This is your one-stop page for links to all auxiliary documents that relate to the Uncommon Core.
Academic and College Success (ACS) is a 1-Credit course taken by first year students the same semester that they take a First Year Seminar (FYS). Collaboration between FYS and ACS instructors is encouraged with the goal of highlighting the connections between course content and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). The SLOs for these two courses taken together are as follows:
Oral Communication: Students will be able to demonstrate skills in oral communication, in multiple situations to multiple audiences
Transitional: Students will be able to (1) set goals related to their college success and (2) reflect on their personal experience and growth during the first semester in college
Core Curriculum: Students will be able to articulate the structure of the Uncommon Core and the rationale behind this structure (i.e., the modeling of question asking and exploration in the P-EQs; choosing their own question to explore in their Integrative Studies and Experiential Learning, and integrating and reflecting on their learning in the Core Milestone Experience)
Values: Students will explore their values and those of others and will be able to articulate their own values
Diversity: Students will demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of human experiences
College Community Engagement:
In addition, both FYS and ACS will require students to engage in the college community and participate in out-of-class experiences as follows:
Every instructor will have at least one out-of-class interaction with students. This can be conferencing, a party, a chemistry workshop, etc.
Every section will require students to attend some sort of activity outside of class that is related to the course content (lecture, play, etc.).
Every section will require students to attend one community building event that immerses students in the life of the college.
If both FYS and ACS instructors assign the same event for a particular student, the student is required to attend only that one event.
ACS Learning Domains:
Knowledge of Self and Others:
Management of College Life:
Personal Responsibility and Decision Making:
Overview of the Core
The Core includes Foundational Courses, Perspective-Enduring Questions (P-EQs), and Integrative Studies (IS) Courses.
Advising the Core
The integrative studies is designed to give students the power to choose three courses according to their interest. It places the responsibility onto the students to demonstrate their integration of materials from the three courses. It is lastly designed to provide students the opportunity to reflect and showcase what they learned in the Core Milestone Experience.
Integration refers to finding common elements, themes and ideas that make connections across time, disciplines and experiences
Questions to ask students to get them started:
Which courses really grabbed your attention?
What were your favorite P-EQ courses? What did you like about them?
What minor would you take if you had time?
Questions to ask students for helping them formulate an IS Question:
What connections do you see in your potential IS courses?
What makes you happy, why?
What courses have made you curious about something? What is it?
Core Milestone Experience
Throughout the CME course, students formally identify their IS Question and 3 IS courses. Students name their “IS Cluster” and formally reflect their collected P-EQ, IS, and El artifacts by answering specific questions about their intellectual journey. Students lastly create a final piece (essay, project, video, artwork) and present a public version of this reflection in their class. The final project should make connections between their IS Question and the three courses, across disciplines and their other archived P-EQ, EL, and H&W learning.
The goals of Experiential Learning are to enable students to (1) describe and reflection on the learning process, (2) explore, evaluate, and articulation personal and social values, and (3) integrate and apply academic skills to understanding practical experiences and problems found worldwide. Students EL Reflections are assessed using three of the the four following rubrics:
RFLT4: Can describe and explore personal values and beliefs
RFLT2: Can evaluate own learning, skills, strengths, and challenges
APLY1: Integrates academic and practical experience
INT3: Develops relationships with others who have different beliefs and backgrounds and is willing to learn from them
The Enduring Questions in the P-EQ Courses
The following include an example of enduring questions that students will explore in different P-EQ courses.
HISTORY (What can the study of history teach us?)
LITERATURE (What makes us human?)
MATHEMATICS (How can we know mathematical truths?)
PHILOSOPHY (What is knowledge?)
RELIGIOUS STUDIES (What is the meaning and purpose of life?)
SOCIAL SCIENCE (Why do people on welfare not have jobs?)
NATURAL SCIENCE (How do scientists use the scientific method to understand the processes that occur in living systems and inorganic processes?)
VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS (What is Art?)
Core Learning Outcomes
After completing Core 2013 students will be able to:
The Core Milestone Experience shall serve as the setting in which students reflect on their learning through collected P-EQ and IS artifacts, in addition to Experiential Learning. This reflection shall take place in two ways: with respect to 1.) the particular question students chose to explore in their respective Integrative Studies clusters, and 2.) their intellectual development, thinking about the skills and knowledge they have acquired through the Core Curriculum and how it relates to their major area of study and career goals.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
Characteristics of EL
The Definition of Experiential Learning at Nazareth College
Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience in a real world context. Experiential learning is a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and clarify values. Facilitated and guided practice, reflection and evaluation are all essential components of this transformative method of learning.
The Goals and Objectives of Experiential Learning
Student may choose to engage in one (or more) of a number of very different Experiential Learning Pathways depending on their interests, but there is a common set of Core Student Learning Outcomes, which are the same ‘across the board,’ and a common rubric is used to assess student learning in all Pathways.
Successful students are able to:
Experiential Learning Pathways
There are seven identified Experiential Learning Pathways at Nazareth College:
Experiential Learning Best Practices
Following NSEE’s ‘Principles of Good Practice in Experiential Learning’ all EL Pathways at Nazareth College can demonstrate that they:
Experiential Learning and the Core Curriculum
Ideally, students will have engaged in a number of Experiential Learning opportunities while at Nazareth College. From these, they will choose the one that best fits with their Core Integrative Studies to be their ‘Exemplar’ EL (if more than one fits well, students may choose them all). If a student is not able to participate in an EL Pathway that has clear connections with their Integrative Studies, his/her ‘Exemplar’ EL should be chosen on the basis of connections with the major. In either case, the EL is integrated with students’ curricular education.
Students have an opportunity to think about their ‘Exemplar’ EL and how it relates to the rest of their education (core and/or major) in the Core Milestone Experience (CME). Students who have completed their EL before engaging in the Core Milestone Experience will, in the CME, reflect on this integration and the relationship between academic skills and knowledge and practical experience and problems. Students who have not yet completed their EL will, in the CME, ‘pre-reflect’ on this integration, and learn from other students about the Pathways and what is possible in each.
 Itin, C. M. (1999). Reasserting the Philosophy of Experiential Education as a Vehicle for Change in the 21st Century. The Journal of Experiential Education, 22(2), 91-98.
 Adapted from NYIT Experiential Learning and NSEE.
Characteristics of Perspectives Enduring Questions in First Year Seminar
First Year Seminar courses are Perspectives Enduring Questions courses that are, in addition, designed to engage first year students in college-level learning and the Nazareth College Core Curriculum. As such, the main differences between an FYS and a P-EQ version of the same course are twofold: First Year Seminars serve as students’ introduction to the core, and they are taught with specific pedagogies. First Year Seminars are considered a high-impact practice.
FYS courses engage students in oral communication, informal writing, and active learning as they join the Nazareth College learning community. In addition, FYS courses provide students with opportunities to begin to identify an enduring or messy question(s) that they find meaningful. They are made aware of the process of and purpose for selecting an Enduring Questions artifact in each P-EQ course, and are guided through this process as they do it for the first time. Students will consider Integrative Studies options related to their personal goals and interests. The FYS introduces the core portfolio as a tool for collection, reflection and integration throughout the course of undergraduate study. Students are co-requisitely taking a 1-credit graded Academic College Success (ACS) course that addresses transitional issues between high school and the four-year college environment and is based on the College’s definition of Student Success.
Introducing the Uncommon Core in FYS:
Instructors will ‘walk through’ the Uncommon Core at the end of one class period (video is available). Students will be assigned homework in which they answers questions about the core and their interests.
Next class, have them share their answers in a groups of 4 or 5. Then have groups share results with the entire class. (Use technology of your choice). Now return to the ‘walk through’ of the previous class and explain PEQ and IS courses in relation to their dreams, hopes and aspirations (enduring question).
Strategies for Teaching First-Year Students
Successful Class Activities
Successful out-of-class Community-Building activities
Successful out-of-class Cultural/Scholarly activities
The Definition of Health and Wellness at Nazareth College
Living well means learning to make healthy decisions in various aspects of one’s life—environmentally, intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially, financially, and spiritually.
The Goals and Objectives of Health and Wellness
Student may choose to engage in one (or more) of a number of very different Health and Wellness Pathways depending on their interests, but there is a common set of Core Student Learning Outcomes, which are the same ‘across the board’.
Successful students are able to:
Health and Wellness Pathways
Building upon the Health and Wellness foundation established in ACS, students choose one identified HW pathway from the following options:
HW Pathway Structure and Capturing Student Completion
Students must fulfill the requirements of their chosen Pathway in order to satisfy their Core Curriculum Health and Wellness requirement. In addition, if appropriate in a particular Pathway, students may be responsible for reflecting on their experience and archiving their reflections and other artifacts from their HW in their Portfolios).Typically, in a course-based HW, successful completion of the course entails successful completion of the HW Requirement. Such courses will have an ‘HW attribute’ attached to them in the NazNet system that is tracked on students’ degree audits. A credit-bearing HW course must demonstrate how it incorporates components of the Wellness Wheel (below) that has been adopted by the Nazareth College Wellness Steering Committee.
In a non-course-based HW activity (e.g., participation on a team), the Activity Leader will be trained to upload the names of students who have successfully completed the HW into NazNet.
Student Reflection on Health and Wellness Experiences
Ideally, students will have engaged in a number of HW opportunities while at Nazareth College. Students have an opportunity to think about their HW experiences in the Core Milestone Experience (CME). Students who have not yet completed their HW will, in the CME, learn from other students about the Health and Wellness options and what is possible in each.
Questions about HW should be directed to the HW Committee or the Director of Core.
The Goals & Spirit of Integrative Studies
Integrative Studies develops depth of knowledge by providing students opportunities to explore a particular enduring question or interest in three upper-level courses. Integrative Studies is characterized as follows:
Integration: What it Means
Integration happens throughout the Core Curriculum, but what and how the various parts of the Core are integrated takes different forms at the different levels of the Core.
Perspectives-Enduring Questions explore one or more questions that are enduring or messy and through this, introduce students to the content, method of inquiry and perspectives within the discipline. Consequently, these courses explicitly illustrate various questions and the ways that different disciplines ask and explore questions. Through these courses students become equipped to ask their own questions, understand what kind of questions they are asking, and successfully explore them.
Integrative Studies provide students the opportunity to explore a question that interests them in three advanced-level courses that are thematically connected to each other at a more advanced level. These courses provide both integration of content as well as integration with the P-EQ methods of question-asking, and question-exploring.
The Core Milestone Experience provides students the opportunity to reflect on how they have explored their particular question in the context of their three Integrative Studies courses (and, if possible, their Experiential Learning), and used the methods of question-exploration as founded in their P-EQ experience.
The Three Courses
The courses that make up a student’s Integrative Studies must be 200-level or higher, and they can be any course—liberal or professional, in different disciplines or in one. (Students can even choose three 1-credit courses to count as one of their three IS courses. The only limitations are these:
Students will have completed mostof their P-EQ courses before they begin their Integrative Studies.
Choosing the Three Courses
There are a number of aids to help students choose their three Integrative Studies courses:
Integrative Studies Clusters: Faculty/staff-generated sets of courses that are intentionally integrated; they have an identifiable name and, when appropriate, a description that allows students to know what kinds of questions and issues are explored in them. Current IS Clusters can be found atwww.naz.edu/core/integrative-studies.
Integrative Studies Themes: In addition to IS Clusters, more general themes are also suggested on the Core website.
Advisors, Faculty, Staff & Peers: IS Clusters and Themes are not meant to restrict student choice. Students should be encouraged (by their Advisors and others) to choose other courses, or ‘mix-and-match’ courses between IS Clusters, across the disciplines, and between liberal and professional studies so long as the student can form connections between them.
Workshops will be offered every semester to help students choose IS courses that best fit their interests.
From each potential IS course, students will select one or more artifact(s) that they think pertains to the exploration of their question, and is representative of the work they did in the course. Artifacts are intended to be an existing piece of academic work created during the course—perhaps a paper, presentation, project, performance, etc. Like in P-EQ courses, students will then archive the artifact in their core portfolio.
 ‘Upper-level’ course is defined here as 200-level or higher that is not a P-EQ course.
Core Milestone Experience (CME)
Having completed two of their IS courses, and either during or after their third IS course, students will enroll in a 0-credit course entitled the ‘Core Milestone Experience’. In this course students reflect formally on their collected P-EQ and IS artifacts with respect to their intellectual journey connected to their particular question.
This 0-credit course will be facilitated by faculty with graduate student support. While it is 0-credit for students, facilitating 50 students through this process is equivalent to a regular 3-credit course. Some faculty responsibilities will include:
The Perspective-Enduring Questions Courses (P-EQs)
Perspectives Enduring Questions courses, or P-EQs, present breadth in liberal studies. They serve as an introduction to eight areas: history, literature, mathematics, natural sciences, philosophy, religious studies, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. Each course strives to foster in students an appreciation for multiple perspectives within a discipline. At this level, students develop the facility to reason effectively, incorporating foundational skills in writing, reading, listening, speaking, and logical, mathematical and scientific reasoning. They begin to practice higher-order capabilities in analysis, integration, and application of arguments and information. Particular Student Learning Outcomes are housed in certain areas of P-EQ courses are assessed periodically using the Core College-wide rubrics and Portfolios.
Enduring Questions Framework (EQ)
Each P-EQ course has, at its center, a faculty-chosen enduring or messy question. Enduring or messy questions have no obvious answer and have been asked and answered in various ways for millennia. These sorts of questions are threaded throughout students’ academic learning experience, allowing for sustained scholarly dialogues regarding specific questions within the core curriculum.
From each Perspectives course, students will select one or more artifact(s) that will be retained in the Core Portfolio. The artifact is intended to be an existing piece of academic work created during the course—perhaps a paper, presentation, project, performance, etc. In addition to this EQ artifact, students submit an EQ Reflection that prompts them to make connections between the course EQ and the course content, as well as to reflect on the development of their learning. Instructors create these prompts in relation to the Core EQ Reflection rubric. Students will then archive these artifacts and reflections in their Portfolios to be available when, in the Core Milestone Experience, they reflect on their core experience at Nazareth College.
In addition to formal writing, which is promoted through essays, projects, scholarly reflections, and exams, all P-EQ courses will be infused with informal writing strategies. Faculty are not teaching writing per se, but using writing-to-learn activities to complement and support content-area expertise.
Cultural and Global Goals
All P-EQ courses are expected to address one or both of the goals:
Goal I: Address skills, methods, concepts and/or theories that will enable students to investigate and transcend socio-cultural boundaries.
Goal II: Explore the idea that social and political forces affecting our lives are not confined to the internal workings of the United States, North America or Western Europe. If a course does focus on these internal workings, it must in addition explore the experiences of some of the marginalized population groups within these regions and/or urgent domestic issues as linked to global patterns and transnational processes.
Core Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes
Perspectives Enduring Questions courses are one part of the Core Curriculum.
Students’ learning experiences in each P-EQ course should contribute to their accomplishment of (some of) the Core Student Learning Outcomes listed below.
After completing the Core Curriculum, students will be able to do the following (among others):
How to complete a P-EQ Proposal
Enduring Questions: What are they? What are they not?
Strategies for Formal Writing
The Writing Process is recursive, that is, the stages can be sequential or returned to (recycled) until the desired product is achieved. One way to experience the writing process is through a series of roles: MADMAN, ARCHITECT, CARPENTER, JUDGE.
MADMAN: This is the pre-writing stage in which “anything goes” by way of brainstorming, mapping, clustering, webbing, listing, etc.
ARCHITECT: This is the drafting stage in which the writer chooses and organizes pertinent points that illustrate and/or support the controlling idea.
CARPENTER: This is the re-envisioning stage in which the writer re-thinks and refines the writing, focusing on order of ideas, developed paragraphs, effective sentences, and vivid diction.
JUDGE: This is the editing stage in which the writer evaluates the validity and coherence of ideas, as well as the mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc) of the text.
Core Curriculum Committee Membership 2015-16
Ex-Officio: Rachel Bailey Jones (Director of Core), Linda Searing (Academic Advisement), Maria Hopkins (Coordinator of SLO Assessment)
CCC Projects and Goals 2015-16