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Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum embodies, channels and concretizes the philosophy of education contained in the Mission Statement of the College. It extends over four years, providing a core of shared learning, and a common intellectual experience for all students.  All students take the same core courses.

The following constitutes the Core Curriculum requirements for all students enrolling
in the College beginning Fall 2012. 


CATEGORY A: FRESHMAN FUNDAMENTALS    
The first year includes courses designed to give freshmen a solid grounding in the academic skills necessary for achievement in college (especially through the Writing in Context sequence, as well as the Modern Language Requirement), the support and resources needed (through the First Year Experience Program) as well as the jumpstart in critical thinking in areas of interest through the Freshman Seminar program. 

A - 1 First Year Experience (FYE) 1 credit
A - 2 Freshman Seminar 3 credits**
A - 3 ENG 110 and 120: Writing in Context I and II 6 credits
A - 4 Modern Languages and Literatures 6 credits

*See note below regarding accounting for FSEM credits

A – 1 FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE (FYE) (1 credit)
A mission-focused introduction to college life, academic expectations and support systems, including a service project as well as a basic introduction to critical thinking and information literacy. The goals of the course derive from the College Motto: “Teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.”

*Policies regarding FYE: All first year students are registered in an FYE course their first semester in the college. No student can withdraw from this course. In the event of a student failing the course, the course cannot be repeated. In those cases, the student will substitute an additional elective credit towards their graduation requirement.

A – 2 FRESHMAN SEMINAR (3 credits)
The Freshman Seminar program features small seminar-style courses, offering a disciplinary-based “narrow slice” that can be explored in depth to increase student engagement and critical reasoning skills. These courses are oral communication intensive and student focused. All courses currently run as topics courses. 

There is an extensive menu of choices for students. These courses are marketed to incoming freshmen.  Freshman Seminar courses substitute for 3 Core Credits in the corresponding Core Category (Humanities Electives, Social Science Electives, etc…) or three credits of Major requirement. Thus, if a student does not take a Freshman Seminar Course, or receives a failing grade, they will simply substitute the appropriate Core Course in that area.

A – 3 WRITING IN CONTEXT: (6 credits)
A two-semester sequence of courses that emphasize the relationship between reading well and writing well. Literary texts serve as the source material for intensive writing instruction. In order to satisfy each of these courses, a C or better is required.
NOTE ON WRITING REQUIREMENTS
Because writing is fundamental to Core and major curricula, all Core Writing courses must be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Students who have not completed Core Writing requirements by the end of the sophomore year may proceed at the college only with the permission of Dean of the Undergraduate College.

International and transfer students should be enrolled in a Core Writing course in their first semester at the college, unless waived. For international and transfer students, all writing requirements must be completed by the end of their first year at the college. International and transfer students who have not completed Core Writing requirements by the end of their first year may proceed at the college only with the permission of Dean of the Undergraduate College. A Registrar’s hold will be applied to students’ records when they do not complete the Core Writing requirement in the proscribed timeframe.

WRITING IN CONTEXT I: LITERARY INQUIRY
Working with short stories, poems, and non-fiction essays, WIC-I provides students with basic literary analysis skills and develop those skills in oral and written modes of expression. Students work on development of personal and argument-based essays. The course also contains a systematic formal review of grammar and sentence structure. All sections of WIC-I will contain a shared core of texts, in order that students all have the same core knowledge entering WIC-II.

WRITING IN CONTEXT II: ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH
WIC-II takes the basic analytical and writing skills developed in WIC-I, and develops them in depth. The central text of WIC-II is a specific substantial work of the instructor's choice (novel, play, or non-fiction work) around which to focus the writing instruction. This work also serves as a spring-board for the development of research writing. Students are encouraged to find personal and independent ways to connect with the text at hand. A significant introduction to the basics of the research process is included.

DEVELOPMENTAL WRITING NOTE
Students who place in the bottom quintile of the Noel-Levitz index are required to complete English 007, an intensive developmental (1 credit) writing course. After passing this course with a C or better, they will enroll in the first part of the WIC sequence.

A – 4 MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES (MLL-I; MLL-II) (6 credits)
All students are required to take two semesters of language. Placement in courses is based on prior experience and proficiency, and is determined by the MLL placement guidelines.

Students who have demonstrated advanced language proficiency through AP exams (with a score of 4 or 5) will only be required to take one three-credit course.

International students can satisfy this requirement by successfully completing the two-semester sequence ENGL 100-102 Academic English for International Students. These students then enroll in the two-semester sequence writing course, ENGL 110-120 Writing in Context I and II.

CATEGORY B: HUMANITIES (9 credits)
9 credits chosen from three out of four disciplines

Students choose from a menu of topic-driven Literature, History, Fine and Performing Arts, and Philosophy options. Students must choose one course each from three out of the four areas as outlined below in order to fulfill their humanities requirement:
B – 1  Literature 3 credits
B – 2 History 3 credits
B – 3 Fine and Performing Arts 3 credits
B – 4 Philosophy 3 credits
The courses are designed with individual, focused topics, combined with a very specific set of shared goals and requirements to ensure that all of the courses within a single grouping are giving students the same skills/methods/ workload/outcomes, while using different content to arrive there. These courses will further develop the writing and oral expression skills of students while introducing them to significant modes of inquiry.

All newly-developed courses must be rigorous enough to qualify for major credit in order to qualify for entry into the core curriculum. (e.g. they must be able to double as major electives, introductory courses, or context courses).

Introductory Courses in relevant majors are cross-listed to fulfill core requirement. (e.g. HIST 214). Existing major electives may be approved for Core credit as well. However, there will be specific Core criteria for major courses to qualify.

CATEGORY C: SOCIAL SCIENCES (9 credits)
9 credits chosen from three out of four disciplines

Students choose from a menu of topic-driven Business and Economics, Sociology, Psychology, and Communication options. Students must choose one course each from three out of the four areas as outlined below in order to fulfill their Social Science requirement.

C – 1  Business and Economics 3 credits
C – 2 Sociology 3 credits
C – 3 Psychology 3 credits
C – 4 Communication 3 credits
The Social Science Topics Courses are designed with focused topics (not wide ranging surveys) and will use the specific topic as a lens through which to introduce students to the disciplinary mode of inquiry.

The Topics Courses feature shared goals (including Quantitative reasoning and Critical Thinking Goals), and clearly designed departmental requirements to ensure that all of the courses within a single grouping are giving students the same skills/methods/workload/ outcomes, while using different content to arrive there. Specific Guidelines for Social Science Area courses, which include both competency and mission goals, ensure consistency among these courses.

All newly developed courses must be rigorous enough to qualify for major credit in order to qualify for entry into the core curriculum. (e.g. they must be able to double as Major electives, introductory courses, or context courses).

Introductory Courses in relevant majors will be cross-listed to fulfill core requirement. (e.g. PSYCH 103, ECON 110). Existing major electives may be approved for Core credit as well, provided that they meet the guidelines assigned to the Core Social Science Area courses.


CATEGORY D: SCIENTIFIC AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (9 credits)
This category consists of three courses: One Natural Science course, One Mathematics course, and one additional course in either science or mathematics. 

D – 1  Natural Science 3 credits
D – 2 Mathematics 3 credits
D – 3 Science/Quantitative Elective 3 credits
D – 1 Natural Science (3 credits)
Students are required to take one Natural Science course. They may either fulfill this requirement through rigorous introductory courses in Biology or Chemistry, or they may take dedicated Natural Science core courses (NSCI).

D – 2 Mathematics (3 credits)
In order to ensure a rigorous standard of Quantitative reasoning, all students are required to take Mathematical Modeling or Calculus I.

D – 3 Science/Quantitative Elective (3 credits)
Students take three additional credits in scientific, and quantitative skills. Courses are drawn from the Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

CATEGORY E: RELIGION AND ETHICS (9 CREDITS)
Three courses are required in this category, for a total of nine credits: An Introduction to Ethics course offered by the Philosophy department and two Religious Studies requirements.

E - 1 Philosophy I: Introduction to Ethics  3 credits
E – 2 Religious Studies I: Introduction 3 credits
E – 3 Religious Studies 2: Topics 3 credits
E – 1 Philosophy I: Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
This course introduces students to philosophy through the exploration of fundamental ethical questions. Among the themes treated in this course are moral obligation, virtue, justice, law, good and evil. Students will learn to read primary texts, to develop reasoning skills, and to explore the nature of the good life.
Prerequisite:  ENGL 110

E – 2 Religious Studies I: Introduction (3 credits)
This Introduction to Religion offers students a fundamental knowledge of religious terms and concepts, providing them the opportunity to explore dimensions of Faith and Belief reflected in the Christian Tradition. They will become familiar with non-Christian traditions, and explore disputed issues in religion from a critical perspective. Students will leave this class with a shared knowledge base with which to enter the Topics Requirement.

E – 3 Religious Studies 2: Topics (3 credits)
This course will deepen and expand the knowledge gained in the introductory course in religious studies, by exposing students to a more focused Religious Studies topic of their choosing. Each semester will include a selection of such courses. Examples of the topics of the courses include Modern Catholic Thinkers, Contemporary Moral Issues, Death as a Fact of Life, or Evil Suffering, and God. 

TOTAL CREDITS: 49

*The Freshman Seminar is an alternate way of fulfilling a major or Core requirement. Thus, the three credits of the Freshman Seminar are not counted in the total credits, but accounted for in the appropriate Core Area.

Please note that courses that may be taken to meet Core Requirements include the designation (C)* in the course title.