The academic mission of the College is intimately connected with its Core Curriculum. The courses in the Core Curriculum treat a broad range of disciplines from a variety of approaches; at the same time, the Core strives to ensure depth of study and intellectual sophistication while recognizing that learning implies different modes of inquiry. The goals of the Core are to:
- Achieve a synthesis of knowledge that provides a basis for informed judgment, not simply “fact finding.” This includes learning to think and process information in a critical manner.
- Promote literacy as a foundation for intelligent discourse and the articulation of informed views. This goal acknowledges that literacy spans all disciplines, and undergraduates should demonstrate an ability to understand and utilize a wide variety of information (e.g., scientific, quantitative, cross-cultural, etc.) to articulate said views.
- Define culture in a broad sense, educating students to understand and to appreciate the interrelated patterns of customary beliefs and practices, social forms, aesthetics, and material traits that act to define a culture and its position within a larger historical and intellectual framework. Students should develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures and experiences as well as the development of a multicultural and international perspective.
- Acknowledge that our world is vibrant and continuously redefined, not simply a static version of the past. Thus, we challenge students to understand that the present is recognizably formed from past influences. In order to assess the present and arrive at a view of its future, students must be educated to scrutinize and bring into perspective the relationship of the present day with that of the past.
- Prepare students to become active and responsible participants within society, developing an understanding of ethical responsibilities and valuing communal responsibilities.
- Encourage personal development in preparing students to regard themselves as citizens living in society, who have respect for the individual as well as the feeling of belonging to a world community.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is committed to sustaining, improving, and monitoring the effectiveness of our academic programs, guided by a comprehensive assessment plan focused on student learning outcomes. Each academic department has developed their own assessment plan for evaluating your learning experience. Please see your department/program chair or contact Dr. Seth Matthew Fishman (Office of the Dean, SAC 105) for more information. For more information on learning outcomes assessment, please visit this site.