John Carroll’s Integrative Core Curriculum provides the foundation and the structure upon which all students build the major focus of their university studies. The courses that make up the Core Curriculum are informed by nine academic learning goals, which are rooted in the fundamental Jesuit heritage of the University and the particular history of John Carroll. These learning goals are value statements about what the University deems essential for each student’s educational experience. They highlight key aspirations the JCU faculty and administration have for our students: We expect graduates of John Carroll University will be able to:
- Demonstrate an integrative knowledge of human and natural worlds;
- Develop habits of critical analysis and aesthetic appreciation;
- Apply creative and innovative thinking;
- Communicate skillfully in multiple forms of expression;
- Act competently in a global and diverse world;
- Understand and promote social justice;
- Apply a framework for examining ethical dilemmas;
- Employ leadership and collaborative skills;
- Understand the religious dimensions of human experience.
The Core Curriculum intentionally ensures that these nine academic learning goals are met—not superficially, but in multiple places and times throughout the student’s undergraduate years so that the skills, knowledge, competencies, and values they seek to instill are re-iterated, deepened, and actualized.
- Core Requirements: Overview
- Additional Requirements for the Major
- FAQs for the Integrative Core Curriculum
The principles underlying the Core Curriculum are the following:
- The Core highlights foundational competencies in writing, oral expression, and quantitative analysis, and ensures that these competencies are re-iterated and refined in subsequent courses both in the Core and in major requirements.
- The Core includes integrated coursework that combines more than one content area and requires students to hone critical thinking and problem-solving skills that cross disciplines. Integrated courses—on issues significant to the global community, the natural world, and the human experience—create communities of shared inquiry and foreground the responsibility our students have as global citizens, entrusted stewards of the earth, and creators of just societies. The integrated coursework prepares students to participate, as leaders, in a world marked by increasing complexity, greater collaboration and interdependency, and intra-professionalism.
- The Core develops students’ intercultural competence through its focus on global studies and languages: students demonstrate competency in a language other than English. The Core also emphasizes human diversity with courses devoted to issues in social justice.
- The Core underscores essential principles of Ignatian pedagogy by valuing the rich history of Jesuit education with its emphasis on currency, relevance, communication skills, care for the learning of each student, discernment, and justice. The Core also highlights disciplines traditionally part of the Jesuit heritage in higher education with courses in Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies, and the creative and performing arts. Courses on issues in social justice also consider important questions about justice and ethics.
In sum, the Core Curriculum asks students to be engaged learners who bring new knowledge into being through their study and collaboration and who do so with the realization that all knowledge has the capacity to raise ethical questions, and that the questions they raise and answer are meaningful and liberating.