2017 2018 Gannon University Undergraduate Catalog

Page 67


Liberal Studies Core Curriculum The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University’s commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core’s design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program. The Core balances choice and flexibility with breadth of exposure to multiple disciplines as well as interdisciplinary learning; in-depth cross-cultural understanding through service learning and other activities; a rich first-year experience, including participation in a learning community and engaging in LIFECORE events; the opportunity to develop their leadership skills informed by ethical and moral reasoning; and a culminating senior capstone course featuring an experiential dimension. Thus, the Core provides a sense of immediacy and relevancy of their learning to students’ lives. Learning Outcomes Through Gannon’s Liberal Studies core curriculum, students will achieve two overarching goals. First, they will apply to their personal and professional lives Gannon’s core values— respect, service, community, sacramentality, and the dialogue between faith and reason—as expressed in the Gannon University document, On Catholic Identity. Second, they will be engaged learners now and throughout their lives, demonstrating intellectual curiosity and holistic academic skills. In order to meet these goals, students: 1. Synthesize their learning in academic disciplines with their learning outside the classroom and apply the knowledge gained to their personal and professional lives. The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is designed to assist students as they answer the question, “How shall I live my life?” To do so, students should synthesize rather than compartmentalize their learning. The learning in one academic discipline should be connected to their learning in others and their in-class experiences linked to their out-ofclass lives. The LIFECORE Program helps students understand that people are multidimensional by addressing nine areas: spiritual, intellectual, cultural, political, social, emotional, sexual, physical, and life-planning. 2. Read and listen actively and write and speak with clarity, originality, and persuasiveness across a variety of contexts. In order to become more effective communicators, students should strengthen their skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They should identify, find, understand, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources and convey that information to others effectively and responsibly. 3. Reason aesthetically, quantitatively, and scientifically. Students should develop a range of approaches for analysis and evaluation. They should appreciate beauty and develop criteria for making aesthetic judgments both about works traditionally considered “artistic” and about works not traditionally considered “artistic.” They should understand how others quantify information and be able to do so themselves. They should understand and apply scientific approaches used in a variety of disciplines. 4. Demonstrate appreciation for and apply their understanding of diverse religions, cultures, societies, and individuals. Students should go beyond simply recognizing that difference exists and reciting characteristics that distinguish one group or person from another. Instead, they should