The Core Program supports the academic goals expressed in Elizabethtown College’s mission statement. It has four major purposes: to provide a sense of mission and purpose to general education, to provide a foundation for successful study in liberal arts and professions, to integrate knowledge across the disciplines by engaging students in the study of the natural world and the human experience, and to develop habits of the mind that foster continued intellectual growth. The Core Program promotes truth, tenable judgments and important ideas by assuring that a student has the opportunity to acquire significant knowledge and accepted methods of inquiry.
An important component of the Core Program is the First-Year Seminar and its companion piece, the Intellectual Engagement Experience. In addition, students enroll in 10 courses in eight Areas of Understanding. The thematic Areas of Understanding unite the Core Program into a cohesive offering, develop skills of self-education, and integrate knowledge across the disciplines. Any exceptions to Core requirements must be petitioned to the Academic Standing Committee.
Courses in the Core Program are reviewed every three years, with approximately one-third of the courses undergoing review each year. Thus, the Core is fluid, with courses moving in and out. For the current list of approved Core courses, refer to the online list available through the Registration and Records website.
Students, who are entering the College for the first time and who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, must take a First-Year Seminar and the accompanying Intellectual Engagement Experience during their first semester. Transfer students who have completed fewer than 24 credits of course work at another college also are required to complete the First-Year Seminar and Intellectual Engagement Experience.
FYS 100 - First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar provides an educational experience that is composed of several important components. First, it develops intellectual skills, such as critical analysis and synthesis, and communications skills, such as speaking and writing. Second, it broadens definitions of learning. The student is exposed to multiple ways of acquiring information and knowledge. Third, the First-Year Seminar establishes the integration of knowledge. Using the instructor’s major field of study as a foundation, this course promotes connections across disciplines. The First-Year Seminar is letter-graded.
IEE 100 - Intellectual Engagement Experience
The Intellectual Engagement Experience is the companion to the First-Year Seminar. For this experience, First-Year Seminar instructors specify five to seven academic events for students to attend. Such events could include talks, plays, concerts, art exhibits, or other events of an academic nature. Instructors also can approve alternative events as needed to resolve scheduling conflicts. Seminar groups meet for discussion during some Wednesday-at-11 periods. Class meetings plus events should total 10 experiences. In addition to these 10, students attend four approved Student Life programs. The Intellectual Engagement Experience is graded Pass/No Pass.
Areas of Understanding
The Elizabethtown College Core Program consists of eight thematic Areas of Understanding (AU).
Power of Language (two courses)
Courses in this AU develop students’ abilities to: 1) articulate ideas through extensive experience in the use of logic and rhetoric, that is, to write and speak logically, persuasively and creatively, as well as read carefully and critically; 2) analyze and synthesize new ideas; and 3) learn how language affects thinking and conceptual development.
One of the courses in this AU must be a writing-based English course (EN 100 ) or, for advanced students who test accordingly, an upper-level course (EN 150 or PH 110 ). Students placed in EN 100 must successfully complete EN 100 for their Power of Language AU. Students who receive AP or transfer credit for EN 100 or who enroll in EN 100 cannot receive credit for EN 150 . The Power of Language – English course must be taken during the students’ first year or prior to the start of their second year.
The second course in the Power of Language AU must be a Modern or Ancient Language course. Approved courses in this AU currently include courses in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Classical Greek, Koiné Greek, Biblical Hebrew and Sanskrit. Consult the online list of approved courses for the complete list of specific language courses.
Mathematics (one course)
This AU stresses competency in quantitative reasoning and mastery of problem-solving skills. Courses in mathematical analysis: 1) develop an awareness and appreciation for the cultural significance of mathematics, its contributions to the modern world, and its power in shaping current thought; 2) present concepts that encourage a sophisticated response to arguments and positions that depend on symbolic logic and/or numbers and statistics; 3) stress ways in which numerical data and/or symbolic interpretations increasingly make accessible more profound levels of knowledge and understanding; 4) develop the ability to model real-world phenomena logically and mathematically; and 5) develop problem-solving strategies.
Based upon mathematical and analytical skill level, new students are required to take either MA 011 (a college mathematics preparatory course that does not count for Core or graduation credit) or a college-level mathematics course. Students with a placement of MA 011 are required to complete this course prior to enrolling in a Mathematics Core course.
Creative Expression (one course or course equivalent)
Courses in this AU focus on and require creation or performance in an artistic medium. In doing so, courses in Creative Expression: 1) introduce students to basic concepts and vocabulary employed in the creation and analysis of like artworks and prepare them to make informed aesthetic judgments; 2) develop the awareness that creative art forms affirm our humanity by giving expression to our innermost feelings; and 3) help students to understand that an artistic medium has value.
Students can use a combination of courses to satisfy the four-credit Creative Expression Core requirement. Refer to the online list of Core courses for approved courses. Each course used toward completing the Creative Expression Core requirement must be designated as CE Core, be letter-graded and credit-bearing.
Western Cultural Heritage (one course)
Courses in this AU introduce students to Western cultural heritage through the critical analysis of significant human endeavors. Courses in this AU teach students: 1) an important aspect of Western cultural heritage; 2) the complexity of the past and its relationship to the contemporary world; 3) that knowledge can be subject to a variety of interpretations; 4) to place the subject in its historical context; and 5) critical analysis of primary and/or secondary sources.
Non-Western Cultural Heritage (one course)
Courses in this AU introduce students to non-Western cultural heritage through the critical analysis of significant human endeavors. Courses in this AU teach students: 1) an important aspect of non-Western cultural heritage; 2) the complexity of the past and its relationship to the contemporary world; 3) that knowledge can be subject to a variety of interpretations; 4) to place the subject in its historical context; and 5) critical analysis of primary and/or secondary sources.
Natural and Physical Sciences (two courses in different disciplines)
Courses in the Natural and Physical Sciences: 1) present major scientific concepts; 2) include appropriate background literature, data analysis and the multiple interpretations that may result and, if a laboratory course, also include data collection; and 3) develop understanding of the method of scientific inquiry, i.e., the relationship between hypotheses, experimentation, theories and laws. Students must complete at least one laboratory course to satisfy the Natural and Physical Sciences AU.
Social Sciences (one course)
Courses in this AU emphasize the ways in which human behavior is shaped, ranging from the formation of the self to the interaction of nations. Courses in the Social Sciences: 1) introduce major concepts, theories and texts that interpret and explain human behavior and interaction; 2) explore the diversity and/or integration of social worlds; 3) examine the organization and function of one or more social systems; 4) explore and analyze those influences that affect human thought, feelings and behaviors; and 5) introduce the methods and procedures of social research.
Humanities (one course)
Courses in this AU examine values by engaging students in the decision-making process and by encouraging them to consider the implications of their choices for self and society. Courses in the Humanities: 1) examine the nature and origin of one or more values that govern human conduct; 2) consider values in the context of fundamental human dilemmas; 3) introduce students to major works representing aesthetic, cultural, historical, religious or philosophical approaches to the understanding of values; 4) examine how an individual’s values and choices can be influenced by many factors; and 5) encourage students to make thoughtful decisions.
Additional Requirements and Policies
Students must take at least one Writing and Research Intensive (WRI) course beyond their Power of Language – English course. WRI courses can be in any AU other than Power of Language – English. Refer to the online list of Core courses for those designated as WRI.
Courses approved by Academic Council for Core that also are required for a particular major or minor may be used to fulfill both requirements.
Seniors may enroll in Core Program courses to complete Core, major or minor requirements as needed. Seniors may not enroll in Core Program courses for elective purposes until all enrolled underclass students have had the opportunity to select courses during official registration periods in November and April. In this context, seniors include students of senior status and juniors who will achieve senior status at the completion of the current semester.
The Core Program may be satisfied in its entirety by transfer courses (i.e., there is no residency requirement for the Core). Students wishing to satisfy the WRI requirement with an off-campus course must submit a syllabus for evaluation.
Students can satisfy Core AU requirements with transferred courses that are worth at least three credits.
Majors with more than 125 credits for graduation may be allowed to count two courses required of the major in lieu of two courses from the Core. Courses would have to meet the goals for the appropriate AU. Academic Departments may apply to the Core Committee and Academic Council to demonstrate how the major courses satisfy the goals of the AU.
When course requirements for an academic program meet the educational objectives for a Core AU, Academic Departments may petition Academic Council for a waiver of that AU for students completing the program. The course requirements supporting the waiver must be an integral part of the academic program.
Students are required to complete the appropriate level of mathematics, English, and modern/ancient language courses as determined by the College. Once students have completed the appropriate level, they cannot receive credit for taking a lower-level course in the sequence.
The First-Year Seminar and Intellectual Engagement Experience may not be substituted for a major or minor course or to waive a requirement for the major or minor.