The Quadrants

The quadrants represent four areas of importance in the educational experience of Truman students as espoused by our University Mission Statement:

The highest goals of a liberal arts education are to ignite the individual’s curiosity about the natural and social universe and then aid him or her in developing the skills and personal resources to channel knowledge into productive, satisfying activity. In pursuing these goals, the university seeks to cultivate in its students

  • Intellectual integrity, tolerance of difference and diversity, informed ethical values, and courageous aspiration toward the best for oneself, one’s family, one’s society and the world.
  • A sense of the joys and uses of creative and critical thought, including skills of intellectual problem-solving through effective reading and research, lucid expository prose, and articulate speech;
  • The willingness and ability to exercise personal and intellectual leadership in his or her chosen field of endeavor.

These outcomes are included in the quadrants that make up the Out-of-Class Experience Planning Map.

Quadrant 1 – Cultural Exploration and Community Engagement

“Each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity.” Marie Curie

"We want people to feel with us more than to act for us." George Elliot

"Every great man is always being helped by everybody; for his gift is to get good out of all things and persons." John Ruskin

"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." John F. Kennedy

"If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sire, should keep his friendship in constant repair." Samuel Johnson

Quadrant 1 includes the ability to conceptualize the world in new and different ways, to appreciate and celebrate the unique and diverse, to understand and empathize with people and ideas outside of their comfort zone and to feel connected with other members of their communities through participation in events and activities within their communities.

Development in quadrant one requires students to perceive themselves and others in new ways and to engage those with whom you live, work, and associate in meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. Through investing in these relationships, students develop a sense of belonging, feel deeply connect to our community, seek out opportunities to serve others and contribute to building a positive, interdependent social environment.

Quadrant 2—Intellectual Competence and Reflective Judgment

“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” Victor Hugo

“The result of what some people call the fruits of genius is in reality the fruits of study and labor.” Alexander Hamilton

“The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing—to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.” John Keats

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt


Quadrant 2
involves the various processes used to accumulate and assimilate knowledge. Effective-decision making, critical thinking, breadth and depth of information contribute to intellectual competence.  The knowledge, skills, and integrity to apply critical thinking to one's own behavior and character demonstrate reflective judgment.

 A truly educated person recognizes their own values, skills and abilities as well as their inconsistencies, shortcomings, and mistakes. The development of character comes from the consistent application of reflective judgment.

Quadrant 3 – Healthy Habits and Balanced Living

"To keep the lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it." Mother Teresa

"We ought to hear at least one little song every day, read a good poem, see a first-rate painting, and if possible speak a few sensible words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to care for his tools." Spanish proverb

"One who is serious all day will never have a good time, while one who is frivolous all day will never establish a household." Ptahhotep

"If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it." Herodotus

The liberal arts tradition has long included an emphasis on the development of the whole person. As integrated, complex biological systems, human beings cannot neglect development in one area of their lives without that deficit affecting all areas.

Quadrant 3 involves those activities in which students engage that develop and express physical, emotional, spiritual, social as well as mental endowments. These pursuits assist in maintaining health and balance and lead to the development of lifelong habits of personal well-being. Activities in quadrant three help to ensure that we maintain a healthy balance and develop lifelong habits of personal well-being.

Quadrant 4 – Effective Leadership and Responsible Citizenship

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” John D. Rockefeller

“The only public good is that which assures the private good of the citizens.” Simone de Beauvoir

"We live very close together. So our prime purpose in this life is to help others." Dalai Lama

"He that would govern others, first should be master of himself." Phillip Massinger

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

Higher education has a responsibility to train young people to make a positive contribution to their society.  Activities that help students develop the knowledge, skill and experience to motivate and guide others are included.  The responsibilities inherent in membership in local, national and world communities such as participation in the political process and volunteer service are also included in Quadrant 4 activities.

Responsible citizenship requires students to develop attitudes and behaviors consistent with the effective functioning of a democratic society. Effective leadership necessitates skills and knowledge resulting in ethically influencing people and processes. The citizens and leaders of tomorrow must understand the responsibilities inherent in membership in a national and world community. Based on that understanding they can meet the challenges they will face as citizens and leaders in the future.


Quotes were taken from: Quotes & Quips. Insights on Living the 7 Habits. (1998). Salt Lake City, UT: Franklin Covey.