Formative Experiences

Develop the skills you’ll need for success.

Take formative experiences courses at any time during your undergraduate years. You’ll take 21 credits, including at least one in each area and additional credits from any area.


Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW)

One course, 3–4 credits

Learn to write effectively and draw appropriate conclusions based on evidence. Improve your understanding of where and how to find appropriate resources and develop your abilities to assess, analyze, and evaluate information. We teach writing as a process and will engage you in periodic conferences to discuss your work.


Intercultural Competence (IC)

One course, 3 credits

Develop your knowledge and understanding of your own culture as well as other cultures, and enhance your understanding of the limits inherent in any cultural framework. Apply your knowledge to cultural frames of reference to critically analyze issues and solve problems. IC courses will address your curiosity about, and openness to, diverse people.


Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

One course, 3–4 credits

Reason about and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of contexts. Read, understand, and create arguments supported by quantitative evidence and clearly communicate those arguments using a variety of formats. Learn to make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data.


Language and Culture (LAC)

Two sequential courses (6 credits) starting at the level of a student’s placement (see below)

Develop your intercultural competence and immerse yourself in a second language and culture, communicating and accessing resources in that language.

Language Placement

All students with prior study or significant experience (such as with the language of the home or have lived in a context where the language is used) of French, German, and/or Spanish must take a placement test before they can enroll in a language course. Students will be placed at the appropriate level based on placement test scores and the amount and timing of prior language study. If students elect to take a class at a level below where they were placed, they cannot use such courses to satisfy the Language and Culture requirement.

  • 101 placement (includes no language study/experience): complete the two-semester sequence of FRN, GMN, or SPA 101 and 102 
    • Students begin at 101 level if:
      • 1) they have not previously studied or do not possess significant experience in the language
      • 2) scored at the 101 level based on their placement and either
        • studied that language previously for two years or less, or
        • stopped studying that language two or more years before enrolling at LVC.
  • 102 placement: complete a two-semester sequence of FRN, GMN, or SPA 102 and 201 
  • 201 placement: complete FRN, GMN, or SPA 201 with a B- or better*
  • 202 placement: complete FRN, GMN, or SPA-202 with a B- or better*
  • 300 placement: complete FRN, GMN, or SPA at the 300 level or higher*

*Students who place at the 201 level or above, complete the course at that level at LVC, and earn a B-  or higher, will automatically be granted credit for the preceding level and be considered to have satisfied the LAC requirement. Students who pass but do not earn at least a B- must either complete a course at the subsequent language level or complete an additional Intercultural Competence course.


Transfer and high school dual enrollment students who have completed a two-semester (six-credit minimum) language sequence at another institution prior to enrolling at LVC may count such courses, subject to LVC’s transfer policy, toward the Language and Culture requirement regardless of placement or high school language study. Students who transfer one semester of French, German, or Spanish may satisfy the LAC requirement by completing the subsequent course at LVC.  Students who transfer one semester of another language may either request to transfer the second semester of that language from another institution or complete LAC courses at LVC, subject to the policy stated above.

Bilingual students who meet the English proficiency requirements for admission may earn three credits to satisfy the Language and Culture requirement by demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English through one of the following: 1) completion of a secondary school curriculum in a language other than English through the U.S. equivalent of 9th grade or higher; or 2) a minimum score of 13 on the 16-point New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies foreign language proficiency exam, which may be administered at LVC. Students who are unable to pursue these options may petition the director of Constellation LVC and the associate dean of academic success and registrar to either 1) take another appropriate language exam; or 2) to have an approved, qualified evaluator verify the student’s achievement of learning outcomes consistent with LVC 201 language courses by following the Life Experience Credit process (see policy for details). Students pursuing the exam or Life Experience Credit options are responsible for associated costs and arrangements.

Students with significant language-based learning disabilities or auditory disabilities (e.g., auditory processing deficits or deaf/hard of hearing), as verified by the Center for Accessibility Resources, will be permitted to substitute two additional Intercultural Competence courses in place of the required Language and Culture courses.