Through common curricular requirements, our students engage intellectually, integrate knowledge and essential skills, expand their curiosities, and embrace learning and service as lifelong commitments.
Over their four undergraduate years, students encounter topics that arise from the arts, humanities, sciences, and religion; develop thoughtful responses to ethical questions; and seek to understand their political and social responsibilities as citizens in an interconnected world.
The Core Curriculum
The Core Curriculum includes the courses that each student takes as a foundation for and enhancement to a disciplinary curriculum. The full requirements of the Core Curriculum are listed under The Academic Program section in the Academic Catalog. The following are the core courses required of each student.
The core courses integrate knowledge drawn from the disciplines to create a meld of thinking, learning, and knowledge. They serve as models for study in the disciplines and lifelong learning after college.
The courses emphasize, in different degrees:
- proficiency in writing,
- critical thinking,
- and ethical reasoning.
CORE 100: Self (Three semester hours)
In the first-semester CORE experience, students develop a foundation for critical and humane inquiry, consider the application of skills in academic and professional settings, and learn how to take responsibility for their learning. Each seminar focuses on one topic, idea, problem, or concept to introduce a liberal arts education.
Students explore such questions as:
- Who am I, and what is my responsibility to myself?
- Where do I find reliable information as a student and citizen?
- What do I need to be successful in college and beyond?
As the first experience, students complete a collaborative project to be presented at the Library Showcase event at the end of each Fall semester.
Topics offered in 2021-2022:
- Activism and the Arts: Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts and the Vital Work of Social Change
- Adventure in Place Identity & The Stories We Tell
- Christianity in America: An Exploration
- Energy and Sustainability
- Exploring Appalachian Civic Identity (Honors)
- Food and Place
- Fooled by Randomness: Risk, Uncertainty, Identity, and Perception
- Health Homeostasis: The art and science of healthcare
- Knowing Places, Knowing Ourselves
- The Ethics of Westeros: Morality and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones
- Mind Control: How Language Shapes Reality
- Our Dystopian Future
- Reel to Real: The Portrayal of Stereotypes in TV and Film
- Sport, Physical Culture, Physical Literacy, and Identity
- A Starbucks Society
- Useful Stories and Useful Questions for Useful Lives
- What is College? Interrogating an Institution
View more detailed course descriptions
CORE 103: Lifetime Wellness (One semester hour)
Understanding of wellness and related behavior that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
CORE 200: Society (Three semester hours/Sophomore status required)
In the middle CORE experience, students engage with questions of difference, diversity, and their responsibilities to and within local and national communities.
Through the critical exploration of cultural and material structures of power, ethical considerations, and the related concepts of egalitarianism, multiculturalism, and sustainability, students consider their role in caring for their immediate human and natural environments by addressing such questions as:
- What is my responsibility to those around me, and how do I seek out ways to create a more equitable and sustainable society?
- How do I engage with diverse perspectives, distinguish between publication types and their usage, and understand my own relationship to power?
- What are my own success and failures to this point, and how do I learn from them to succeed in my final two years of college?
CORE 300: World (Junior status required/Three semester hours)
In the final CORE experience, students contemplate their responsibility to themselves and others as part of the global community. Through an in-depth study of international and transnational institutions, policies, cultural practices, and ethical considerations, students study contemporary and historical moments of global interconnectedness from interdisciplinary perspectives.
Through engagement with, and in some cases the practice of, global citizenship, students reconsider their role in caring for others and the natural environment, addressing such questions as:
- What is my responsibility to those whom I may never meet?
- What are scholarly sources of information about the world and what issues of information sharing do we face?
- How has my liberal arts education prepared me for my final year of college and beyond?