Insider's View: University Core Curriculum

Lauren Eison, women’s studies major, psychology minor

"Because I'm interested in so many different things, the University Core Curriculum was a great way for me to learn a little about a lot of disciplines. The core is set up so you can try out classes in areas that are interesting to you.

"Sure, there are classes you have to take, like the English composition classes and a math class, but those classes serve a purpose. You have to know how to do certain things to survive in college—like how to write well. And even if one person might not love math, someone else might take that class and find a new passion for it. I never did very well in math in high school, but I did at Ball State, so for me, it was an ego boost.

"The core asks you to take classes outside your comfort zone, to try something new. That's what college is about—learning and growing and maybe going down a path you haven't gone down before. The core exposes you to all kinds of subjects, different professors, and areas of study you might never have considered.

"The best thing about the core is the professors who teach in it. I think that's why enjoyed my classes so much. The professors know that, for the most part, the students taking core courses aren't going to be in the major, so they work hard to make the classes as understandable and enjoyable as they can. That enthusiasm makes the subjects more interesting and the classes a lot more fun."

admissionstest0105Melinda Messineo, associate professor of sociology

"One of the reasons I enjoy teaching in the University Core Curriculum program at Ball State is because of the personal impact a similar program had on my own life as a freshman at another academic institution. I would never have found sociology—my life's passion—if it had not been part of my core course work as an undergraduate. That experience changed my life. I feel so fortunate to now have the opportunity to possibly touch students' lives in a similar way by teaching in Ball State's Core Curriculum program.

"Teaching in the core also provides me with an opportunity to reach a broader range of students and use the diversity of the classroom to more effectively present the concepts of sociology. Similarly, it gives students a chance to spend time with students with a variety of interests, talents, and perspectives. This exposure helps students further clarify their own personal values while developing sensitivity to the values of others.

"The core gives students an opportunity to explore the many interrelated facets of the university. It gives them a chance to see connections and develop solutions to problems with an interdisciplinary mindset.

"I see the core as the foundation of a liberal arts education. The skills necessary for many occupations can be obtained in other settings, but it is through the foundational education received through the University Core Curriculum that well-informed citizens are created with the skills necessary for lifelong learning. You can get a job with less, but our future requires that our students be equipped with more. This is what the core offers."

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