| Rationale for the Core Curriculum
St. Bonaventure University is a university in the Franciscan, Catholic tradition. Its core curriculum should reflect this tradition and retain the roots of the traditional liberal arts and sciences. Our students should undertake an intellectual journey that prepares them to use their gifts in the context of a profession and/or the community. The core courses should broaden their understanding and appreciation of history and culture, their own and those of other traditions, and of the natural world. Further, their course work should develop their ability to critically examine their own beliefs, assumptions, and their stage of intellectual development.
In contrast to the current university distribution requirements, the core curriculum should be based upon explicit goals and should strive to give all students a common experience, integrated across disciplines. Such a core necessitates a coordinated approach by faculty throughout the university community.
Having completed the core curriculum, students will have critically examined their own culture, including some of its fundamental assumptions, and will have been introduced to other voices and cultures. Students should be able to take their place as thinking, moral individuals in an emerging global community.
| The Goals of the Core Curriculum
- To promote an understanding of the major achievements and the modes of inquiry which have contributed to the intellectual and aesthetic development of Western culture.
- To pursue answers to ultimate questions regarding the nature of God, persons, and the world with particular reference to the Catholic and Franciscan traditions.
- To advance and encourage intelligent, principled and personal participation in the moral conversation and the practical dilemmas of a globalized society.
- To promote and encourage an appreciation of other cultures and traditions as authentic expressions of what it means to be human.
- To identify and address the past, present and future challenges confronting humanity.
All incoming students begin their academic careers at St. Bonaventure University through Clare College. After their first year in residence, students who have declared a major will transfer to the appropriate department and school of the University. All students are expected to declare a major program of study before they begin their third year in residence at St. Bonaventure University.
[A motion to approve the rationale and goals for the new core curriculum was passed by Faculty Senate, October 13, 1995; revised May 2011]
| Core Areas and their Objectives
I. THE SKILLS OF THE CORE CURRICULUM:
CLAR 110: Composition and Critical Thinking 1 Part 1:
Student will demonstrate the following competencies:
1. Rhetorical Knowledge
- Discuss writing as a means of making things happen in the world, and writing as consequential
- Direct their writing towards different audiences and purposes. (In particular, adapt their writing to specific professions, disciplines, and transactions.)
2. Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing
- Use writing as a means of critically reflecting on and investigating texts, with particular attention to professional and academic writing.
- Develop reading strategies that facilitate identification of purpose, argument, structure, and method, with attention to the ways these are shaped by specific disciplinary or professional concerns and conventions.
- With some regards to conventions of writing in the humanities, social sciences, and professions.
- Effectively summarize, analyze, and evaluate texts from a variety of disciplines and professions.
- Draw connections between different texts on a similar topic or within a similar conversation.
- Articulate their own ideas in regards to that conversation or topic, with reference to other authors.
3. Writing as Processes; Develop habits of:
- Research-driven, responsible note-taking, with attention to argument, structure and evidence.
- Analyzing a writing task in terms of its constituent parts, and planning accordingly.
- Planning and outlining at different points in the writing process.
- Multiple, substantive revisions with attention to both sentence-level and structural concerns.
- Concern for presentation.
- Reflecting critically on her or his own writing process.
4. Knowledge of Conventions
- Format bibliographic information in MLA and APA style, and to understand that there are practical and theoretical differences between the two.
- Demonstrate regular control over principles of sentence construction.
- Gain familiarity, in application, of more refined sentence construction.
Clare 111, Composition and Critical Thinking Part 2:
- Students will analyze components of inductive arguments (inductive generalizations, "causal" arguments, analogies, statistical arguments, etc.);
- Students will construct and evaluate an extended logical argument;
- Students will offer and critique various kinds of approaches to definitions;
- Students will demonstrate the basic concepts of logic: the various kinds of statements or propositions, definitions, validity, soundness, truth, argument, inference, syllogism, belief, knowledge, etc.
II. THE FOUNDATIONAL COURSES:
Clare 101, The Intellectual Journey
- Students are introduced the foundation, structure, and methodology of the core curriculum at St. Bonaventure.
- Students will examine major issues in the context of the spiritual vision of Bonaventure.
- Students will analyze readings in light of the Bonaventurean themes as developed in “The Mind's Journey into God.”
- Students will enhance writing ability and speaking skills and foster a close student-professor relationship in a seminar environment.
Clare 207, Catholic Franciscan Tradition
- Students will critically analyze the Catholic and Franciscan heritage.
- Students will examine how the Catholic and Franciscan tradition responds to contemporary global issues.
- Students will interpret the relationship between this Heritage and their own beliefs about religion.
Clare 304, The Good Life
- Students will develop the ability to pose and analyze personal and societal issues from a moral perspective.
- Students will foster systematic reflection on the nature of a moral life as addressed through major traditions, including the Catholic-Franciscan traditions.
- Students will analyze critically a set of moral problems.
Clare 401, University Forum
- Students will analyze a contemporary issue in depth, and also from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
- Students will construct a position that encompasses one’s personal journey, academic training, and framework of the core curriculum at St. Bonaventure.
- Students will present one’s position demonstrating analytical, oral, and written skill.
III. THE CORE AREAS OF LIBERAL EDUCATION:
Clare 103, Foundations of the Western World
- Students will examine historical, intellectual, and religious roots of Western culture and its basis for developing a global perspective.
- Students will examine examples of mutual influences between Western culture and the wider world.
Clare 105, Inquiry in the Social World
- Students will examine modes of inquiry in the social sciences.
- Students will apply investigatory skills of the social sciences in a problem-solving context.
- Students will analyze examples that illustrate the interconnectedness of the social sciences.
Clare 206, Foundational Religious Texts of the Western World
- Students will examine an overview of the historical, social and religious context, the literary structure, and the religious content of the texts.
- Students will construct a critical methodology for use in reading and interpreting foundational religious texts.
Clare 208, World Views
- Students will examine a diversity of experiences and perspectives within the human story.
- Students will compare their culture or one perspective of their culture with at least one other culture or one other perspective.
- Students will evaluate their culture from other perspectives.
Clare 209, Arts and Literature
- Students will analyze a variety of art forms.
- Students will analyze literary works.
- Students will synthesize their experience of art form.
Clare 302, Inquiry in the Natural World
- Students will examine the mode of inquiry of the natural sciences.
- Students will apply investigatory skills of the natural sciences in a problem-solving context.
- Students will analyze a sequence of discoveries that illustrate the ongoing scientific process.