In keeping with the recursive nature of learning transformations and the goals stated in the Preamble and the Goals and Objectives, the core curriculum is designed to enable students to

  • realize their intellectual potential,
  • add breadth and depth to their educational experience,
  • increase their personal well-being, and
  • participate actively in their communities.  

Moreover, the University recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students are conversant with ways of knowing, with criteria for judgment, and with types of information outside their majors. To succeed in the 21st Century, where work often requires a group effort by experts from multiple disciplines, university graduates will need to form, lead, or be members of problem-solving, brainstorming, or decision-making teams in a wide variety of professional settings. Thus the core curriculum requires students to engage disciplines outside the domains of knowledge in which their majors reside, to develop skills in written and oral communication, to become mathematically, scientifically, and historically literate, and to understand issues in the areas of physical wellness and personal finance. Any forward-looking curriculum must also address the mounting issues, problems, and opportunities in the areas of civic engagement, diversity, and international and environmental awareness.  

The UCC has six distinguishing features:

  • Intellectual development: As indicated in the Preamble and Goals and Objectives, UCC courses must have intellectual development goals, not simply content area requirements.
  • Exposure to multiple domains: The UCC ensures that students will be able to distinguish among domains of knowledge based on their specific epistemologies and methods, as well as on the basis of content.
  • Integration of 21st Century skills: In addition to developing writing skills beyond those of the required course in English composition, the UCC asks students to engage issues related to civic life, diverse cultures, and the environment, not in separate courses for each of these areas, but in courses that address one or more of these areas either inside or outside the major, inside or outside the UCC.
  • Integration of Core courses and the major: The UCC allows course work in the major to count for as many as six hours in the Core as long as the courses in the major meet learning transformation requirements.
  • Experiential/immersion experience or similar learning experience: The UCC envisions that students will demonstrate the ability to work successfully in the major (and related areas, as appropriate) through experiences that are cumulative and integrative, that include individual or collaborative reflective components, and that provide an opportunity to communicate, both orally and in writing, at a level expected of a college graduate.
  • Learning outcomes: The UCC encourages participation by any department in the university because the acceptability of courses for the core depends on learning outcomes, as well as course content.