Frequently Asked Questions - Core Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions - Core Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a liberal education?

A: The term “liberal education” refers to a pluralistic approach to learning, one that prioritizes the enduring touchstones of human knowledge thus prompting students to critically apply traditions of education to the present. The broad span of topics is meant to offer diverse perspectives that can cultivate the habits of mind. Liberally educated individuals draw connections, are open-minded, discerning, and reflective, among other important qualities.

Q: What is the purpose of the General Education Core?

A: Core is a sequence of required or recommended introductory courses designed to ensure a breadth and depth of knowledge for all students. The Core at UC can be thought of as a shared experience brought to life by the accessibly collaborative nature we are known for. It is a way for students to discover new horizons; courses are engaging and often appreciated even more in retrospect.

Q: How does the Core factor into my plan of study?

A: The Core program comprises 31-55 credit hours, with the majority usually completed during the freshman and sophomore years. Your academic adviser can help you find a balance of General Education Core and major-specific courses that is right for you.

Q: How large are the classes?

A: Typical class size at Utica College is 20 students.

Q: Who teaches core classes?

A: General Education Core classes are taught by accomplished faculty members who are passionate about their fields and for whom teaching is the top priority.

Q: How can I transfer credits from another institution to fulfill Core?

A: This depends on your specific circumstances. Please visit the transfer credit page for more information.

Q: What are Writing Intensive courses?

A: Writing Intensive (WI) courses are those specifically designed to refine students' writing skills in a focused, meaningful way. WI courses provide several opportunities for formal and informal writing without being restricted by department. Students must complete two WI courses after they have completed 27 credit hours in order to meet the Integrated Writing Component of the Core.

Q: How can I satisfy the foreign language requirement of Core?

A: Completion of the 101 and 102 levels of a language are required. language skills are increasingly relevant and can inspire new ways to thinking. For more information, including info about placement testing, visit the Foreign Language FAQ.

Q: Can I be exempted from the Quantitative Reasoning component?

A: Students who achieve a score of 70 or above on the Math Placement Test are exempt from 3 credits in Goal IV: Quantitative Reasoning. Exempted students may not take MAT 104 or MAT 151 for credit.

For more information about the Quantitative Reasoning component and the math placement exam, please see this message from Professor Ralph Craig, Director of the Math and Science Center.

Q: How does a particular course benefit me if it doesn’t obviously relate to my major?

A: Exposure to many subjects and styles of learning helps all students, no matter their major, make meaningful connections between classes that seem to be unrelated on the surface. Valuable insights and connections that you may have never thought of often come as a surprise because of information gathered in a Core course; that is one of the great things about the college experience. Every course within the Core was carefully chosen to enhance the experiences of students of any major. UC is committed to making sure our graduates have knowledge around all aspects of their lives and have the skills that will help them continue to grow and learn beyond graduation.

Q: How will Core courses help with my chosen career?

A: With any career comes a variety of challenges that people are not specifically trained to face as part of their major preparation program; it becomes part of the continued education once a college graduate gets a job. A general education, like the one a liberal education will provide you, strengthens the foundation of your basic communication and analytic skills that will prove to be the cause of a student’s success in most any occupation. The Core at Utica College prepares graduates for a future of lifelong learning no matter where life takes you in your career.

Q: Is Core important to employers?

A: Employers, overwhelmingly, view this approach to college education as an essential part of preparing their future employees. They say that the professional training in major courses alone is not enough. Companies want to hire employees that have more than just knowledge in the field, but also the skills to interact with a diverse group of people, and come up with creative and efficient solutions to unexpected problems. Visit the Association of American Colleges and Universities site to read more about what employers have to say.

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Terri L. Provost, Ph.D.

Terri L. Provost, Ph.D.

Director of Core

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