Liberal Arts


Liberal Arts Studies

The Liberal Arts Studies program includes a broad range of electives which allows students to tailor the program to meet their individual needs. The student with specific career goals may, through selection of electives, design a program to meet specific vocational objectives. The student who plans to transfer into a program in a four-year college, the prerequisites of which are not adequately met in any other program, may tailor the program to meet these requirements.

The program is also offered for those students who do not intend to continue formal studies after the completion of the Associate Degree, but who desire the opportunity to explore occupational courses through electives in such areas as Business Administration or other career path.

Liberal Arts Transfer

The Liberal Arts Transfer programs are designed primarily for those students who plan to transfer, with junior year standing, to a four-year Liberal Arts Baccalaureate Degree Program. The Liberal Arts Transfer Program provides the student with a broad cultural background in the humanities, the natural sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences. This background prepares the student for eventual entry into graduate-level programs in education, law, and medicine, as well as the humanities or the sciences.

Although this program requires a distribution of liberal arts courses, it also allows the student to concentrate in either the humanities, the natural sciences, mathematics, or the social sciences. As there are variations in the graduation requirements of different four-year institutions, students should select electives within this program that comply with the requirements of the programs into which they wish to transfer.

The Associate of Arts Degree is awarded to students who complete this program. The minimum distribution requirements for this degree are at least 14 credits in mathematics and science, 12 credits in social science, and 15 credits in the humanities with a total of 62 credits being necessary for graduation


Because Massasoit has a tradition of incorporating core competencies into its programs, the Liberal Arts Studies Program and the Liberal Arts Transfer Programs have recognized these competencies as their general outcomes, while giving program options the opportunity to tailor additional outcomes to their particular goals. The faculty have not yet adopted a final version of these outcomes, but when that work is complete, the Liberal Arts programs will also adopt that wording.

A.  Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the process of self evaluation and correction after giving careful consideration to evidence, context, ideas, methods, and criteria.  Critical thinking focuses on inquiry and learning rather than the accumulation of disjointed skills and senescent information.  As students develop their critical thinking skills, they are improving their ability to listen and read more carefully and their ability to interpret, analyze, and evaluate what they have just heard or read.  Furthermore, the students are developing their ability to make logical judgments and organize their thoughts when speaking or writing, thus improving their oral and written communication skills. 

  • Students at Massasoit would display competency in Critical Thinking by demonstrating the following sub-skills:
    • Evaluation
    • Self-regulation (synthesis)
    • Interpretation
    • Analysis
    • Explanation
    • Inference
  • Characteristics of these critical thinkers are:
    • Open-minded
    • Truth seeking
    • Analytic
    • Systematic
    • Self-confident
    • Inquisitive
    • Mature

B.  Computer Skills

Computer competency is the understanding of basic terminology and the fundamental skills associated with computer processing of data.  The basic skills will remain the same, while the use of applications to accomplish this technological skill may vary depending on the course content.  Students may use or create documents in word processing, spreadsheet, database, graphing, mapping or presentation applications.  They may also use current electronic databases available in the library or current multi-media resources.

  • Skills component:
    • creating a file
    • opening an existing file
    • modifying an existing file
    • saving a file to a disk
    • printing a file
    • using software which is dependent upon course content

C.  Oral Communication

  • The student will be able to listen effectively to messages in a variety of contexts.
  • The student will demonstrate effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills by organizing, constructing, and presenting formal informative and persuasive messages to an audience of their peers, and by participating in interpersonal communication situations.
  • The student will understand communication concepts such as self-concept, perception, use of appropriate language and nonverbal communication and apply them to personal life experiences.

D.  Quantitative Skills

Quantitative skills is the ability to read, understand, manipulate, and express numerical information encountered in the real world and in other courses.

  • Specifically, the student should be able to-
    • solve word problems
    • work with descriptive statistics
    • read and construct charts and graphs
    • perform numerical computations
    • take/calculate measurements
    • make numerical estimations

E.  Reading

Reading is the process of decoding and comprehending the printed word through the interaction of the reader and that which is to be read.   The reader must be able to recognize an author's message and different patterns of organization in the various required textbooks.  Readers' learning and performance is based on their bringing to the material their past and present experiences, knowledge of the reading process, and the ability to apply those skills and strategies to all college level materials.  

  • Associated Terms:
    • prior knowledge
    • abstract ideas
    • concrete ideas
    • vocabulary development
    • previewing
    • questioning
    • main ideas
    • contexts
    • related details
    • outlining
    • summarizing
    • mapping
    • concept diagramming
    • comprehending, both literally and interpretively

F.   Writing

The writing competency ensures that each student will understand the writing process from idea generation through final editing stages.  Writing is used not only to produce papers but also to organize thoughts, to transmit accurately the ideas of others, and to make self-discoveries.  As the competency is applied across the curriculum, student writers customize the writing process for personal and professional effectiveness. 

  • Graduates of Massasoit Community College will be able to:
    • Write thesis-driven documents that are logical and analytical
    • Employ discipline-specific conventions when writing for different audiences
    • Research, evaluate, integrate, and document ideas gathered from a variety of sources
    • Edit their writing according to the rules of Standard American English