ERIC Number: ED429624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar-17
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Community Colleges.
This article explores the interdisciplinary course offerings at 164 institutions that participated in a 1998 curriculum analysis by the Center for the Study of Community Colleges. It examines interdisciplinary courses in the context of the total curriculum, and discusses examples of existing interdisciplinary programs, the benefits and transferability of interdisciplinary coursework, and distance education. An interdisciplinary course is defined here as a course with at least two instructors from different departments, divisions, or specializations, in which the synthesis of ideas and perspectives takes place. Characteristics of an interdisciplinary course include: (1) innovative techniques; (2) incorporation of new concepts and methods between disciplines; (3) content that involves broad-based social issues requiring multiple disciplines for effective study; (4) avoidance of artificial disciplinary lines for a more realistic educational approach; and (5) a combination of liberal arts and general education with vocational education. Findings show that a majority of the institutions offer interdisciplinary courses in the humanities and the sciences, and slightly less than half offer interdisciplinary courses in the social sciences. In addition, most of these courses are transferable to four-year institutions, a benefit that may encourage their continuation, given the positive experiences reported by both students and faculty. Contains eight data tables and 14 references. (AS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A