Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Core Curriculum -- Belmont Abbey College, NC

Pope Center

This semester, first-year students at Belmont Abbey College are being introduced to an exciting new core curriculum.
What’s new about it? Essentially nothing.
The required courses that comprise the new core curriculum (constituting 50 to 53 of the 120 hours needed to graduate) are the following:
  • First-Year Symposium
  • Rhetoric I & II
  • Introduction to Scripture
  • Introduction to Theology
  • Classic Texts in Political Philosophy I & II
  • Western Civilization I & II
  • Literary Classics of the Western Tradition I & II
  • The U. S. Constitution
  • Mathematics
  • Two science courses with labs
  • An introductory course in psychology, sociology, or economics
  • Fine Arts
 I like it. The symposium doesn't seem necessary to me, but it might help boost retention and get students aligned with the school's core values. (Not many schools put an emphasis on promoting Virtue. Good for them.) I think a one semester World Religions course could substitute for the year of Scripture and Theology, but it is a Catholic college. Cool idea to have a whole course on the Constitution, from Federalist Papers to recent SCOTUS decisions. The Mathematics course depends on your major:

B. Quantitative Thinking, 3 credits
One of the following, appropriate to the student’s major:
Mathematics 135 Mathematics for Liberal Arts
Mathematics 151 College Algebra
Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus
Any 200-level Mathematics course
Any Statistics course
Any Calculus course

The updated, full version of the Core Curriculum is here.

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