Renewed Core Course Goals

Course Characteristics

Faculty should consider the Course Characteristics below as they formulate their proposals.

Complex Problems Courses Enduring Questions Courses
Examine an issue of contemporary urgency and global significance. Ask students to reflect upon issues and values related to fundamental concerns of human life.
Consider its historical context, various interpretations, and attempted solutions in a rigorous way. Introduce students to influential thinkers, writers, or artists who have wrestled with the questions across discipline, time, and space.
Address global connections, differences, or comparisons; consider ethical implications and issues of justice. Introduce the methods your discipline uses to approach a question, text, or object cultivating analytical and creative thinking.
Develop an attached lab that provides hands- on problem-solving activities for students involving multiple media. Engage in a dialogue with the methods of the disciplinary approach of the other instructor.
Introduce students to various disciplinary approaches to the problem, and to the ways in which they might intersect, cultivating appropriate analytical and creative skills. Offer some common readings or assignments across the paired sections.
  Work intensively with students to improve their writing (with help from writing fellows if desired).
Both Enduring Questions and Complex Problems classes will: Incorporate opportunities for reflection on values and experiences that will promote students’ integration of what they learn with the principles that guide their lives: e.g., Why does studying this material contribute to my better understanding of what it is to be a person? Who am I becoming as I engage this material? How does my study of this material contribute to my better understanding of the world in its wholeness?


Learning Goals

As they formulate their proposals, faculty should also consider the Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes articulated in The Vision Animating the Boston College Core Curriculum. A proposed course need not contribute to every Learning Outcome, but it should strive to contribute to a working majority of them:

Students completing the Boston College Core Curriculum will:

  1. Demonstrate the critical, mathematical, informational, analytic, expressive, and creative skills that are essential tools of the educated person well-prepared for a meaningful life and vocation.
  2. Understand the major ideas and methods of inquiry of the scholarly disciplines that comprise the university and be able to use those methods of inquiry as beginning practitioners to address complex contemporary problems.
  3. Be able to identify and articulate the strengths and limitations of the disciplines and the relationship of the disciplines to one another, and demonstrate an understanding of the breadth and diversity of human knowledge as well as its openness to integration in more comprehensive wholes.
  4. Be conversant with and able to discuss intelligently enduring questions and issues that are fundamental to human inquiry and that have shaped the traditions from which the university has emerged.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to apply more than one disciplinary perspective to the same enduring question or complex contemporary problem.
  6. Be familiar with the scholarly exploration of religious faith and understand how faith and reason are related in the search for truth.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to examine their values and experiences and integrate what they learn with the principles that guide their lives.
  8. Be prepared and disposed to use their talents and education as engaged global citizens and responsible leaders in service of the common good.