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Letter to Students


As the coordinator of Introduction to Liberal Arts (ILA), and on behalf of the faculty who will be teaching the course this fall, welcome to Monmouth College! In about a month, I will see you on campus, and I hope that you are as excited about the start of this new semester as I am.

ILA is a transition into the Monmouth College learning community which values the spirit of inquiry in pursuit of academic excellence. As such, it is an introduction to both Monmouth College and to "college" in general; it will challenge you to think carefully and clearly about some of the questions that may shape your future and the future of our world. Through the course, we will focus on readings, formal presentations (convocations), and experiences that offer us the opportunity to examine the dynamic relationships between Self, Stranger, and Community.

This letter is the next step of our preparation for the semester; it includes two important items.

  1. The ILA Summer Questions (PDF, Word) about both the summer reading, Becoming a Learner by Matthew Sanders, which you should have received either at Scots Summer Orientation or through the mail, and the summer movie, which is a documentary directed by Lucy Walker called Devil’s Playground (2002), which is available from many online streaming services (including YouTube).
    The Summer Questions will help get your brain tuned in to the sorts of conversations we will have during class. As you complete the reading and watch the movie– once or a couple of times– consider these questions and develop answers to them. Your answers need to be typed, and you should bring a printed copy of your answers to class with you on the first day of ILA. You will have time and access to a computer lab on campus during Fall Orientation if you need access to a printer.
  2. Instructions for how to order the ILA Reader, which is another required text that contains collected essays, chapters, and short readings that you will be reading throughout the semester. (Note: The Reader will also be available at the bookstore on campus.)

Your next communication from me will be on August 9th through email. At that time, you will be invited to look online at your class schedule to see your assigned section of ILA. All sections meet for the first time on Monday morning, August 21st from 9:00am to noon. After that first Monday, ILA meets on all Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays throughout the semester from 11:00-11:50am.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you in the fall!


Stephanie Baugh, ILA Coordinator