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Learning Objectives & Outcomes

All ACM colleges are grounded in the liberal arts tradition, and this educational commitment extends to ACM off-campus study programs. By participating in one of these programs, you’ll benefit from studying in a new location that combines experiential, place-based learning with academic purpose similar to your home campus as you pursue the program's learning goals.

In each program you’ll enjoy small class sizes, allowing you to work closely with faculty and other students. You’ll also live in housing and participate in activities that provide everyday opportunities to connect course-based learning with the local community and culture.

You’ll find that the learning objectives and outcomes of each ACM program reflect these liberal arts educational values.

The spring Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & the Humanities program is designed to offer you firsthand experience with field study and to develop the skills for conducting successful research and inquiry.

Program learning objectives:

  • Develop your understanding of the research process and skills in designing and carrying out independent, in-depth research in Costa Rica in your major fields, whether the natural or social sciences or the humanities.
  • Enhance your Spanish language proficiency to a level sufficient for independent research and daily communication and for reading Spanish language materials in your major fields.
  • Develop your understanding of the Costa Rican cultural norms and their impact on both day-to-day interactions and research practices.
  • Build your confidence and independence in living and conducting research in a new environment.

When you complete the program, you should be able to apply the research process to a site-based field research project, including analysis of your findings; demonstrate significant progress in understanding and expressing yourself in Spanish; and, potentially, to apply your completed work in Costa Rica to a senior capstone project or thesis on your home campus.