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The courses that make up the Integrative Core Curriculum are informed by the University’s nine academic learning goals. These learning goals are value statements about what the JCU faculty and administration deem essential for your educational experience and aspire for each student to achieve.

We expect graduates of John Carroll University will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an integrative knowledge of human and natural worlds
  • Develop habits of critical analysis and aesthetic appreciation
  • Apply creative and innovative thinking
  • Communicate skillfully in multiple forms of expression
  • Act competently in a global and diverse world
  • Understand and promote social justice
  • Apply a framework for examining ethical dilemmas
  • Employ leadership and collaborative skills
  • Understand the religious dimensions of human experience

The Integrative Core Curriculum ensures that these nine academic learning goals are met in multiple places and times throughout your undergraduate years so that the skills, knowledge, competencies and values the goals seek to instill are re-iterated, deepened, and actualized.

Principles of Core

The principles underlying the Core Curriculum are the following:

  • The Core highlights foundational competencies in writing, oral expression, and quantitative analysis, and ensures that these competencies are re-iterated and refined in subsequent courses both in the Core and in major requirements.
  • The Core includes courses that provide students a solid grounding in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The distribution courses provide these basic introductions to disciplines in these areas.
  • The Core includes integrated coursework that combines more than one content area and requires students to hone critical thinking and problem-solving skills that cross disciplines. Integrated courses create communities of shared inquiry and foreground the responsibility our students have as global citizens, entrusted stewards of the earth, and creators of just societies. The integrated coursework prepares students to participate, as leaders, in a world marked by increasing complexity, greater collaboration and interdependency, and intra-professionalism.
  • The Core develops students’ intercultural competence through its focus on global studies and languages: students demonstrate competency in a language other than English. The Core also emphasizes human diversity with courses devoted to issues in social justice.
  • The Core underscores essential principles of Ignatian pedagogy by valuing the rich history of Jesuit education with its emphasis on currency, relevance, communication skills, care for the learning of each student, discernment, and justice. The Core also highlights disciplines traditionally part of the Jesuit heritage in higher education with courses in Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies, and the creative and performing arts. Courses on issues in social justice also consider important questions about justice and ethics.

In sum, the Core Curriculum asks students to be engaged learners who bring new knowledge into being through their study and collaboration and who do so with the realization that all knowledge has the capacity to raise ethical questions, and that the questions they raise and answer are meaningful and liberating.

From Core to Career

John Carroll’s liberal arts education cultivates the skills valued by 21st century employers.

According to results from recent surveys sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, (AAC&U):

  • Nearly all employers (91%) state that critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving abilities are more important than a potential employee’s undergraduate major. Employers give preference to college graduates with skills that enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace.*
  • Nearly all employers (96%) agree that “all college students should have experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own.”*
  • More than three-quarters (78%) agree that “all college students should gain intercultural skills and an understanding of societies and countries outside the United States.”*
  • Employers place the greatest priority on skills and knowledge that cuts across majors: written and oral communication, teamwork skills, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings.*
  • Employers are increasingly globally connected and seek employees with intercultural skills as well as global knowledge and experience.**

Sources: *Hart Research Associates. Forthcoming. Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success. Washington, D.C.: Association of American College and Universities.

**Hart Research Associates. Forthcoming. Are College Students Prepared for America’s Global Future? Perspectives of Employers and College Students. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

With its focus on foundational competencies (writing, oral communication, quantitative analysis, technological/information literacy), interdisciplinary and integrated learning, global knowledge, and ethical reasoning, John Carroll’s Integrative Core Curriculum prepares you to meet these expectations of college graduates.