Core Curriculum

The purpose of the core curriculum is to provide students with the basic skills needed to pursue a liberal arts education, to expose them to a variety of modes of inquiry in different disciplines and to promote critical reflection about global perspectives—College Catalog, 2015-2016, p. 38. Two parts comprise the core curriculum: foundation and methods of inquiry.

The process adopted for developing, measuring and adapting curricula follows six common steps for assessing student learning outcomes as listed below. Hood faculty from respective departments collectively define common student learning outcomes and identify the key assignments and assessment tools for capturing and evaluating college-wide student performance. The defined process also allows for faculty collaboration on the development, implementation and adaption phases of the College’s core curriculum plan.

College’s Student Learning Assessment Cycle

Step 1. Determine student learning expectations
Step 2. Draft student learning outcomes that align with the identified expectations
Step 3. Determine key assessment tools used for measuring each student learning outcome
Step 4. Determine when the student performance data will be gathered per learning outcome
Step 5. Generate the Looking Back – Moving Forward annual report
Step 6. Implement and monitor academic changes

Core Curriculum Areas

Foundation (19-22 credits)

  • English Composition 3-4 credits
  • First-Year Seminar 3 credits
  • Quantitative Literacy 3-4 credits
  • Foreign Languages 8 credits
  • Health and Wellness 2-3 credits

Methods of Inquiry (25-31 credits)

  • Global Perspectives 3-4 credits
  • Historical Analysis 3-4 credits
  • Literary Analysis 3-4 credits
  • Philosophical Inquiry 3 credits 
  • Visual and Performing Arts 3-4 credits
  • Scientific Thought 7-8 credits
  • Social and Behavior Analysis 3-4 credits

Core Curriculum and College Competencies: A Four-Year Assessment Plan 2014-18