Academic Goals

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Prepare students to become active and responsible participants within society, developing an understanding of ethical responsibilities and valuing communal responsibilities.
  6. 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