Associate Professor Nancy Locklin-Sofer, Chair, Core Curriculum
The Maryville Curriculum, a core program of general education, is based on the conviction that liberal learning is the best preparation for a satisfying and successful life, whatever one’s vocation. While many aspects of the college experience, including major-field requirements, allow students to prepare for a variety of careers and professions, general education emphasizes the cultivation of those intellectual and personal qualities that mark the educated person. Through the enhancement of skills and knowledge, the deepening of sensitivities, and the clarification of personal purpose, students learn to deal responsibly with a world of uncertainty and accelerating change.
General education is the centerpiece of any liberal arts degree; it provides curricular definition to the mission of a liberal arts college. The Maryville Curriculum follows directly and consciously from the College’s Statement of Purpose and Educational Goals.
The Maryville Curriculum, often called the “core” curriculum, consists of 60 credit hours for the Bachelor of Arts degree and 54 credit hours for the Bachelor of Music degree. Some general education requirements are waived by virtue of the student’s major; others may be met by demonstration of competence.
Distinctive features of the Maryville Curriculum are:
- An integrated and sequenced set of first-year courses designed to assist in adjustment to college life, to attend to the developmental and learning issues unique to freshmen, and to develop the basic communication, quantitative, and critical thinking skills needed for success in college,
- A range of coursework that provides grounding in the various modes of inquiry, service learning and in all aspects of the liberal arts,
- Courses that are designed for general education, not for a major,
- A range of choices for students among courses that fulfill common goals,
- Junior- and senior-level courses designed to draw together the college learning experience outside the major and provide integration of liberal learning and the various modes of inquiry,
- An emphasis on interdisciplinary coursework spanning the four years,
- A strong global and cross-cultural dimension,
- Attention to values and ethical decision making throughout the curriculum, with a capstone course focusing on these matters in the January Term of the senior year,
- A curricular structure with integrated freshmen and senior experiences that provide coherence along with solid beginnings and a clear culmination to the liberal arts experience.