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Operational Definition

Culture is the system of shared beliefs, values, practices, and artifacts that group members use to understand, cope with, and interact with one another and their environment, and is transmitted from generation to generation through participation and learning.

Hallmark of a Bulldog

Ferris graduates interpret and explain cultural works in the context of experiences and histories of their own culture or that of others.


People of all cultures have histories and traditions that shape who they are and have religions and philosophies that bring meaning to their world.  These ideas are articulated through languages and the arts.  Interpreting and appreciating the diversity of human cultural expression is critical for living in an increasingly globalized world.

Ferris Learning Outcomes

The observable activities or abilities that will be evaluated as evidence of student learning for this Core Competency are described below. The icons to the left of each outcome are linked to holistic scoring rubrics. A complete matrix of all 40 scoring rubrics is available on this page.

CUL1 rubric

CUL1: Interpretation – Students will be able to interpret cultural works and practices, including but not limited to art, music, theater, literature, language, history, philosophy, and religion, as part of a broader culture and justify those interpretations with an understanding of the interpretive process.

CUL2 rubric

CUL2: Self-Awareness – Students will be able to articulate an understanding of themselves as part of culture(s) with rich historical perspectives through the study of works of culture.

CUL3 rubric

CUL3: Analysis – Students will be able to develop, justify, and improve value distinctions (including aesthetic and ethical) in perception, craft and/or life choices.

CUL4 rubric

CUL4 Process-Awareness, Participation – Students will be able to explain the processes, contexts, and motivations behind the production of cultural works and practices, and when appropriate be able to participate in their creation.