The fundamental mission of the College of Arts and Sciences resides in our responsibility to educate majors, minors, and graduate students in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, fine and performing arts, and social sciences, in the physical, life, and applied sciences, and in mathematics, as well as in our role as providers of a strong, thorough core-level education for all students at the University.
To fulfill this responsibility, the College hires and supports a superlative faculty. This community of scholar/artist-teachers values the integration of teaching and scholarship and models that integration for students. To assist faculty in bringing scholarship and creative activity into their teaching, the College offers
- a teaching load compatible with expectations for research and creative activity;
- collaboration with the Ingram Library to provide necessary research tools;
- internal grants to facilitate teaching and research; and
- significant annual awards for teaching and research.
Supported consistently by the College, faculty become a significant resource for intellectual growth and sustained creative activity not only in students but also in the community. World-class faculty writers, artists, scholars, and musicians inspire students as mentors and role-models, often sharing with them colleagues from other campuses and areas of the country and including students in performances and projects. Through such rich collaboration, excellence becomes the College culture.
Only by fulfilling this central responsibility to educate can we foster an environment for students, colleagues, and citizens in which academic freedom and responsibility flourish in a community of learning and shared governance. Through such an atmosphere, we honor our fundamental commitment to broader core values of a College of Arts and Sciences
- the belief that intellectual and cultural diversity in our faculty, staff, and students creates our strength;
- the conviction that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, or sexual orientation cannot exist in a viable College;
- a commitment to infusing our programs and institutional values with global awareness and understanding;
- an assumption that intellectual rigor and creativity must be the premise that generates all programs, faculty scholarship, creative work, and teaching;
- recognition that, because free expression is necessary in all scholarly and creative endeavors, the College must consistently model the unquestioned assumption that free expression is essential in a healthy, productive society;
- a willingness to protect through resources and actions the presence of the fine and performing arts as essential to the culture of the University and the communities that it serves; and
- a confidence that the values represented in this statement and in all the programs that realize those values on our campus are central to—indeed, are the foundation of—all that the University accomplishes.
In teaching the University System of Georgia’s Core Curriculum, we emphasize
- strong classroom teaching by outstanding faculty;
- interdisciplinary study to help students make important connections across the Core;
- development of critical thinking and communication skills, necessary to success in all majors and minors;
- the design and implementation of almost all courses offered in the Honors College and Advanced Academy; and
- dedication to the centrality of a liberal arts education in the University’s academic mission.
In our majors and minors, which serve the largest number of bachelor’s-degree-seeking students on campus, we stress
- accredited programs within the College’s major curricula for which accreditation is available;
- interdisciplinary majors and minors to foster collaboration and impart cross-disciplinary thinking and knowledge;
- a College-wide discipline-specific writing requirement;
- unprecedented opportunities for independent student and faculty-directed research;
- service-learning opportunities that connect classroom learning to public needs and goals of our region, as designated by the Board of Regents;
- collaboration in teacher-training through strong content classes in our P-12, early childhood, middle-grades, and secondary-education programs;
- challenging courses designed for the needs of the students in our Honors College; and
- strong graduate-school and career placement for our students.
Attracting graduate students from our own undergraduates and from other institutions across the country and the world, the broad variety of master’s-level programs and select doctoral programs housed within the College offer students advanced instruction grounded in the traditions of scholarship and the advancing of knowledge through research activities. To this end, we offer
- an excellent faculty-student ratio in all programs, fostering opportunities for independent research directed by first-rate faculty, culminating in grants, presentations, and publications;
- seminars and classes taught by a top tier-caliber faculty; and
- opportunities for teaching and research assistantships and fellowships that give students pre-professional experience in their discipline.
By carrying out this mission to achieve our vision for the College, we can best contribute to the goal of preeminence as a unified, clearly focused University articulated in West Georgia’s mission statement. The University’s stated values of providing an education grounded in a strong liberal arts curriculum and disciplinary rigor can be achieved only through a strong and strongly supported College of Arts and Sciences. Only through such strength can we help create a populace of thoughtful, productive leaders and citizens ready to contribute to our global society.