Multidisciplinary Studies Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

The Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major provides students with broad exposure to four key liberal arts fields: English, history/social sciences, mathematics, and science. While open to all students, the MDS major is particularly designed for students seeking to become elementary education teachers. (Such students must also complete the courses for Elementary Education Licensure.)

The MDS major is overseen by the Faculty Assembly Committee on Teacher Education.

Educational objectives:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of appropriate content in the areas of English Language Arts, particularly the conventions of written English and the dimensions of quality writing and types of writing, as well as a wide variety of quality, age-appropriate literature across genres, and strategies for textual analysis. Furthermore, students will practice appropriate pedagogy for teaching writing as well as textual analysis of literature.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical and social science content, concepts, and skills in the areas of historical thinking; history; cultural geography; diversity, unity, identity, and interdependence; and citizenship as delineated in current national professional standards.
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of essential numeracy concepts and their development, as well as content in the areas of number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry in the areas of numbers and operations, geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability.
  4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of scientific content, concepts and skills in the areas of development of students' scientific inquiry process; life sciences; physical sciences; Earth, environmental, and atmospheric sciences
  5. Students will demonstrate content knowledge in depth for one of four liberal arts content areas.

Note: For students seeking licensure, no courses for the MDS major may be taken on a pass/no pass basis.

I. Complete the requirements of the four content areas (English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science):

English Requirements (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

ENG 2010

Expository and Argumentative Writing

Complete this course:

Primarily concerned with writing that explains or elaborates and writing that persuades, this course builds upon the foundation laid by ENG 1061.Further emphasis is given grammar and mechanics, development and style, with particular attention paid the skills of critical thinking and the strategies of persuasion. English majors must complete this course their first or second year.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061.

Every semester

3

ENG 1310

Introduction to Literature

And complete THREE of these courses:

This course asks students to consider and apply the variety of formal strategies by which accomplished readers interpret, appraise, and appreciate fiction, poetry, and drama. English majors should complete this course their first year.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: ENG 0040/ENG 1010, or equivalents.

Every semester

3

ENG 2412

Children's Literature Survey

This course traces the development of a professional literature for children through its inception in the nineteenth century and its proliferation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In order to examine trends in children's literature, the course begins with such writers as Carroll and Stevenson before sampling such subsequent authors as Beatrix Potter, A. A. Milne, and Maurice Sendak (and a variety of other more contemporary authors).

Prerequisite: ENG 1061 and at least sophomore standing. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Spring, odd years

3

ENG 3620

Overview Of Children's Literature

A comprehensive overview of children's literature, its history and genres, the issues and approaches it has generated, and strategies for using it in the classroom. Strongly recommended for elementary education majors.

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310

Fall, even years

3

ENG 3640

Studies in Children's Literature

Children's literature relies heavily on both visuals and text. In this course, students might investigate, depending on semester's focus, the art of children's book illustration, the poetry children love--both classic and modern, or the way children themselves are presented in the books about them. Students may not repeat the course on the same topic.

Repeatable once for credit

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310

Spring, odd years

3

ENG 3660

Myth and Folk Tales

This course is an intensive study of predominantly Western myths and folk tales. Myths (mostly of ancient Greek and Scandinavian-Germanic cultures) are explored as tales, as narrative cosmologies and archetypes, as the contexts for later literature, and as re-visioned in contemporary culture. The course also examines the oral, literary, cultural, folkloric, historical, psychological, archetypal, and philosophical components of folk tales, as well as tale variants-from different cultures or as adapted to other literary genres such as the short story and poetry.

This course fulfills the Aesthetic Understanding or World Views Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Spring, even years

3

ENG 3690

The English Language: Grammar

Designed to investigate the systematic nature of English grammar, this course draws from both structural and transformational linguistics. It analyzes sentence structure—how to identify, expand, and transform the basic sentence patterns; it studies the assorted forms and functions of words, phrases, and clauses; and it examines the relationship between grammar and rhetoric, particularly by way of cohesion, rhythm, emphasis, and punctuation. This course also considers the evolution of English grammar.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 2010.

Fall

3

ENG 3720

Special Topics In Children's Literature

With such possible topics as the fantastic and children's series books, this course offers a variety of subjects from children's literature for further exploration and study. The topic is announced at registration. Students may take this course more than once, but only one offering can count as an elective within the concentration.

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310

Spring, even years

3

Social Studies requirements (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

GEO 1060

Fundamentals of Geography

Complete ONE of these courses:

This course introduces students to the varied and wide-ranging discipline of Geography. Subject matter includes map use, physical geography (atmosphere, hydrosphere, and solid earth), human geography (population, cultural, economic, rural, urban, and political geography), and geographic education, with particular emphasis on national and state standards in geography and social studies.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

GEO 2020

World Regional Geography

In this course, students will consider the locational and regional characteristics of the world's diverse cultures. We will apply a variety of geographical models and perspectives relating to specific regions of the world to better understand the conflicts, commonalities, and general human geographies among world regions and culture groups.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1125

The Ancient World

And complete:

This course explores continuity, change, connections and comparisons within and between societies that developed in different regions of the world before the rise of Islam in the 7th century. We examine the historical texts and contexts in which humans communicated, complained, dreamed, prayed and made meaning of their lives in worlds that were very different from, and yet surprisingly similar to, our own.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1215

Survey of Early U.S. History

And complete ONE of these courses:

The European colonization of the Americas and the subsequent emergence of the United States held tremendous consequences for the peoples of the modern world. Colonial regimes set in motion a chain of events that destroyed unique Native American cultures, and the demands of merchants and planters in the Americas fueled the African slave trade, one of the largest forced migrations in human history. At the same time, political elites and ordinary people participated in a transatlantic Age of Revolutions that introduced to the world new ways of organizing government and thinking about human rights. Students in this introductory survey course will study these foundations of national life in the United States. The topics to be considered include Native American cultures and colonialism; slavery and its destruction; the role of race and gender relations in American life; and the emergence of liberalism and nationalism in the modern world.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1225

Survey of Modern U.S. History

The emergence of the United States as a global power represents one of the most significant developments in recent world history. This introductory survey course will trace America's growing engagement with the world over the course of the long twentieth century. At the same time, the course will consider the development domestically of a modern centralized state that has increasingly concerned itself with the rights and well-being of individual citizens. Topics will include industrialization and its critics, imperialism, the two World Wars, the development of a social safety net, movements for civil rights and social justice for women and minorities, and the origins of America's engagement with the Middle East.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

POS 1020

American Politics and Government

And complete ONE of these courses:

Various approaches to the study of politics and some of its fundamental issues, such as the authority and function of the state, the rights of the individual and the pursuit of justice, equality, life, liberty, and happiness. Emphasis on American politics and government.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

POS 1030

Comparative Politics and Government

An introduction to the study of politics by comparing different types of political regimes, with particular attention to the politics and daily lives of their peoples.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

Mathematics Requirements (12-13 cr):

Code Course Credits

MAT 1531

Calculus I

Complete TWO of these courses:

Topics include limits, differentiation, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. This course may utilize graphing calculators on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: MAT 1360 or equivalent.

Every semester

4

MAT 2021

Statistics I

This course prepares students for quantitative methods in their respective fields. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including estimation, hypothesis testing, linear regression and correlation are covered. Basic tools of descriptive statistics, discrete probability, binomial distribution, normal distribution, t-distribution, estimates and sample sizes, hypothesis testing, elementary correlation and regression, contingency tables are explored. Students utilize graphing calculators and spreadsheet software on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Students must take a math assessment (ACCUPLACER) for placement purposes prior to registration or MAT 1010.

Every semester

3

MAT 2022

Statistics II

This course is a continuation of MAT 2021 and includes estimation, hypothesis testing, single linear regression, and one-way analysis of variance using calculators and statistical software. This course addresses in-depth such topics as the Central Limit Theorem, Chebyshev's theorem, covariance, multiple regression, ANOVA, nonparametric methods, and applications of probability distributions. It includes problems dealing with multiple linear regression, multi-way analysis of variance, nonparametric statistics, enumerative data, and computer applications. Students utilize graphing calculators and spreadsheet software on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: MAT 2021

Every semester

3

MAT 3020

Mathematics for Elementary Teachers

And complete these two courses:

This course will focus on achieving goals set forth in Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities and the Standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), while strengthening the mathematical knowledge of the prospective elementary school teacher. Students will be given numerous opportunities to discover and construct important mathematical concepts and techniques using a variety of student-centered learning strategies, including the use of manipulative devices, graphing calculators, computers, Internet, portfolio and journal assessment, and Video Vignettes.

Every semester

4

MAT 4210

Teachers as Researchers

This course is intended for pre-service teachers who are seeking to increase their understanding of mathematics. The course uses data collection and analysis to guide improvement in K-6 mathematics programs. The student will build on the knowledge gained in MAT 3020 to obtain a deeper understanding of mathematics as related to NCTM and the Vermont Framework guidelines. In this course, students will function as researchers by gathering data and analyzing data, as means of improving the curriculum and instruction in K-6 mathematics programs. As researchers, students are encouraged to ask questions, pose problems, and identify means of solving problems by using different strategies. Emphasis will be on student-centered instructional approach, with ample use of manipulatives and technology.

Prerequisite: MAT 3020 or consent of instructor.

Every semester

2

Science Requirements (16 cr):

Complete 16 credits from the courses listed below.

At least 7 of the 16 credits must be chosen from the list of Life Science courses, and at least 7 of the 16 credits must be chosen from the list of Physical Science courses.

Code Course Credits

BIO 1010

Human Biology and Laboratory

A one-semester course intended for non-science majors that provides an overview of human biology. All major organ systems will be covered, with an emphasis on their interactions, their importance in maintaining health, and the effects of disease and injury. May not be taken for biology credit by BS.BIO majors.

Lecture and lab

Restrictions Social Work major or consent of instructor.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, odd years

4

BIO 1160

Flora of Vermont

An inquiry-based field course devoted to the study of local natural history. We will explore the biology and taxonomy of plants, as well as investigate Vermont's ecological communities. Field trips to off-campus locations and hikes on rugged terrain are required.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Materials fee $50

Fall

3-4

BIO 1270

Horticulture of Medicinal Plants

Introduction to basic gardening techniques, plant growth and propagation, plant identification, and greenhouse management. Emphasis will be on growing medicinal plants and vegetables with significant health benefits. Work will be done primarily in the greenhouse, medicinal plant gardens and lab. Research is required on individual projects. Course content and projects will vary with season.

Lecture, Lab and Field Work.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab Fee $50

Spring

3

BIO 1310

Explorations in Biology

These are lecture, lab or seminar courses on selected, introductory-level topics in the biological sciences, especially those of interest to non-science majors. The topic for each course will be announced prior to the semester of offering, and the course may be taken more than once for credit. No more than two credits of BIO 1310 may be used to satisfy the minimum biology requirements for BS.BIO and BS.ENV majors.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

1

BIO 1320

Tropical Diversity

The tropics worldwide contain over two-thirds of the earth's organisms, but these ecosystems are some of the most imperiled on the planet. In this course students investigate the interdependence of all living things and the complexity of ecological patterns in tropical regions. In addition to class work, we explore the ecology, evolution, and natural history of a tropical location during a weeklong field trip. We examine how local conservation efforts affect the long-term sustainability of these regions and discover the interconnectedness of tropical and temperate ecosystems.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Fee variable, approximately $1,700.

Periodically

4

BIO 2035

Animal Diversity and Evolution

In this course students will investigate the form, function, and ecology of animals from an evolutionary perspective. Fundamental life processes will be considered at the cellular, organismal, population, and ecosystem levels that connect with issues relating to biodiversity and conservation biology. Two Saturday field trips are required.

Lecture and lab

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

CHE 1311

Chemistry in the Classroom

Physical Science

This course is designed for pre-service elementary educators. Topics will include states of matter, physical and chemical properties, atoms and molecules, the periodic table, chemical change, chemical equations, solutions, acids and bases, the gas laws, and equilibrium. The goal of the course is to provide needed content in an accessible format, with lots of hands-on applications.

Periodically

4

GEO 2220

Weather and Climate

This course offers an interdisciplinary examination of meteorology and climatology. Students will investigate earth-sun relationships, air-mass formation and movement, wind, fronts, severe storms, cloud formation and identification, cyclogenesis and pressure systems, precipitation, global circulation patterns, atmospheric pollution, and global climate change.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Spring

3

GEY 1030

Dynamic Earth

This is an introductory geology course which examines the geological features of the earth and the processes that operate in the interior and on the surface of the earth which are responsible for their formation. Topics studied include volcanos, earthquakes, mountain building, plate tectonics, glaciers, minerals, rocks, streams and groundwater. Also covered are the techniques and methods geologists use to learn more about the earth.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

GEY 1050

The Earth through Time

This is an introductory geology course that examines the evolution of the earth, and the life on the earth, from 4.6 billion years ago to the present. We will develop the foundation necessary to understand the evidence and clues geologists use to interpret earth history.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring, odd years

4

PHY 1110

Introduction to Astronomy

Planets, stars, and other celestial bodies; the history and methods of astronomy; the theory of relativity; the origin and evolution of the universe. Focuses on scientific procedure, the necessity of rational thinking in problem solving, and the limitations of science.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Periodically

3

PHY 1150

Physics for Elementary Teachers

This course is designed especially for pre-service elementary teachers. We focus on physics topics, demonstrations and activities appropriate for K-6 students. The material is chosen based on the Next Generation Science Standards. Both mastering the topics and learning how to present them effectively to elementary students will be emphasized. We will also explore the merit and role of science education.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50

Periodically

4

II. And complete a Concentration in one of these five content areas (12 cr):

Concentration in English

Complete 12 credits in ENG courses, approved by the chair of the English Department.

Concentration in Social Studies

Students wishing to concentrate in Social Studies are required to submit a signed contract to the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year. This contract must be approved by both the student's Education advisor, Social Studies advisor, and the chair of the HGEP Department.

Code Course Credits

ECO 1010

Economics and Society

Complete ONE of these courses:

An introductory course focused upon the evolution of western market systems. We start with the nature of the local economy in the middle ages. From those origins in feudal society sprang mercantilism and ultimately capitalism. What facets of early trading systems survive; what were jettisoned? How has the evolved system acted upon the wider socio-political realm and in turn been shaped by the political choices history throws up?

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fall

3

ECO 1040

Global Economic Issues

In the past fifty years globalization has profoundly changed economic reality for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, for some much for the better and for others decidedly not. This course examines that changing reality and analyzes its causes and consequences from a variety of perspectives. We address many of the difficult, complex, and contentious issues that arise as the people of the world try to create prosperous and thriving societies.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Spring, even years

3

HIS 1215

Survey of Early U.S. History

And complete BOTH of these courses:

The European colonization of the Americas and the subsequent emergence of the United States held tremendous consequences for the peoples of the modern world. Colonial regimes set in motion a chain of events that destroyed unique Native American cultures, and the demands of merchants and planters in the Americas fueled the African slave trade, one of the largest forced migrations in human history. At the same time, political elites and ordinary people participated in a transatlantic Age of Revolutions that introduced to the world new ways of organizing government and thinking about human rights. Students in this introductory survey course will study these foundations of national life in the United States. The topics to be considered include Native American cultures and colonialism; slavery and its destruction; the role of race and gender relations in American life; and the emergence of liberalism and nationalism in the modern world.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1225

Survey of Modern U.S. History

And complete two Electives:

Complete two elective courses at the 3000 level or above in History, Geography, Economics or Political Science. The two courses must be in different disciplines. (HIS 2335 - Asia through Food and Film, may be substituted for one 3000-level class.)

The emergence of the United States as a global power represents one of the most significant developments in recent world history. This introductory survey course will trace America's growing engagement with the world over the course of the long twentieth century. At the same time, the course will consider the development domestically of a modern centralized state that has increasingly concerned itself with the rights and well-being of individual citizens. Topics will include industrialization and its critics, imperialism, the two World Wars, the development of a social safety net, movements for civil rights and social justice for women and minorities, and the origins of America's engagement with the Middle East.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

Concentration in Mathematics

Complete 12 credits in MAT courses, approved by the chair of the Mathematics Department.

Concentration in Science

Complete 12 additional credits in science chosen from the Life Science and Physical Science lists above.

Concentration in Special Education Social Science

Code Course Credits

PSY 2210

Applied Behavior Analysis I

This is a service-learning course. As such, students will learn the content of the course while engaged in service in local schools. The course examines the principles of operant, respondent, and social learning. Emphasis is directed at the application of these principles toward classroom management, behavior change, and self-control.

Fall

3

PSY 3060

Child Psychopathology

An analysis of theory, research, and therapy of psychological disorders of children, including early infantile autism, neurophysiological developmental problems, learning difficulties, developmental retardation, juvenile delinquency, and psycho-physiological disorders.

Fall

3

PSY 4020

Psychological Testing

Introduction to the theory, development and utility of psychological testing with emphasis on the administration and interpretation of intelligence tests.

Prerequisite: Basic course in Statistics or consent of the instructor.

Spring

3

SOC 1030

Social Problems

An examination of such problems as population, pollution, poverty, crime, and racism as they exist in contemporary American society.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

(Credits required for the major: 64-65 cr)

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.