College is a journey and TLU's general education curriculum, Compass, is your guide.
How Does Compass Give You An Advantage?
We start with your Foundations. These are classes that provide the base you will build on for the rest of your college experience. Next, we focus on Distributions. These are classes where you have a choice. We want you to experience the arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, cultural perspectives, and religion, but you get to choose the class that interests you the most in each of these areas.
While you are gaining knowledge and insight in these courses, we also want you to apply that knowledge outside the classroom through Reflective Modules. You will complete three Reflective Modules throughout the course of your time here that may include anything from financial literacy and bystander intervention to serving as a tutor at a local elementary school.
You will also gain certain skills and Competencies with the completion of your Foundations, Distributions, and selected classes in your major. The four Competencies outlined in Compass are skills that employers are looking for, and you will be able to show prospective employers that you have those qualities.
What classes do all TLU students take?
Foundations are the classes that give you the base you will build on for the rest of your college experience. Think of these classes as the starting point to begin your college journey.
- Basic Quantitative Literacy
Math 130 or higher
- Critical Reading
- Engaging Faith Traditions
- Modern Language
Any modern language at the 131 level or higher
- Self-Awareness & Development
- Written Communication
COMP 131 & COMP 132
Foundations classes will account for 18 hours required toward Compass and your degree.
- Basic Quantitative Literacy
When do I get to take the classes I want to take?
With Distribution Classes, you get to choose the class that interests you the most in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, cultural perspectives, and religion.
- Arts: 6 hours in Dramatic Media, Music, and Visual Arts
- Humanities: 12 hours in African American Studies, Communication Studies, English, History, Modern Languages, Mexican-American Studies, Philosophy, Theology, and Women’s Studies (Must be satisfied by courses in two different disciplines or modern languages).
- Natural Sciences & Math: 6 hours in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Math, Physics, and Statistics. (At least one natural science course must have a lab)
- Social Sciences: 6 hours in Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology
Distribution classes will account for 30 hours required toward Compass and your degree, and are taken in addition to your Foundation requirements.
What does all of this mean?
You will gain certain skills and Competencies with the completion of your Foundations, Distributions and selected classes in your major. These Competencies will help you stand out from other college graduates when interviewing for your first job or graduate school.
You will be required to take classes that satisfy each of the four competencies:
- Creative Thinking (T) 3 courses
- Effective Communication (C) 2 courses
- Engaged Citizenship (Z) 3 courses
- Ethics (E) 1 course
What will I learn outside the classroom?
Reflective Modules give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve gained in class to activities outside the classroom and in the community. You will complete three reflective modules during your four years that may include anything from public speaking to community gardening, career preparation, and study strategies.
You will also build skills within the competencies that give you a unique advantage when applying for a job or graduate school.
"Tutoring Together" (Engaged Citizenship Competency)
Tutor children at Ball Early Childhood Center (3-4 years old) and Jefferson Elementary School (K-5th grades) to help them master skills, and be better prepared for their futures. Have fun and make a difference in the life of a child!
"Get Your Financial Life In Order" (Self Awareness & Development Foundation)
Gain a better understanding of basic financial information for any future college financial courses and potentially events that could impact students for the rest of their lives.
Science Education & Social Justice (Engaged Citizenship Competency)
What does social justice have to do with science education? Explore the definitions of social justice and discover how it relates to science education. Students will cover several peer-reviewed articles focusing on the overlap of science education, culture, cultural bias, and equity.
This module is ideal for pre-service teachers or anyone interested in learning more about how these two areas work together.