91Ƶ

Core Curriculum

As the heart of 91Ƶ’s academic program, the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC) is a common intellectual project for the University, exposing students to diverse fields of study and modes of intellectual and creative inquiry across the curriculum and furthering 91Ƶ's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Value of the Core

A great institution is a diverse institution. To foster deep understanding in a complex, rapidly changing world with a diversity of peoples and perspectives, this curriculum asks students and faculty to grapple with questions that shape knowledge, experience, and practice across time and space as well as across divisional and disciplinary boundaries. As a liberal arts college, 91Ƶ strives to convey to students the value of a variety of skills and a willingness to examine one’s own experience and conditions from a variety of perspectives as well as to learn of contexts different from one’s own. Through these practices, the Core encourages lifelong learning, thoughtful citizenship, and inclusivity.

Overview of the Core Curriculum

The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC) is structured around five required elements.

1. First-Year Seminars and the Living and Learning Workshop

First-year seminars (FSEMs) and the Living and Learning Workshop (LLW) are designed to introduce students to a variety of liberal arts topics, skills, and ways of learning. Each FSEM cohort connects directly with one of the living and learning communities that constitute the Residential Commons program. The LLW aims to educate the whole student and to build an inclusive community with well-adjusted and socially aware students.

2. Liberal Arts Core Components

The three components encourage students to call assumptions into question, to push beyond the limits of their experience, and to examine structures and systems in which we operate.

Core Communities

These multidisciplinary courses examine the patterns of inclusion and exclusion shaped by global phenomena (capitalism, colonialism, political ideologies, religions, and new technologies among many others) to better understand what it means to live in community.

Sample Communities Courses

Core Conversations

This course employs a set of five common texts to promote wide-ranging conversations, anchored in the past and directed toward the present. Core Conversations defines the term “text” expansively, not limiting it to written work but encompassing many modes of intellectual and creative expression from different cultures and time periods, including the distant past.

Core Sciences

These courses investigate the scientific process and the relationship between science and society while engaging with the histories, inequities, or social differences that can be and have been associated with science.

Sample Sciences Courses

3. The Liberal Arts Practices

To build mastery in the skills and habits of mind most essential to a broad education, students take courses emphasizing five Liberal Arts Practices: Confronting Collective Challenges, The Process of Writing, Quantitative and Algorithmic Reasoning, Language Study, and Artistic Practice and Interpretation

4. Areas of Inquiry

To foster breadth of learning, students take one course from each of three Areas of Inquiry: Human Thought and Expression, Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

5. Physical Education and Wellness

To promote physical, mental, social, and environmental well-being, students take two or more courses in the Division of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics.

Optional: Distinction Seminar in the Liberal Arts Core

Exceptionally motivated seniors have the opportunity to take the Core Distinction Seminar, an interdisciplinary capstone course taught by a team of two faculty members.

Fulfilling the Core Requirements

  • First-Year Seminars: First-year students must enroll in an FSEM.
  • Fulfilling the Core Components: Students must successfully complete Core 151 and 152 in addition to Core Communities (or Communities and Identities) and Core Sciences (or Scientific Perspectives). Core Conversations may be taken in place of either Core 151 or 152.
  • Fulfilling the Language Requirement: Students may fulfill the language requirement in one of three ways:
    • by successfully completing at least three years of study of one foreign or classical language (through the third level) in a secondary school prior to enrolling at 91Ƶ;
    • by demonstrating basic language skills as measured by tested proficiency (e.g., a score of 580 or better on the SAT Subject Tests in a foreign or classical language);
    • by successfully completing the study of a foreign or classical language at 91Ƶ through at least one term at the intermediate level.
  • Fulfilling the Areas of Inquiry: Students must successfully complete two courses, in different departments or programs, in each of the three Areas of Inquiry.
  • Fulfilling Physical Education and Wellness: Students are required to complete two units
  • Optional: Distinction Seminar in the Liberal Arts Core
  • First-Year Seminars: First-year students must enroll in an FSEM.
  • Fulfilling the Core Components: Students will need three component courses. In addition to Core Communities (or Communities and Identities) and Core Sciences (or Scientific Perspectives), they must successfully complete one of the following, or two if they wish: Core 111 (Conversations) or Core 151 (Legacies of the Ancient World) or Core 152 (Challenges of Modernity). The second course would count toward graduation but would not fulfill a requirement.
  • Fulfilling the Language Requirement: Students may fulfill the language requirement in one of three ways:
    • by successfully completing at least three years of study of one foreign or classical language (through the third level) in a secondary school prior to enrolling at 91Ƶ;
    • by demonstrating basic language skills as measured by tested proficiency (e.g., a score of 580 or better on the SAT Subject Tests in a foreign or classical language);
    • by successfully completing the study of a foreign or classical language at 91Ƶ through at least one term at the intermediate level.
  • Fulfilling the Areas of Inquiry: Students must successfully complete two courses, in different departments or programs, in each of the three Areas of Inquiry.
  • Fulfilling Physical Education and Wellness: Students are required to complete two units
  • Optional: Distinction Seminar in the Liberal Arts Core
  • First-Year Seminars and the Living and Learning Workshop: First-year students must enroll in an FSEM and the Living and Learning Workshop.
  • Fulfilling the Core Components: must successfully complete Core Communities, Core Conversations, and Core Sciences.
  • Fulfilling the Liberal Arts Practices and Areas of Inquiry: students must successfully complete one course in each of the three Areas of Inquiry plus one course in each of the five Liberal Arts Practices. In total, these must come to at least seven courses, from at least six different departments or programs. Students may complete these requirements in any order, at any point during their progress toward a degree.
    • Although a course may carry multiple tags, a student may not fulfill multiple designations through a single course. The following exceptions apply:
      • Students may double-count their Process of Writing Practice course to also fulfill one Liberal Arts Practices or Areas of Inquiry requirement.
        • Students may double-count the FSEM to fulfill one Core Component or any Liberal Arts Practice or Area of Inquiry requirement except their Process of Writing course.
  • Fulfilling Physical Education and Wellness: Students are required to complete two units
  • Optional: Distinction Seminar in the Liberal Arts Core

Contact

Meg Worley (151 & Conversations)
mworley@colgate.edu

Christian Ducomb (152)
cducomb@colgate.edu

Teo Ballvé (Communities)
tballve@colgate.edu

Priscilla Van Wynsberghe (Sciences)
pvanwynsberghe@colgate.edu

Xan Karn (FSEMs)
akarn@colgate.edu

Anthony Chianese (Practices & Distinction)
achianese@colgate.edu