By Samantha Hilyer
Saint Vincent students have been writing essays, taking exams and completing final projects in preparation for the days before winter break. However, some of the classes in which they have been working hard to fulfill the demanding and credit-heavy core curriculum, will not be required for future students at SVC.
The official proposal for the revised core curriculum was posted on the Saint Vincent Portal recently with only six objectives and 45-48 credits necessary to fulfill core. The six objectives focus around three central themes of “listening, learning, and loving,” and each objective incorporates a different aspect of a Benedictine liberal arts education, with an emphasis on historical, cultural, political and global awareness.
While some requirements, like foreign language courses, appear to have been cut back to minimize the number of credits in the necessary core, those courses are still available to students who wish to pursue the optional “Liberal Arts Scholar Program.” Students can accomplish being “Scholars of the Liberal Arts” by showing competence in a foreign language at an intermediate level and taking electives from several different departments that go beyond the core curriculum requirements.
At the same time, three new seminars, worth three credits each, have been added for students to complete before graduation. The structure of the revised core curriculum is set up as a three-tiered program to focus not only on the three main objective themes of “listening, learning, and loving,” but also serve to give students an introduction, reinforcement and mastery of certain skills.
After the usual first-year seminar, introductory tier, focuses on “listening.” This tier goes over all six student learning objectives, the core, and the definition of a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts education.
The second tier, serving as reinforcement, focuses on “learning,” and is specifically to be taken either during the sophomore or junior year. The goal of this seminar is to have students reflect on the material they are learning.
The last tier, which demonstrates the students’ mastery, is focused on “loving.” There is a mandatory service-learning component to the seminar and students are to reflect on all of the student learning objectives.
Each of the seminars also has a more intense writing component, culminating during the final seminar, in a portfolio of student work.
According to the new proposal, “A constant in our surveys of faculty, administrators, and alumni was the importance of developing good writing skills and our need to improve our current offerings accordingly.”
The new revised core curriculum will not affect current students enrolled at Saint Vincent College, but future students can expect a more streamlined core in terms of credits and different seminars that focus not only on the student learning objectives but emphasize the skill of writing as well.
More information about the current proposal for the revised core curriculum can be found on the MySV portal.