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Integrative Studies

Integrative Studies

Mission Statement

The Integrative Studies Program provides a structure for students to make personal and intellectual connections across the entirety of their Otterbein education— connections among different courses, between courses and co-curricular activities, inside and outside of their major, and between their academic and their professional lives. The program is committed to the premise that one’s learning should serve and shape one’s chosen responsibilities in and to the world, and each course in the program participates in a shared conversation about the theme of Knowledge, Action, and the Public Good. Our courses recognize the varied and vexed impacts of knowledge and action, and they examine multiple, competing, and contradictory conceptions of the public good. Through this program, our undergraduates develop skills, competencies, and ways of knowing that prepare them for the challenges and complexity of a 21st century world.

The Theme: Knowledge, Action, and The Public Good

Otterbein's Integrative Studies program is committed to a sustained conversation about "Knowledge, Action, and the Public Good." Teaching and learning within Integrative Studies is designed to inspire curiosity and inform action that will support the flourishing of individuals, societies, and the natural world in the widest and deepest sense.

INST Learning Goals and Outcomes

Goal A: To help students recognize how knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences is necessary for intelligent action in pursuit of the public good.


  1. Students can articulate how their learning enables them to contribute to some aspect of the public good.
  2. Students can analyze contemporary and historical understandings of the public good.


Goal B: To promote active and critical reflection on the self in its full range of contexts.


  1. Students can reflect on the different ways of knowing, inquiring, and creating represented by the different disciplines.
  2. Students can pose and debate enduring and contemporary questions about meaning and purpose.


Goal C: To develop students’ intercultural knowledge and competencies.


  1. Students can demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the diversity of ideas, beliefs, and practices across cultures and throughout historical eras.
  2. Students can analyze the ways in which our lives are structured by social relationships, cultural exchange, and/or our place in the natural world.


Goal D: To challenge students to critically examine their responsibilities to the public good.


  1. Students can analyze and reflect on their own identity and values.
  2. Students can demonstrate that they see themselves as responsible, engaged, and informed citizens capable and willing to act in ways that will serve the public good.


Goal E: To inspire interdisciplinary collaboration.


  1. Students can integrate different disciplinary approaches in order to illuminate an issue connected to the public good.
  2. Students can evaluate the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary conversations.

/Integrative Studies Program

Joby DeCoster, Interim Director
Towers Hall 211
p/ 614.823.1564 
e/ jdecoster@otterbein.edu 

Andrew Mills, Director
Towers Hall 322
p/ 614.823.1368
e/ INSTDirector@otterbein.edu

Rachel Martin
Graduate Assistant
Towers Hall 223a
p/ 614.823.1124
e/ isassistant@otterbein.edu