John Carroll University’s Academic Planning Task Force recently announced that changes to the core curriculum at the University will be implemented in the fall of 2015. In addition to reducing the number of credit hours in the core curriculum, the core will also be divided into four new sections aimed to more properly prepare students for life outside of the University.
These changes to the core curriculum have been long overdue. For a liberal arts university, it is necessary to emphasize the interdisciplinarity of course subjects. Currently, a large number of core classes address one specific issue, rather than focusing on the bigger picture. For example, students are required to take just one science or mathematics course, such as calculus or chemistry. For non-majors, the course material is largely irrelevant to their overall education. As a result, students often leave the class feeling unfulfilled or with a temporary knowledge that is forgotten within the year. Therefore, students should recognize that this new core curriculum will increase their flexibility with choosing classes, as well as broaden their spectrum of knowledge.
Additionally, the University is framed by the Jesuit mission of being men and women for others. Therefore, changes to Division V of the current core will be beneficial to the student body. For example, by decreasing the number of philosophy courses, the University is able to add a social justice course to the curriculum. This new social justice requirement aligns more directly with the University’s mission. Furthermore, it could also potentially encourage students to partake in more social justice activities outside the classroom.
The changes to the core curriculum will now align with other liberal arts institutions, ensuring a more common ground education. The University’s interest in modernizing its education system is applaudable. Students should view these changes as an opportunity to fully engage in the human experience.