New academic core offers enhanced study options

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:25:00 PM

Cardinal Stritch University is launching an enhanced academic liberal arts CORE  (general education) curriculum that provides new academic options to students and more quickly leads to the completion of a 120-credit bachelor’s degree.  

The new CORE is geared to meet the general education requirements of all bachelor’s students at the University -- bachelor of science and bachelor of arts -- regardless of study format. 

A task force was convened in fall 2012 to reconstitute the University’s mission, goals, and learning outcomes for the core curriculum. The new CORE is infused with Stritch’s Franciscan values.

“The requirements are much more succinct and common across programs, although they still maintain the overall integrity of the liberal arts education,” said Dr. Dan Scholz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and leader of the task force that created the new CORE.

The goals of the new CORE, which is comprised of 33 credits, emphasize cultivating  intellectual and practical skills (9 credits), demonstrating personal and social responsibility (6 credits), and acquiring knowledge (18 credits).

Within this framework, students will be able to choose a greater range of classes in such areas as oral and written communication, mathematics, ethics, philosophy, science, history, literature, economics, music, psychology, and other disciplines. The new CORE  will be in place for students who enroll in the fall of 2014.

In addition, bachelor of arts students are required to complete an interdisciplinary CORE certificate through an additional 12 credits of coursework. 

Bachelor of arts students who began their study at Stritch in 2013 may choose one of the following certificates, each of which is 12 credits (4 courses).  

  • Arts and Cultural Awareness: Engaging in the study of art, dance, language, linguistics, theater, and writing, students will immerse themselves in a landscape of intercultural experiences, leading to an enhanced awareness of cultural diversity.
  • Digital Citizenship: This certificate focuses on the creation of a caring community in the digital age, through an exploration of universal digital access, literacy, rights, security, and etiquette.
  • Diversity Studies: This certificate explores the Franciscan value of reverencing creation by providing opportunities to appreciate and respect diversity in its varied forms.
  • Energy and Sustainability: The certificate enhances understanding of the Franciscan value of reverencing all of Creation through an exploration of the scientific, economic, political, and ethical/religious dimensions of the environmental challenges facing the local and global communities.
  • Inter-America Studies: The certificate helps students to understand the Americas and advance peacemaking between individuals, communities, and nations. The classes explore the music, culture, history, contemporary issues and business climate of many cultures and nations.
  • Interfaith Studies: The certificate explores the Franciscan value of showing compassion by developing deeper understanding and analysis of the unique contribution that global and local faith traditions and spiritualities have made to society, especially through music, literature and film, history and theology.
  • Health and Wellness: This certificate explores the Franciscan value of creating a caring community by developing an understanding and appreciation of the physical, psychological, aesthetic, and scientific dimensions of mental and physical well being of individuals and communities.
  • Peace and Justice Studies: This certificate explores issues of peacemaking through the lens of social justice and social change. Students will examine the dynamics of peace and justice from the interpersonal to the international.

A minor can be earned in each area with the completion of 18 credits (6 courses) in one of the areas mentioned above. Any student in bachelor’s traditional undergraduate programs have the opportunity to complete a certificate, if interested.

Scholz is enthusiastic about the learning options that the new CORE extends to students.

“Students will have a remarkable range of study options,” he said. “They are going to find that it’s a lot more flexible, and it truly represents a 21st century curriculum.”

Students with questions about the CORE should contact their academic advisor.