The core curriculum at Lenoir-Rhyne consists of four distinct components: The First-Year Experience, Foundations courses, Liberal Arts and Sciences courses, and a Core Capstone Project. The Core Curriculum can be completed in 53-63 hours.
2.1. The First-Year Experience
The First-Year Experience, a six-hour course spanning the first two semesters, is fundamental to the success of the entire core curriculum. This innovative program is fully described in the separate FYE description.
2.2. Foundations Courses
Students will take 22-27 hours of Foundations courses, as follows. Students must complete their Foundations courses in their first 64 credit hours.
2.2.a. Communications (3 hours) (COM 111)
This course enhances student performance in extemporaneous speaking, group discussion, and oral reporting. Students will be able to:
- write and speak informatively and persuasively to different audiences
- use writing and speaking as tools for understanding and solving problems
- construct and deliver effective messages adapted to the audience, purpose, and context of the situation
2.2.b. Computing Sciences (1 hour) (CSC 115 or any upper-level CSC course)
These courses present basic computing concepts and show how they both give us the capabilities to solve problems and limit the solutions. The courses will address various aspects of the interaction between computing and humans. Students will be able to:
- recognize the capabilities and limitations of computing technology
- analyze the social and human context of technology issues and how they affect individuals, organizations, and society
In order to ensure basic computer competency skills in word processing (and perhaps spreadsheets, PowerPoint, etc., as determined by the CSC faculty), LR's Computing Sciences program will develop an instrument to evaluate the skills of incoming students. Remediation will be provided for those who do not meet the competencies through course work or on-line tutorials
2.2.c. English Composition (4 hours) (ENG 131)
This course teaches students a foundational awareness of the rhetorical, critical, and process-oriented aspects of writing. Students will be able to:
- respond to the needs of different audiences, using appropriate conventions of format, structure, tone, and level of formality
- use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
- locate, evaluate, organize, and use research collected from electronic and other sources
- integrate their own ideas with those of others
- develop strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
- improve their control of surface features
2.2.d. Quantitative Reasoning (3 hours) (MAT 113, 115, 125, 129, 165 or 215)
The course teaches students to make effective use of qualitative and quantitative mathematical reasoning. Students will be able to:
- reason using conceptual and theoretical mathematical tools to solve problems in areas such as statistics, probability, mathematics, logic, and decision theory
- apply mathematical reasoning to solve problems in a variety of contexts across disciplines
- identify some of the mistakes human beings typically make in reasoning and problem-solving
- contrast misuse and appropriate use of quantitative evidence
2.2.e. Religion (3 hours) (REL 100)
This course introduces students to the meaning of Christian faith, its biblical foundation (including consideration of issues in biblical interpretation), and its basic theological dimensions. The student should know and understand the basic doctrines and Biblical texts of the Christian faith and be able to ask questions arising from the stance of faith. Students will be able to:
- show knowledge of the stories of the Bible foundational to the Christian faith
- demonstrate familiarity with the theological content of the Christian faith (including doctrines of God, creation, and the human condition)
- develop skills in thinking and writing critically
- think about Christianity as a world religion that is expressed and manifested differently in various cultural and global contexts
2.2.f. Second Language (6 hours) (FRE, GER, GRE, LAT, SPA, etc.)
These courses provide students with appropriate linguistic skills; help them develop knowledge and sympathetic understanding of cultural differences; and introduce them to the civilization, culture, literature, and other social and artistic achievements of the respective countries. Students will be able to:
- demonstrate awareness of the world beyond the self in an open and intercultural way
- analyze and synthesize information and arguments related to cultural differences
- demonstrate proficiency in a second language at an introductory level
- demonstrate knowledge of the civilizations and cultural production of the respective countries
Policy coda: Students may meet the second language requirement through successful completion of six hours of course work in a second language or through satisfactory completion of a department-implemented exam. Students will also be able to obtain credit-by-examination for second language courses.
Incoming 1st-year students with three or more years of foreign language experience who would like to test out of the language core in either French, German, or Spanish may do so by taking a preliminary placement test in either of these languages on their own computer by sending Dr. Adelia Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Spanish, an e-mail telling her that they want to take the test at least one week ahead of their jump-start appointment: Adelia.firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who score high enough on these tests will be given a second proctored test in their respective language on campus in August to determine their proficiency in the language. The on-campus test will include an oral component and ask for basic cultural understanding as well. If students show proficiency, they will be exempt from taking core language classes. The exemption does not include credit points. However, as an incentive, if those students are going to take two additional language courses at the 2nd year level, six (6) credits for 1st year language proficiency will be added to their transcript without any extra charge.
2.2.g. Wellness (2 hours) (HES 100 and one course from HES 101 through 139)
These courses provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the importance of physical health in valuing and maintaining overall social, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Students will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of general wellness as it pertains to physical activity and nutrition
- understand the value of health related physical fitness for the maintenance of good health and will participate regularly in physical activity
2.3. The Liberal Arts and Sciences
Students will take 27-29 hours of Liberal Arts and Sciences courses from four categories: Humanities (HUM), Human Society and Behavior (HSB), Natural World (NAT), and Fine Arts (FIN). Courses are taken at two levels (I and II).
2.3.a. Level I (21-23 hrs)
At Level I, students take a year-long 6- or 8-hour course or course sequence in Humanities (HUM), in Human Society and Behavior (HSB), and in the Natural World (NAT). Students also take 3 hours in the Fine Arts (FIN), choosing among
ART, DAN, MUS, or THR.
The Level I requirements for HUM, HSB, and NAT can be met in one of four ways, described below. For the first three options, the following applies:
These courses will normally be taught by faculty whose disciplines fall into the category in which the course is proposed. Proposals that explore a "Big Question" (or Questions) from the perspective of more than one discipline are encouraged. The Core Committee will review all proposals to ensure that they meet the objectives and criteria for Level I courses.
1. A year-long course designed equally around subject matter and ways-of-knowing. These courses will explore the methods, vocabularies, assumptions, and intellectual practices of more than one discipline, richly situated in content.
2. Year-long courses within the same category that are linked thematically across the two semesters but can also serve as stand-alone courses. Individual stand-alone courses will be developed and offered to meet demand.
3. Interdisciplinary course sequences or linked courses that cross categories - one semester in one category, and the second in another.
4. The traditional Core content courses, as below. Students who choose to take two traditional courses to fulfill a given Level I LA&S Category requirement must select courses from different disciplines.
- HUM: select two courses from different disciplines: HIS 101, HIS 102; ENG 231; any 100- or 200-level course in PHI or REL
- HSB: select two 100-level courses from different disciplines: SOC, PSY, POL, or ECO
- NAT: select two laboratory courses from different disciplines: AST, BIO, CHE, CNR, EAR, or PHY
2.3.b. Level II (6 hours)
At Level II, students take two upper-level 3- or 4-hour courses designed around a rigorous exploration of a "Big Question" in a way that pushes disciplinary boundaries. Courses will involve Service / Engaged / Experiential Learning (SEE) and intensive writing (WRI): see "Designations" below. Each Level II course must meet the appropriate objectives and criteria for its particular category.
Students must take one course in each category outside of the category containing their major. Students with two majors will select one Level II course in a category not containing either of those majors. Because the professional majors may not fall into an obvious category, they may take any two Level II courses.
Level II courses will include a culminating project designed to demonstrate mastery of the course material and general education or core student learning outcomes. The instructor may assign a paper, an experiment, a performance, and so forth. In all cases, these culminating projects should lend themselves to presentation in the Core Capstone (see below).
The Core Committee will review all course proposals to ensure that they meet the objectives and criteria for Level II courses.
2.4. Core Capstone
As their Core Capstone, students will select one of their Level II culminating projects for presentation to an informed and curious, but not necessarily specialist, audience, such as a professional conference, SOURCE (or something similar), a College, a School, or a specially-convened panel of faculty. Instructors will work with students to frame their major project as a presentation and will be responsible for reporting to the Core Committee the satisfactory completion of the Capstone requirement. Instructors will add a "C" to the Level II course designation for students who have successfully completed this requirement during the term. This requirement carries no credit hours.