John Carroll University’s Core Curriculum in the Liberal Arts deals with the creative, social, religious, philosophical, and scientific developments of past and present cultures and their ideas and human values. These studies impart an appreciation for complexity and the ability to think critically and to write and speak with precision and clarity. The Core Curriculum helps students to make informed, free choices of personal values to confront a changing world. Because not all courses serve the purposes for which the Core Curriculum in the Liberal Arts exists, the faculty has approved the following guidelines for evaluating Core courses.
Principles Required for Core Courses:
- Core courses are designed to open the mind, broaden awareness, and widen horizons rather than to prepare for specific careers. They cultivate the intellect, stimulate the imagination, and develop general mental skills rather than vocational skills. In the long run, such general skills constitute the best preparation for any career.
- Core courses should stress critical thinking, problem-solving, and oral/written expression.
- Core courses should encourage active learning.
- Core courses should introduce students to the traditions and the common body of knowledge and/or the glossary of a discipline.
- Core courses should introduce students to how an individual discipline employs various methodologies through which knowledge is generated.
- Core courses should contain sufficient interdisciplinary aspects to build bridges to other disciplines. Core courses should emphasize connections to other disciplines and should be taught so as to reflect other disciplines that constitute the Core.
- Core courses are designed for nonspecialists and are suitable for non-majors, but each is planned in such a way as to introduce material of fundamental and lasting significance. In this sense Core courses are foundation studies.
- Core courses at the introductory level should be designed for first-year and sophomore students, although juniors and seniors will often be enrolled.
- Introductory courses in major sequences may serve as Core courses only if they are also suitable for non-majors.
- Core courses that are beyond a discipline’s introductory offering should build upon concepts and methods conveyed in an introductory course.
- Core courses are not tools to proselytize majors into a discipline, but should introduce concepts and methods of a discipline that may attract students to that major.
- All sections of Core courses should be pedagogically rigorous as reflected by syllabi, assignments, examinations, and other requirements.
- Core courses should help students to become aware of their own values and to develop a reflective view of life.
Where appropriate Core courses should:
- introduce the ethics of a discipline
- address the state-of-the-art technology in a discipline (e.g., computer applications)
- encourage the collaborative process of learning (students and teacher, students and peers)
- create an awareness among students of the current issues in a discipline
- broaden students’ perspectives through attention to global concerns and to such issues as diversity and gender, environmental responsibility, and social justice.
Addition to Core Requirements
The speech communication requirement is satisfied by CO 100 (CO 100H for Honors Program students). [CO 100 will be taught in individual sections integrating theory and practice.] This requirement may also be satisfied through an examination administered by the Department of Communications for those students who have completed at least one year of high school speech.
The level of placement for English composition is determined on the basis of individual needs as indicated by test scores submitted at the time of admission, and writing samples completed during the orientation for first-year students.
The foreign language requirement is satisfied by two courses in the same language. Students may begin a new language, or continue a language at their level of competence, as determined by the placement examinations administered during the orientation for first-year students. Foreign nationals whose native language is not English are exempt from the foreign language requirement.
Nontraditional students may satisfy the foreign language requirement by an alternative method approved by the chairperson of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures, the Director of the UCCLA, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Nontraditional students are defined as part-time students, evening students, and students who began or returned to college after an absence of five years from formal education.
The literature requirement is satisfied by taking a course from either the Department of English or the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures. The chosen course will be one in which literature is studied as an aspect of a culture, an historical period or a genre.
History courses are those designated by HS or AH and determined by the UCC to have satisfied the criteria for Core courses.
These requirements may be satisfied by taking any two courses from two different departments designated EC, PO, or SC, and determined by the UCC to have satisfied the criteria for Core courses.
The UCC will determine which courses designated BL, CH, CS, MT, PH, or PS have satisfied the criteria for Core courses.
In addition, a laboratory science course in BL, CH, PH, or a laboratory science course which integrates these three disciplines, must provide students with the following:
- A minimum of a two-hour per week laboratory period connected with the course.
- Opportunities for frequent, active participation in applying the scientific method.
- Demonstrations as a natural part of the lecture and, where appropriate, of the laboratory.
Course requirements must include written laboratory reports. Laboratory reports should contain tabular and graphical representations of data in order to discover relationships and use appropriate mathematical language to state those relationships.
In both Philosophy and Religious Studies the introductory course should introduce students to those disciplines in a manner that ensures a common basis of knowledge among the students for courses that will follow the introductions to the disciplines.
The two additional courses in Philosophy should be designed to follow organically from the introductory course to make a logical sequence from beginning to end. Similarly, the second course in Religious Studies should also follow organically from the introductory course.
Courses that satisfy both the introductory courses and the sequenced courses will be those as determined by the UCC to have satisfied the criteria for Core courses.