12+ credits) Includes Natural Sciences, Social Sciences. Must have an additional Lab credit in the Natural Sciences.

Social Sciences (6 credits)

This requirement helps students to understand the complex connections individuals have to one another and to society more broadly. The social sciences are the systematic study of how people behave and interact at the individual and group level, including communities, institutions, and larger cultural groups. These courses prepare students to engage more thoughtfully with others in all aspects of life and equip students with the analytical tools necessary to understand and confront important problems in a globalized world.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Investigate human behavior, social relationships, and/or the interactions of people with their cultural, social and political environments.
  2. Examine social phenomena including distinct human communities, political processes and structures, interpersonal and intercultural relationships, economic behaviors, psychological phenomena, and the relationships that discrete human populations have with other subnational, national, or international entities.
  3. Explain the primary theoretical approaches used in the social science discipline.
  4. Analyze the primary quantitative and/or qualitative research methods used in social science discipline.
  5. Discuss the primary ethical issues raised by the practices and findings of the social science discipline.

Natural Sciences (6+ credits)

The Natural Science Perspective Area provides students with an appreciation of how science relates to everyday life by learning how scientific principles are developed, evaluated, and studied over the course of time. Students have the opportunity and flexibility to complete courses in biological or physical science, or a combination.   Biological Sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their origin, composition, function (molecular, cellular, and organismal) diversity, classification, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Physical Sciences comprise the disciplines that study the nature of energy and the inorganic world such as the areas of chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify basic facts, principles, theories and methods of modern science.
  2. Explain how scientific principles are formulated, evaluated, and either modified or validated.
  3. Critically evaluate current models and ideas in order to describe, explain, or predict natural phenomena.
  4. Apply scientific methods of inquiry appropriate to the discipline to gather data and draw evidence-based conclusions.
  5. Distinguish between science and technology and recognize the role of science in everyday life.
  6. Demonstrate understanding that new advances can change scientific knowledge and that it is critical to constantly evaluate information from a variety of sources

Arts and Humanities

(6 credits) Includes Creative Arts, Humanities

Creative Arts (3 credits)

Courses in creative disciplines, such as visual art, design, music, dance, multimedia, and/or dramatic performance, help students understand, appreciate, and critically engage creative works. In addition, these courses emphasize the role of the arts in the discourse of societal or cultural values. Creative Arts courses must meet all four of the following student learning outcomes:

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate a vocabulary for expression within the study of a creative discipline.
  2. Reflect critically on contexts, meanings, expressions, or values of the arts.
  3. Create or reinterpret artistic works, as performer or as critic, through the development of skills of analysis and criticism.
  4. Utilize existing frameworks in a creative discipline to examine the development of artifacts or evidence in that creative field.

Humanities (3 credits)

Disciplines within the humanities promote critical reflection about the world and human experience, and they study culture using methods that rely on, or are modeled after, the interpretation of texts. Humanities courses thus help students live more thoughtfully, read more insightfully, and understand how human beings make and remake the cultural realities in which they live.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Consciously employ principles, terminology, or methods characteristic of a discipline in the humanities.
  2. Analyze, interpret, compare, or evaluate primary texts or analogous cultural products or expressions (such as symbols, cultural practices, or constructed identities, which students “read” as if they were texts).
  3. Consider social, historical, or relational context while analyzing, interpreting, or evaluating cultural expressions.

Global Citizenship

(12 credits)

This Perspectives Area sets the Miami liberal education experience apart from general education programs at other universities. Miami’s liberal education program will include more intensive focus on global inquiry and intercultural consciousness than general education programs at other institutions. This 12-credit component will include three separate areas that are both distinct and complementary.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (3 credits)

These courses foster ethical citizenship and an awareness of the histories and sociocultural contexts in which diverse identities and social roles are created. These Foundational Area courses provide the knowledge and capacity for empathy and encourage further inquiry. DEI courses investigate identities, histories, and global processes as they relate to the US (broadly conceived). As an ODHE requirement, courses in this area must meet the these SLOs:

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to analyze the means by which identity—both individual and collective—is formed and expressed in a range of contexts through intersecting and constitutive features such as race, color, language, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socio-economic status, while also accounting for the ways identities and cultural biases are informed by historic, economic, political, and social factors
  2. Students will be able to describe and analyze some of the historical and social structures that have shaped modern ideas about identity and difference globally, including ethnocentrism, colonialism, slavery, democracy, and imperialism.
  3. Students will be able to define and analyze the historical, political, social and economic systems that influence distribution of, and access to, resources, while also showing knowledge of the inequalities that accrue from such systems.
  4. Students will be able to interpret diverse cultural practices from multiple perspectives;  identify cultural stereotypes and mitigate their impact on individuals and communities (Or) Explain empathy and develop strategies to embrace its value as both an individual and collective response to the needs and suffering of others.

Intercultural Consciousness (3-6 credits)

The Intercultural Consciousness requirement facilitates self-reflection and continued intercultural learning by focusing on a deeper understanding of self and others (e.g. biases, norms) in a multilingual and multicultural world. Students develop skills for human engagement and an openness to diverse cultural values. These courses build Foundational Area knowledge.

Student Learning Outcomes

Courses in this area will meet the following SLOs:

  1. Articulate or illustrate awareness of the complexities of difference across or within communities, peoples, and cultures.
  2. Explain the role of cultural differences in shaping their (the students') own attitudes or values.
  3. Analyze and/or describe how individuals or groups construct their identities in relation to categories such as race, gender, sexuality, caste, class, ability, ethncity, or nationalism; or, in relation to patterns of marginalization or domination.

Global Inquiry (3-6 credits)

Global Inquiry courses foster critical thinking about global power relations, international systems, and their consequences (e.g. migration effects, biodiversity, inequities) that stem from different types of forces and processes (e.g. historical, sociocultural, biological, political-economic). 

Student Learning Outcomes

Courses in this area will meet the following SLOs:

  1. Describe the origins and contexts of global forces and their impacts on individuals and collective groups

  2. Determine and assess relationships among societies, institutions, and systems in terms of reciprocal – though not necessarily symmetrical – interactions, benefits, and costs. 

  3. Identify and analyze the consequences of global forces and their impacts on individuals and collective groups.

Perspectives Area - Proposal Criteria

All MP course proposals are submitted through the CIM system.  Before entering information into CIM, you should be prepared to answer the following questions and provide the requested materials. All SLOs must be met for any given Perspectives Area. It’s always best to fully design the course (syllabus, assignments) and then complete the CIM process.

For MP Perspectives Area proposals, CIM will ask for the following information:

  • SYLLABUS: (uploaded) The syllabus should describe to students what they will learn and do in your class and how it relates to the Miami Plan.  It is different from the CIM text box responses, described below, in both audience and genre.  The CIM responses are for Liberal Education Council review, Office of LIberal Education records, and documentation that courses are meeting MP outcomes.

    Do NOT simply cut and paste the Pillars and Miami Plan SLOs into your syllabus. Rather, your course content should be privileged but should reflect the Pillars and MP SLOs. They should be integrated into your narrative, unique and contextualized, and make links among the course content, student assessments, pedagogy, and the overall MP.  The OLE/LEC only reviews items specifically related to content/topics, assignment/assessment descriptions, assignment weights, and pedagogy/class activities. The course topics and amount of time spent on them should be clear.

  • BASIC CIM INFORMATION:  Bulletin description, Course Rationale (an explanation of how the course fits into your curriculum and/or the MP), Enrollment restrictions, regularity of offerings. Course-specific SLOs. NOTE:  These are distinct from any MP SLOs and are required of all courses regardless of MP status. You will also be asked how you will ensure that each section and iteration of the course will meet the same SLOs.

  • FOUR PILLARS: How will each of the Four Pillars be met?  Provide specific information about how the course will meet each Pillar through e.g. assignments, activities, content, pedagogical styles. 
  • PERSPECTIVES AREA(S) SLOS: You will need to copy/paste the relevant SLOs from this webpage into the appropriate text box of your CIM submission and then address each one separately.  You will need to explain how students are achieving the outcomes by preparing one or two sample assignments for each required SLO.  Materials such as longer assignments may also be uploaded to CIM. NOTE: appx. 70% of the course should meaningfully engage the requested SLOs.
When you are ready to submit for approval, you must use the Curriculum Management System (CIM) on the Registrar's website.

How to use CIM

Propose a Course in CIM