What is a core curriculum?
General education requirements typically help ensure a foundation in the traditional liberal arts; at a Catholic college, these should include Catholic theology
and philosophy. It is the mark of a good college that students learn not only specialized skills, but also how to think and communicate clearly, how to organize
knowledge and thought, and how to apply the truths of the Catholic Faith in their lives. There are two common types of general education. A “core” curriculum
is a set of particular courses that every student must take. It reflects a college’s conviction that particular knowledge and subjects ought to be considered and shared by all students. At many colleges, however, what is labeled a “core” may be more properly described as a “distribution” curriculum. This allows for some flexibility in choosing electives within required disciplines, so that not every student takes the precise same courses. Interdisciplinary study, which helps students relate truth across disciplines and is encouraged in Ex corde Ecclesiae, is most possible in a core curriculum but may also occur within any well-designed course.
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