Start on the path to a four-year degree with an associate of arts degree.
A well-rounded education with a range of coursework in the arts, humanities, mathematics, and sciences provides the basis for lifelong learning. By earning an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences at Minnesota State College Southeast, you will gain a credential you can take with you to transfer into a four-year university program as a college junior.
The study of liberal arts and sciences isn't just about memorizing facts -- it's learning how to learn, so you will be prepared to adapt to an ever-changing world. You are not training for a specific job, but gaining the communications and reasoning skills that will enhance your career opportunities in any area you might pursue in the future.
There is an increasing national need for all working-age adults to possess at least two years of higher education. Our region's workforce communities have indicated that they are seeking "well-rounded" individuals who possess strong critical thinking, problem solving, and communications skills. With an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences you will be better qualified to pursue your career options.
Students can finish an Associate of Arts degree within four semesters at MSC Southeast. All essential courses are offered every semester and the college offers evening classes, online classes and hybrid classes. A full array of Liberal Arts and Sciences courses are available at both the Red Wing and Winona campuses.
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Download the Program Plan
Associate of Arts degree general requirements
- A minimum of 60 semester credits.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
- A minimum cumulative MnTC GPA of 2.0.
- A minimum of 20 semester credits applied toward the degree must be taken at Minnesota State College Southeast.
- Completion of the specific degree requirements below:
Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC)Requirements – A minimum of 40 credits to complete all 10 goal areas. A MnTC course may satisfy more than one goal area, however, the credits only count once.
CORE GOAL AREAS:
Goal 1 Communication (Three courses) - 9 credits
- ENGL1215 – College Writing 1 (3 credits)
- ENGL2525 – College Writing 2 (3 credits)
- COMM1218 - College Speech OR COMM1228 Interpersonal Communications (3 credits)
Goal 2 Critical Thinking (met when 40 MnTC credits satisfying all 10 goal areas has been completed)
Goal 3 Natural Science (Two science courses from at least two different subject areas. One course must have a traditional lab and the other must have a traditional lab or lab-like experience.) - 6-8 credits
Goal 4 Mathematical/Logical Reasoning (One course) - 3 credits
Goal 5 History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Three courses from at least two different subject areas) - 9 credits
Goal 6 The Humanities and Fine Arts (3 courses from at least two different subject areas) - 9 credits
THEME GOAL AREAS:
Goal 7 Human Diversity (One course) - 3 credits
Goal 8 Global Perspective (One course) - 3 credits
Goal 9 Ethical and Civic Responsibility (One course) - 3 credits
Goal 10 People and the Environment (One course) -3 credits
Total minimum credits to complete the MnTC ten goal areas: 40 credits
In addition to completing the MnTC, the remaining 20 credits will include:
and Wellness Requirement, 2 credits
Requirement, 2 credits
Additional Electives, 16 credits (select coursework appropriate to the student’s anticipated transfer program)
Estimated Costs for this Major
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An Associate of Arts degree is the foundation of your future education. This degree is designed for transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. However, the lifelong skills and abilities mastered in the Associate of Arts program will serve students who may enter the workforce directly after completing the degree.
- Effectively read, write, speak, and listen in formal English
- Demonstrate self and group awareness
- Apply appropriate use of technology to increase digital literacy
- Gather, analyze, and use information to solve problems and support opinions
A.A. Degree or Transfer Curriculum Planning Worksheet (PDF)
- Build skills and knowledge that will remain relevant today, tomorrow, and beyond
- Gain high-demand critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills
- Meet general education requirements needed for transfer
- Choose electives that are appropriate for your planned transfer program
- Small class sizes and dedicated faculty
Liberal Arts and Sciences courses are taught by our talented and dedicated instructors, all with your success in mind. All MSC Southeast Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty have earned a master's degree or higher. See individual instructor biographies below.
View Instructor Biographies
B.S., Cell Biology, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oregon State University
Bradley Alsop has been a biology instructor at MSC Southeast since 2004. He currently lives in Red Wing with his wife and son where he enjoys camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
B.A., English, University of Northern Iowa
M.A., English, University of Northern Colorado
Pete Beurskens has taught college writing and literature since 1990 (in Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) and has published a number of articles, poems, and essays in regional and national publications. He has also served as newsletter editor for the Minnesota Association of Scholars and has worked as a salesman, non-profit director, grant writer, and forest fire fighter. In addition, he teaches writing and great books courses to homeschool students. Mr. Beurskens enjoys hunting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hiking with his family. He lives on a hobby farm in western Wisconsin.
Greg Cady began teaching at MSC Southeast as an adjunct instructor in 2004, moving to a full-time tenure track position in 2007. Prior to joining the teaching team, he dedicated 18 years in various positions within the criminal justice profession in California and Minnesota. Greg is also a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve with more than 25 years of service. He studied at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Elective Studies Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice.
B.S., Business Education, University of North Dakota
M.S., Business Education, Southern New Hampshire University
LeAnn Cady joined MSC Southeast in 2008 as a Computer Applications Instructor for the Department of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Her experience has included teaching a variety of business and computer courses and writing numerous supplements in her role as a contributing textbook author. LeAnn relocated to SE Minnesota in 2008 and is currently living in Red Wing where she enjoys physical fitness, blogging, and volunteering as a Minnesota Marine MoM.
B.A. English, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
M.A. English Language and Literature, Winona State University
Cindy Ciszewski came to MSC Southeast in 2010 as a member of the English faculty. Before that, she taught College Reading and Writing at Winona State University and worked in their Writing Center. She has also taught Film and American History at Western Technical College in La Crosse. In her free time, Cindy enjoys reading (of course, she’s an English major), running, cooking, antiquing, and flower gardening. Her favorite time of all, though, is that spent “up-north” with her husband and two daughters.
Rachel Daley has earned her M.A. in Education from Concordia University. After obtaining an A.S. degree at MSC Southeast, Rachel proceeded to SMSU to obtain a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to teaching at MSC Southeast since 2010, her career experiences include family childcare, nanny, director of religious education, childcare trainer, preschool teacher, foster parent, and substitute.
B.A., Anthropology and East Asian Studies, Macalester College
M.S., Education – Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Jean Egbert joined the college in 2008 after having taught mathematics at Red Wing High School for five years. Before becoming licensed to teach, she worked for non-profits serving refugees in the Twin Cities for twelve years. She lives on a hobby farm with her husband, dog, chickens, and bees. Her two sons have finished college and are working on graduate degrees. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading widely from American and international authors, and cooking Indian food.
B.A., Music, University of Alaska-Anchorage
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
Tamra Graham was a President's Scholar at William Mitchell College of Law. She has worked in both the public and private legal sectors. Since 2005, she has taught political science, philosophy, and criminal justice courses MSC Southeast. She was raised in Alaska and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, and many outdoor activities, including geocaching.
B.A. Mathematics, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
M.S. Mathematics Education, Northern Illinois University
Jon Kugel has been with MSCS since 2017. After earning his Master's degree, Jon was hired to teach Mathematics by Northern Illinois University. During his time at NIU, he obtained a Graduate Student of the Year award as well as multiple Most Valuable Professor awards. Being a native of Winona, Jon enjoys fishing, hiking, and camping with his family, but his main passion (besides Math of course) is disc golf. Jon joined the Professional Disc Golf Association in 2010 and was rated one of the top ten amateur disc golfers in Illinois.
B.A., Speech-Communication, Bethel College
M.A., English, St. Cloud State University
M.F.A., Creative Writing, University of Arkansas
Michael Larson is the recipient of major poetry fellowships from the McKnight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His full-length collection of poetry, What We Wish We Knew, was published in 2005; and his short story, "The Woods," appeared in The Malahat Review (2011). He has been teaching writing, literature, and speech courses at the college level since the late 1980s, at MSC Southeast exclusively since 2003. In addition to his teaching and literary endeavors, he is the faculty advisor for the school chess club. In his free time, he likes to fly fish in the area's many trout streams.
B.A., French, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., English, Minnesota State University-Mankato
Erik Sigurd Lee has taught a combination of French, English, English as a Second Language, and communications courses since 1994 in France, Taiwan, Brazil, and the U.S. He has worked at private and public schools at both the high school and college levels. He continues to study Western literature and to travel to Europe and South America for his professional development and personal enjoyment.
B.A., English/Psychology, University of South Dakota
M.A., English/Creative Writing, University of South Dakota
M.A., Sociology, University of South Dakota
M.A., Theological Studies/Pastoral Care, Bethel Seminary
Carrie Maynard-Allen has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Marriage and Family, Moral Problems, English Essentials I & II, and College Writing I at Southeast since 2006. In addition, she has team-taught Introduction to Literature and Creative Writing with colleague Pete Beurskens. She has also served as a professional tutor at the Learning Resource Center (LRC) focusing on numerous subjects including English, sociology, psychology, and moral problems, along with helping students build resumes and application essays for scholarships. Carrie is also a published poet who loves to create one-of-a-kind natural gemstone earrings and necklaces in her spare time. Most of all, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and their three cats: Sam, Sophie, and Sasha.
Elizabeth (Liz) Micheel
Liz Micheel has been on the faculty of MSC Southeast since 2010. She left her seasonal position as a wildland firefighter in Idaho in 2009 to begin a career as a teacher. Liz continues to do wildland firefighting in the summer and prescribed burning locally in the spring. She is actively involved in the community in Sustain Winona and as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
B.S., Psychology and Human Development, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
M.A.E., Educational Psychology, University of Northern Iowa
Angel Mytas has been teaching psychology since 2004. She loves all areas of psychology, but has a special fondness for Developmental, Social and Health Psychology. She grew up in Cashton, WI and returned to raise her family there. She is married to Martin who is a chiropractor and owner of Thrive Wellness in Cashton. Her most-loved study of human development is her children, Quinn, Eliza, and Isaiah. She has two dog and loves reading, camping, and spending time with her family.
B.A., Spanish, Religion, Augustana College
M.A.T., School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont
After serving two and a half years in Latin America with the Peace Corps, Lynne Rabuse returned to Minnesota and has been teaching high school and college-level Spanish courses for over thirty years. She has travelled extensively, led five student trips to Mexico, and presented on pedagogical techniques at numerous local and national conferences. Lynne has published a collection of chants and rhymes for use in the Spanish classroom.
Leah Schnaith has a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College and was awarded a Ph.D. in Bio-Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has been a chemistry instructor at the college several years and has also taught math. She has worked as a chemistry and math tutor in the Learning Resource Center. Prior to that, she worked in collaboration with the Red Wing School District in math and science enrichment.
B.S., Theology, Crossroads College
M.A., History, Minnesota State University-Mankato
Chris Stout has been teaching a wide range of history and culture classes at Southeast at both campuses and online since 2007. Before coming to Winona, Chris taught middle school, high school, and college in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota region for four years. His graduate research focused on southeastern Minnesota and the history of mental illness, which adds a great local perspective to his history classes. He also tries to include Bruce Springsteen in every class period. Chris has two boys and an adorable wife and has lived in Southeast Minnesota for the past 20 years.
B.A., English, Winona State University
M.A., English, Winona State University
Robert Stuber has taught English and communications courses at Southeast, Winona State University, and St. Mary's University of Minnesota; tutored at Winona State University's Writing Center; and served as the communications manager for a Winona company. His graduate studies focused on the plays of August Wilson, whose cycle of ten plays attempts to chronicle the lives of African Americans through the Twentieth Century. Additionally, he is a local free-lance live sound engineer, plays guitar and mandolin-family instruments for fun, and occasionally performs in the Winona area.
B.S. Geology, Winona State University
M.A. Geography, Hunter College of the City University of New York
Rich Swanson began teaching part time at Southeast in the fall of 2010 and currently teaches Physical Geography and World Regional Geography. He has spent time working for the U.S. Military, the oil industry, the Department of Agriculture's Soil Survey Program, and is currently working as a Research Analyst for a demographic consulting company based in the Twin Cities. He was raised in Wabasha, but has lived all across the U.S. including, California, Illinois, Alaska, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Colorado and Washington. In his spare time Rich enjoys building wooden boats, running, and pretending like he can play his guitar.
A.A., Southeastern Community College, West Burlington, Iowa
B.A., Psychology, Iowa Wesleyan College
M.S., Psychology, Western Illinois University
An Iowa native, Amy Whitcomb has been teaching psychology since 1999, and came to MSC Southeast's Red Wing campus in the fall of 2010. In the past, she has done counseling and social work, but decided she loved teaching far more than trying to save the world. While she is interested in most areas of psychology and criminal justice, social psychology and criminology are her favorites. In her spare time, she likes reading true crime accounts, watching true crime shows, listening to opera and classic rock, and spending time with her children. She has become an excellent cook, but remains unfulfilled by it.
B.A., Mathematics, Winona State University
M.A., Mathematics, Winona State University
Alice Zimmer teaches mathematics at the college and has done extensive industry-specific curriculum development as well as taught mathematics applications onsite at local industries. She is an active community volunteer and a strong advocate for the development of career opportunities for rural students, especially in the areas of mathematics and nanotechnology. She has written successful college and community grants and is one of the founding board members of the Rushford Institute for Nanotechnology. Alice enjoys reading non-fiction and Victorian England novels, keeping up with world news, planting flowers, watching professional boxing and UFC mixed martial arts, attending live theater, and spending time with her friends and family, including her daughter-in-law and her two sons.