IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Essential Studies

An essential for success in college and in life is the mastery of basic and necessary skills, including English, math, first-year seminar and science classes.  All these core courses are designed to cultivate skills, knowledge and practice for studies within each major at IAIA.

Students who successfully complete these courses enter their majors with a solid foundation for learning, as well as life-long skills necessary in any field of endeavor.  As such, the Essential Studies department emphasizes student-centered, experiential learning as a way to bridge the gap between the classroom and the application of that knowledge, preparing you to succeed in your career and in life.

Students who complete the Essential Studies program will be well equipped to:

  • Effectively meet the creative and intellectual challenges of their chosen disciplines and areas of interest at IAIA
  • Creatively and productively contribute to their community at IAIA and the greater community at large
  • See learning as a lifelong pursuit, as full of joy as it is of knowledge

Once students have completed these courses, they will have acquired the necessary skills and processes that are absolutely essential in college and everyday life.   Students will be able to competently and successfully:

  • Read, listen, discuss, research, and use reflection as a way to gain knowledge
  • Use mathematical reasoning, scientific experimentation and observation to solve problems
  • Analyze and evaluate knowledge using appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures
  • Integrate  and express knowledge from a variety of sources and fields
  • Demonstrate a critical perspective supported by logic and reason
  • Communicate and present effectively both orally and in writing
  • Work collaboratively and independently to problem solve, gain and share knowledge
  • Develop intercultural and interpersonal skills to see the world from multiple perspectives
  • Apply knowledge to real-world issues
  • Comprehend the role of creative activities in expressing both imagination and experience
  • Integrate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in local and global issues

The Essential Studies curriculum provides and builds those skills with a vitally essential to success in every life endeavor.