2007-08 Academic Catalog
The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum at Concordia
Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World
As an essential part of the liberal arts approach to learning, every candidate for the Bachelor of Arts degree at Concordia is required to take a specific set of courses that comprise the Liberal Arts Curriculum. These courses are designed to provide a solid foundation in written and oral communication skills and to establish a broad background of knowledge through the study of a variety of disciplines. Core courses emphasize the development of analytical and critical thought processes and the ability to recognize and deal constructively with significant problems. Through the Core Curriculum, students develop an appreciation for other peoples and cultures and an ability to respond to change in creative, effective ways. The Core Curriculum’s explicit goal is to prepare our students to be responsibly engaged in the world.
Through active participation in various learning opportunities, Concordia College students will strive to become liberally educated. The Goals for liberal learning describe expectations for student learning in the Core Curriculum. These goals are listed below:
Goal 1: Instill a Love for Learning
• demonstrate an ability to learn independently (seek opportunities to learn)
• challenge their intellectual and creative abilities
• appreciate that learning is a lifelong process
Goal 2: Develop Foundational Skills and Transferable Intellectual Capacities
• express ideas effectively
• think critically
• access and evaluate a variety of sources of information
Goal 3: Develop an Understanding of Disciplinary, Interdisciplinary, and Intercultural Perspectives and Their Connections
• demonstrate proficiency in a discipline
• demonstrate that problem solving involves multiple perspectives and tools
Goal 4: Cultivate an Examined Cultural, Ethical, Physical, and Spiritual Self-Understanding
• understand the influence of a religious worldview
• appreciates the aesthetic dimensions of life
• identify the factors that contribute to self-understanding
Goal 5: Encourage Responsible Participation in the World
• demonstrate ethical commitment by making critical, principled decisions
• Demonstrate intercultural competence
• Apply academic learning to their personal, professional and civic lives
The core curriculum consists of 13.5 courses arranged in the following major groups:
Foundation courses: 4.5 courses / 4.5 course credits
Exploration courses: 8 courses / 8.0 course credits
Perspectives courses: 2 courses / 0 course credit
Capstone course: 1 course / 1.0 course credit
• Inquiry Seminars: (one course) These seminars are designed to introduce students to the world of scholarship through intensive, collaborative investigations of innovative topics. Excitement and challenge characterize these courses as students are invited to be co-inquirers into topics and problems that have impassioned their professors. All first-year students take these seminars during their first semester at Concordia.
Inquiry Seminars are devoted to helping students develop critical thinking skills and fostering a lifelong love of learning. These writing intensive courses emphasize the foundational and transferable skills of data collection, assumption analysis, thesis construction and argument development.
• Inquiry Oral Communication: (one course) In the Oral Communication courses, students will learn to produce and critique messages in public speaking and group settings. These courses will emphasize the oral applications of critical thinking strategies: research techniques, citation methods, information and persuasive message goals, and the roles and functions of group members and leaders.
• Inquiry Written Communication: (one course) With the Written Communication courses, Concordia establishes its writing expectations by emphasizing generative and polished writing as modes of inquiry. These courses also develop transferable skills such as argument development, analysis and response, personal style and writing from sources. These courses are designed to reinforce the critical thinking and information literacy skills introduced in the Inquiry Seminars.
• Religion I: (one course) This course, normally taken during a first-year student’s second semester, focuses on Christianity and religious diversity.
• Wellness and Physical Education: (two courses of 0.25 course credit each) These courses, normally taken in a student’s first year are designed to teach health-related fitness and activity involvement and to encourage a lifelong pattern of physical fitness.
These courses constitute the heart of the Concordia Core Curriculum. They are designed to provide students with the breadth of knowledge and experience that characterize the well-educated liberal arts student. They are also designed to assure that Concordia students are prepared to responsibly influence the affairs of the world. No one part of the Core Curriculum can accomplish these goals individually, but the whole of the Core can do so. Consequently, students are required to take seven courses in the various areas of the Core: Two courses are required in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics — one in natural science and one in mathematics; two courses are required in the Social Sciences; proficiency in an advanced language at the second-semester level; and two courses are required in the Arts and Humanities — one in the arts and one in the humanities. No more than one course from a single department may be taken to satisfy the Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Arts and Humanities, and the Social Sciences. A wide variety of courses are available for students in their pursuit of these requirements.
In addition, an advanced religion course (300 level) is required in the student’s junior or senior year.
Perspectives courses are designed to help students understand the global and increasingly interdependent character of the world. They will help them to see that no position is without a perspective and no policy is without an assumptive base. Students are required to take two courses with Perspectives designation: one with a U.S. Cultural Diversity designation and one with an International and Global designation. As a testimony to Concordia’s global perspective, these courses are to be found in all parts of the Core Curriculum.
Courses used to fulfill core requirements are not eligible for the pass/fail grading option.