School of International Liberal Arts, Department of Comparative Culture


Admissions Policy (The Ideal MIC Student)

The School of International Liberal Arts welcomes students who identify with its educational policies and are motivated to achieve personal realization as global citizens through their studies in the international environment at MIC, and whose high school education has provided a foundation of knowledge, skills, and motivation to meet the standards described in the Diploma Policy.
1. A desire to develop critical thinking (comparison, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, etc.)
2. Basic educational background to enable understanding of different cultures
3. Basic ability to identify and solve problems 4. Basic foundation and motivation for developing communicative proficiency in both Japanese and English
5. Foundational academic abilities and skills and self-initiative

Curriculum Policy (Curricular Structure and Implementation Policy)

International Liberal Arts is foundational at SILA and permeates every aspect of the curriculum. Liberal arts colleges, though global in scope, are small in scale. We are a learning community where classes are small and the relationship between teachers and students is close. With the exception of Japanese Expression, Career Design, and some classes in the Teacher Certificate program, all the classes are taught in English. The educational curriculum of Miyazaki International College consists of General Education Courses, Language Courses, Study Abroad Courses, Specialized Courses, Career Education Courses, Senior Thesis and Optional Courses. Courses are developed in accordance with the following principles:
1. Classes conducted through active learning enable every student to practice and develop critical thinking skills
2. By studying the cultures of Japan and other countries through a broad range of liberal arts courses, students will learn how to compare, analyze, and value different cultures
3. Students practice identifying and solving problems through specialization in their chosen research areas and through the development of individual research projects
4. Language courses (“Japanese Expression”, “Studies in Japanese Expression” and “English”) serve the purpose of developing a solid proficiency in the Japanese language and complementing and enhancing the English language proficiency that is foundational for global citizenship
5. Courses shall offer students opportunities to acquire ICT knowledge and skills, and the ability to employ ICT in the use of the e-Portfolio system and presentations, etc.

The principles above are reflected across the major components of the following educational framework:

(1) In the first two semesters students develop and improve their English language skills through streamed courses in English 1, 2 and 3, and additional courses in Reading 1, 2 and 3 and Academic Writing 1 and 2, and enhance their Japanese language skills through courses in Japanese Expression 1 and Studies in Japanese Expression A. Students also take foundational courses in Introduction to Liberal Arts and Introduction to Global Citizenship, and choose from a variety of disciplinary courses in Humanities, Social Sciences, and General Sciences such as Introduction to Art History, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to Economics, Introduction to Politics, Introduction to Information and Communication Technology and Introduction to Natural Life Science.
(2) In the first semester of the second year, students study social issues from comparative cultural perspectives such as International Social Issues, Issues in Human Relationships, and Introduction to Cultures of English-Speaking Countries and study contemporary Japanese arts and culture, through courses such as Japanese Thought and Arts and Japanese Folklore and Folklife. In the second semester, they complete a Study Abroad program with required courses in ESL, Independent Study and Area Studies.
(3) In the third and fourth years, students choose a major (Humanities, Social Sciences or English Language and Culture). Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences can develop their own research topics and deepen specialization in their chosen research area but must take at least one course each from at least three disciplines to develop a broad perspective on their topics and chosen fields. To develop global perspectives in research on issues concerning all humankind, students in the Humanities take core courses including Art and Society, Ethical Theory and 20th Century History. Students in the Social Sciences take core courses such as Research Methods 1 and 2, International Relations, and Cross-Cultural Psychology. Students in English Language and Cultures take courses focusing on the study of the English language and its cultural context through courses such as English Linguistics, British Literature, American Literature, and History and Language of the British Isles. This major includes a special track for students seeking Teacher Certification. Teacher Certification students must also complete additional courses prescribed by MEXT regulations such as Introduction to the Teaching Profession, Issues in Education, and English Teaching Methodologies. Furthermore, students who meet prerequisites can also take a certificate program in Global Leadership with required courses including Global Leadership in the 21st Century, Theory and Practice of Conflict Resolution, and Global Leadership Seminar. All students complete a Senior Thesis in English on a research topic of their choice which is evaluated by faculty and presented to the MIC community. Subject specific knowledge and skills assessed in class. Language skills are assessed in class and by standardized tests such as TOEIC and the Japanese Proficiency Exam (Nihongo Kentei). Critical thinking is assessed in class and by the SILA Critical Thinking test, which has been created for this purpose. Rubrics are used on an individual or college wide basis depending on the breadth of the skills to be assessed.

Diploma Policy (Qualities Students Should Acquire by Graduation)

The School of International Liberal Arts awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Culture upon students who have successfully completed the requisite 124 graduation credits, achieved a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 1.5 or higher and completed the English objectives. Students are expected to acquire the qualities and capabilities to contribute to world society as global citizens described below.
1. Advanced thinking skills (comparison, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) based on critical thinking (critical and analytic thought)
2. The ability to understand and accept different cultures developed through acquisition of a broad knowledge and comparison of the cultures of Japan and other nations
3. The ability to identify and solve problems
4. Advanced communicative proficiency in both Japanese and English
5. Proficiency in the use of information technology