The Multiple Options Program is designed to create an interdisciplinary focus in Higher Education while retaining the integrity of the separate disciplines that currently comprise college and university programs and curricula.
The need for increasing understanding between disciplines, for opening effective lines of communication, and for integrating disciplines and departments in today’s world of higher education is great. The competition between disciplines that the development of independent disciplines has created needs to be balanced by an interdisciplinary or holistic focus.
An interdisciplinary focus reminds us that each of the disciplines of study that we create are actually human creations, and that humans are integral to all of the disciplines that we create: all humans are scientists, artists, technicians, athletes, business men and women, philosophers, politicians, religionists, nurses, doctors, lawyers, linguists, and mathematicians to one degree or another. Because some of us are very talented and knowledgeable in one area or another does not mean that that talent or knowledge permits us to dominate others.
We are all in this together. We are all trying to understand ourselves and our situations in this world. The need for cooperation has never been greater. An interdisciplinary focus can move us in the direction of cooperation over competition without losing the benefits of competition. It will help us realize that we are all human beings and, in that respect, equal.
At the same time, the need for retaining the integrity of each discipline is also great. By maintaining discipline integrity, each discipline can develop its own methods and procedures that fit their experience. We might be in this together, but we need to be individuals at the same time. Discipline integrity promotes individuality, competition and positive change.
It becomes a question of balance: balancing the need for community with the need for individuality. If we lean too much toward community, then individuality is stifled and society becomes stagnant and oppressive. If we lean too much toward individuality, then community is attacked and society becomes selfish, competitive and broken into dominant and submissive factions.
The interdisciplinary program offered here helps prevent the tendency of "individuality thinkers" from becoming selfish, competitive and split into dominant and submissive factions. It pushes them to be more holistic and democratic. But, at the same time, it recognizes the need to maintain discipline integrity. Without discipline integrity, society becomes stangnant and oppressive.
A Multiple Options Program is an addition to current Major and Minor Programs; it is not a replacement for those programs. It is to exist alongside traditional programs.