Beginning July 1, 2017, with the class of 2021, a new four-category core curriculum went into effect. The following description of the new core curriculum is from the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Core Curriculum Proposal submitted by the Ad Hoc Core Curriculum Committee, April 2, 2016.
Saint Joseph’s College’s core curriculum is a set of courses that reflects the College’s vision of what it means to be an educated person. It is the heart of our baccalaureate education, and provides the grounding for the student’s major course of study. The core curriculum’s concentration on the liberal arts and science supports key parts of the College’s mission: to “encourage students to explore widely the arts and sciences while they also prepare to lead ethical and meaningful lives” and to “enhance students’ awareness of human dignity and the meaning of life.” Moreover, the core curriculum supports several of the College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes.
- Identify and apply the ethical and moral dimensions of their particular field of study;
- Demonstrate effective communication skills in both written and oral formats;
- Engage in responsible citizenship, social justice, and environmental stewardship;
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and evaluate information from diverse sources and perspectives.
1. Foundations for College Thinking (2 courses)
- EH 101 College Writing
- Mathematics (MA) elective (or MA course required by major)
2. The Human Condition and the Human Story (6 courses)
- HY 104 Modern Global History
- TH 100 Intro to the Judeo-Christian Tradition
- PH 200 Human Nature & Ethics
- Choose an elective from each of the following disciplines: History (HY) (200 level or above), Theology (TH), and Philosophy (PH)
3. Nature and Society (2 courses)
- ES 300 Ecology and the Environmental Challenge
- One additional course from a list of courses in natural or social science (See Approved NAS course list)
4. Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge (2 courses)
Note: A grade below C- in EH100 Fundamentals of Writing or EH101 College Writing is considered a failure, and the student should follow the Repeat Course policy stated in this catalog.
Thematic Structure of Core Curriculum
The thematic structure of the core curriculum aligns with the college’s institutional learning outcomes, consisting of four learning themes: Foundations for College Thinking; The Human Condition and the Human Story; Nature and Society; and Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge.
The Foundations for College Thinking learning theme supports the development of fundamental writing and quantitative reasoning skills, which are critical for all majors and careers. These courses lay the groundwork for both effective communication and critical thinking.
The Human Condition and the Human Story learning theme adds to students’ understanding of the world. Through philosophy, students better understand the metaphysical and epistemological foundations of human life; through theology, students learn to investigate the phenomenon of religious faith as an enduring concern of the human community; and through history, students learn how the practice of preserving the past helps us understand the present. These subjects are meant to foster spiritual and social growth, helping students think critically about the ethical and moral dimensions of their actions.
The Nature and Society learning theme provides opportunities for students to learn about and engage in responsible citizenship, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Ecology and the Environmental Challenge (ES300) provides students with both a foundational understanding of the earth’s past, current, and future environmental problems and with service leaning experiences that invite them to actively engage in environmental stewardship. Electives in this category allow students the freedom to build on this foundation and learn about responsible citizenship, social justice, or deepen their understanding of the makeup of our planet.
The Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge learning theme is a multidisciplinary experience that helps students build their creativity and develop self-knowledge. The foundational requirement is a literature elective. Students can explore creative expression through a writing course or reflect upon and think critically about the expressions of others in literature courses. Both options align with the college’s goal to increase the students’ communications skills. Students will also take an elective from a multidisciplinary list of courses that empower students to think creatively and develop their spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.
There is no required sequencing. Although it is recommended that students take EH 101 College Writing during their first year, academic departments may sequence the remaining core requirements as appropriate for their majors.
Students may count core classes towards fulfillment of a major, minor or specialization requirement. Specifically, a core course can satisfy both a core requirement and a major, minor, or requirement.
Students may not “triple-dip,” meaning a core class cannot count as fulfilling both a major and a minor requirement.
Students may not “double dip” within the core. For example: a course cannot fulfill both a Human Condition and the Human Story requirement and an Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge requirement.
Approved List of Nature and Society Electives:
BI 101 - Biology I
BI 102 - Biology II
BI 105 - Oceanography
BI 110 - Concepts in Biology
BI 204 - Anatomy & Physiology I
BI 297 Special Topics for NAS core
CH 103 - Principles of Chemistry I
CH 104 - Principles of Chemistry II
CH 105 - Chemistry for the Health Sciences
CH 297 Special Topics for NAS core
CO 101 - Contemporary Communications
CO 350 - Politics and the Media
ES 107 - Research Science on Sebago Lake
ES 297 Special topics for NAS core
EC 203 /PS 411 - Economics
ED 325 - Educational Psychology
MS 105 - Oceanography
PC 103 - Astronomy
PS 101 - Introduction to Political Science
PS 102 - American Government and Politics
PS 201 - Comparative Politics
PS 202 - International Relations
PS 297 Special topics for NAS core
PS 306 - Politics and the Media
PY 101 - Introduction to Psychology
PY 210 - Adolescence and Adulthood
PY 297 Special topics for NAS core
PY 307 - Educational Psychology
PY 308 - Psychopathology
PY 314 - Cognitive Psychology
PY 333 - Sleep and Dreaming
SO 201 - Principles of Sociology
SO 202 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
SO 208 - Introduction to Gender Studies
SO 297 Special topics for NAS core
SO 303 - Relationships, Marriage, and Family Issues
TH 206 - Introduction to the Old Testament
TH 207 - Introduction to the New Testament
TH 303 - Contemporary Christian Morality
TH 308 Liberation Theology
Approved List of Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge Electives:
AT 108 - Music Appreciation
AT 116 - Basic Drawing: Theory and Practice
AT 202 - Elem. Art and Technology Methods
AT 206 - Printmaking
AT 215 - Digital Photography
AT 216 - Beginning Ceramics
AT 297 Special topics for ACS core
AT 302 - Painting 1
CO 110 - Digital Media
CO 210 - Web Design
CO 218 - Oral Communications
CO 222 - Introduction to Film Studies
CO 335 - Topics in Film Studies
CO 297 Special topics for ACS core
EH XXX Second literature elective
EH 209 - Creative Writing
EH 211 - Nonfiction Prose Writing
EH 319 - Interpretive Nature of Cinema
EH 297 Special topics for ACS core
HE 111 - Personal Health
HE 204 - Stress Management
HE 297 Special topics for ACS core
MA 107 - Contemporary Math
MA 297 ACS Special topics for core
NU 422 - Stress Management
PH 204 - Philosophy of Gender
PH 221 - Good and Evil
PH 225 - Happiness, Character, and Well-Being
PH 305 - The Moral Self
PY 214 - Psychology of Gender
PY 225 - Happiness, Character, and Well-Being
PY 254 - Cultural Psych
PY 298 Special topics for ACS core
SW 101 - Introduction to the Profession of Social Work
TH 201 - Saving Encounters
TH 209 - Christian Spirituality: Life and Prayer
TH 214 - Discovering Islam
TH 297 Special topics for ACS core
TH 301 - Christology: Who Is Jesus?
TH 307 - Death: Comparative Views