Each year the VIA program focuses on a theme. Each semester offers a broadbased course that expresses a variation on that theme.
Freshman Theme: Visions
The first year focuses on Visions; that is, on the great explanations of the Good Life from various cultural and historical perspectives. The theme lays the groundwork for the four- year sequence of VIA courses.
Sophomore Theme: Interpretations
The second year looks at the wide variety of interpretations that have been given to these great visions of the Good Life. Students need to become responsible for their own “interpretations” as they shape their lives. “Interpretation” here means not only the skill to read and think critically, but also the ability to translate historical ideas into some form of personal expression.
Integration or the unifying of learning and experience into a coherent whole is one of the goals of a liberal arts education. The two senior-year courses serve as the capstone of the VIA program. Students’ writing should be polished and their public speaking confident and persuasive.