New models for Core proposed, under review

By: Rich Meyers ~Staff Writer~

New models for Xavier’s Core Curriculum have been distributed to faculty for review. The review has been going on since fall 2010 and led by the Pilot Core Curriculum Committee.

Throughout the process, the committee has held many forums and created several surveys in order to gauge the opinions of students and faculty members in relation to the currently implemented Core.

The goal is to maintain Xavier’s commitment to Jesuit values and identity as a Jesuit university.

The Pilot Core Curriculum Committee has now proposed six different models for the new Core. The revision is to be voted on and completed by April 12, 2014 when the models will be voted on by the entire Xavier faculty.

The hope is that the new Core will be in place starting fall 2015. The changes proposed in the six options are outlined below.


ption 1

• Core stays the same


ption 2: “Common Ground”

• Reduced number of Core classes required by about 20 hours

• Offers more flexibility to add minors and second majors

• Reduced required number of math, natural science, social science and history hours

• Three fine arts credits are still required but are expanded to include creative writing and poetry classes

• Requires students to take classes dedicated to developing writing, oral communication and quantitative skills

• Diversity requirement remains the same

• Offers option to take either Philosophy or Theology 300s, but lower-level classes remain the same


ption 3: “Xavier Way Core”

• Added “J. Term” of three- or four-week term where students take one intensive class

• First-year students will be required to take a class with a “significant problem” theme (e.g. happiness, sustainability, etc.)

• In the “J. Term,” first-year students will take a class on Jesuit values

• Added applied ethics and applied theology courses

• Reduced natural science, math and social science courses

• History classes are reduced and theme-based (e.g. war or agriculture instead of by geographical region)

• Three fine arts credits are still required but are expanded to include creative writing and poetry classes

• Diversity requirement remains the same

• Added writing and oral communication requirements


ption 4: “The Greater Good”

• First-year seminar on “the greater good”

• Manresa extends throughout the four years for a four-day program before each fall or spring term for spiritual reflection

• Reduced number of natural science and social science courses

• Added three hours of second language requirements

• Introduces elements of “Historical Perspectives”

• Added “Contemporary Issues” course which would build on the themes introduced during Manresa

• Core Capstone course in which students from each class will choose a topic during their junior year with faculty assistance (for example, all seniors would work on the topic of sustainability or hunger) and the solutions would be presented at a symposium with the best solutions publicized


ption 5: “Many Paths”

• Offers students the opportunity to explore concentrations outside their major in depth

• Sophomore students will take a seminar concerning significant world problems

• An experiential learning is required (e.g. study abroad, student-teaching, etc.)

• Math requirement is selected departmentally but at least three hours required

• Choose class from Theology 200s or 300s

• Choose a pathway where each pathway is a three-course track:

• Global Perspectives: take classes on world history, world religions, arts or foreign language

• People and Society: take classes on economics, political science, sociology or psychology

• The Natural World: take classes on biology, chemistry or physics

• Added Capstone course on justice where students will study the roots of injustice with emphasis on different aspects as chosen by each professor

• Added writing and oral communication elements

• Required co-curricular workshop on personal finance

• Optional workshop on topics ranging from time management to resume writing


ption 6: “Transdisciplinary”

• Required “First-Year Experience” class where each college will offer classes concerning different topics loosely related to majors (e.g. “Small Business in the Community” or “Peace in a Conflicted World”).

• Reduced math, natural science and social science

• Reduced theology and philosophy requirements

• Classes on diversity, human wellness, solidarity and service: root causes of injustice required

• Final Capstone course called “Men and Women for Others” in which students reflect on the theme they chose in their concentration and what they have learned throughout the four years