Mythbusting the Liberal Arts in Practice Requirement

by Rita Chang’19

Featured Image by: Trevor Johnson (2015)

For many students, the Liberal Arts in Practice (LAP) requirement is an elusive beast that lurks in the dungeon of the Registrar, forbidding you entry to the world of post-grad. This edition of Do the LAP will explore common misconceptions about the LAP requirement, a prominent feature of a Beloit College education.

MYTH: The Liberal Arts in Practice requirement is called the LAPC requirement.

FALSE! While the Liberal Arts in Practice Center can connect you with resources to complete the requirement, the LAP requirement is not called the LAPC requirement.

MYTH: There is only ONE way to fulfill the LAP requirement.

FALSE! There are multiple ways to fulfill the LAP requirement, and the options are organized into three categories: L1, L2, and L3.

  • L1 or LAP-designated courses: These courses have LAP experiences built into the curriculum and extend learning beyond the traditional classroom setting. One example is Duffy Community Partnerships (SOCI 285). L1 also includes for-credit internships and designated off-campus study programs. An L1 course must be 1.0 unit to fulfill the LAP requirement. You can find L1 courses on the Portal.
  • L2 or courses paired with LAP experiences: Unlike L1 courses, LAP experiences are not embedded into L2 courses. An example is the Internship Workshop (FEP 201). Students find a LAP experience (such as an internship) that begins at the same time as their L2 course. L2 courses do not need to be 1.0 units to fulfill the LAP requirement. You can find L2 courses on the Portal.
  • L3 or LAP syntheses: Students connect one or more LAP experiences that they’ve had with coursework they’ve taken, culminating in a public presentation, exhibit, publication, or performance. L3 is not credit-bearing! For more specific details on L3 options, speak with your academic advisor.

MYTH: If you complete an L1 or L2 course or the LAP synthesis option, you have completed the requirement.

FALSE! You must ALSO submit the Liberal Arts in Practice Completion Form to the Registrar to verify how you completed the LAP requirement.

MYTH: Studying abroad automatically fulfills the LAP requirement.

FALSE!  You may be able to fulfill the LAP requirement by studying off-campus with the options listed below, but be sure to fill out the completion form when you return! The Office of International Education (OIE) has more information here.

  • L1: any field-based programs (SIT, ACM, MSID, SFS, and Beloit Cities in Transition programs).
  • L2: a reflection-based course such as Digital Storytelling (IDST 201) or Study Abroad Ambassador (IDST 390).
  • L3: a presentation, performance, exhibit, or other public display of student reflection and synthesis of their study abroad experience with relevant coursework. International Symposium and Student Symposium are great examples.

MYTH: Most Beloit College students fulfill the LAP requirement in their junior year.

FALSE! According to Registrar data compiled by Emily Sager, 48% of the Class of 2017 completed the LAP requirement during their senior year. This trend is consistent with the Classes of 2015 (59%) and 2016 (58%). That being said, you should make a plan to complete the LAP requirement before your senior year. There are resources on campus that can offer students guidance about the LAP requirement. 

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MYTH: There are no resources on campus to help me complete the LAP requirement.

FALSE! The Registrar, the Liberal Arts in Practice Center, and the Office of International Education (OIE) are all useful resources to answer questions you have about the LAP requirement. Your advisor(s) can also offer meaningful advice to help you stretch your experience beyond the classroom.

Good luck!

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Special thanks to Emily Sager, Josh Moore, Mary Boros-Kazai, Hannah Taft’17, Winona Albano-Bachtell’17, and Karen Bauer’16.