Develop a Foundation to Excel

The University of New Haven’s Core Curriculum challenges you to think critically and teaches you how to live and work as global citizens. You’ll develop the soft skills employers are seeking – outside of your expertise in your major – enabling you to differentiate yourself once you start your job search.

Become a Lifelong Learner

The University of New Haven’s robust core curriculum was designed to foster interdisciplinary interactions that enable students to develop as educated individuals who better understand and relate to diverse people, succeed in their chosen careers, and become lifelong learners.

What makes the Core Curriculum so valuable and meaningful? It was developed around the central goal of instilling in students the key attributes that employers value – communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to analyze data, and intercultural awareness, among the primary ones – that are essential to success in any career path and to being an engaged citizen.

Introduction to the University Core Curriculum

The University of New Haven is a student-centered comprehensive university with an emphasis on excellence in liberal arts and professional education. Our mission is to prepare our students to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives in a global society by providing the highest-quality education through experiential, collaborative, and discovery-based learning.

An educated person at the University of New Haven demonstrates a balance of liberal arts, professional, and experiential education. General education is addressed through the University Core Curriculum (as outlined below) and discipline education is addressed through the major requirements within each program. The University of New Haven experience also includes two additional core skills that fully round out the general education program: experiential learning and writing across the curriculum.

Experiential Education

All University of New Haven undergraduates complete at least one of the four pillars of experiential education: academic service-learning, study abroad, an internship, or faculty-mentored research prior to graduation. Academic programs may specify the particular experiential education pillar(s) required for successful completion. Students are encouraged, however, to pursue as many experiential education opportunities as they desire.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

"W" designated courses indicate a writing-intensive course. Every University of New Haven undergraduate must take at least one "W" course, whether as part of the Core or through a major’s requirements and electives prior to graduation. This requirement applies to all bachelor and associate degrees.

University Core Curriculum Overview

The Core encourages interdisciplinary interaction; establishes competency-based outcomes throughout the institution; provides flexibility in achieving those outcomes; and allows for a standardized campus-wide assessment of the general education requirements. The University of New Haven’s Core Curriculum strives to develop nine basic competencies among its undergraduate students so they may better understand and relate to diverse people, succeed in their chosen careers, and pursue lifelong learning after completing their education.

The design of the core is inspired greatly by the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ "LEAP Model"—Liberal Education for America’s Promise. The LEAP initiative seeks to make excellence inclusive by providing essential learning outcomes, high-impact educational practices, and authentic assessments. This LEAP model was adapted to create a University Core that fits with the unique mission, purposes, and identity of the University of New Haven.

The University Core aims to graduate students who:

  • communicate effectively, both in writing and orally,
  • apply quantitative techniques to derive useful information from data,
  • think critically and solve real world problems,
  • appreciate scientific exploration of the natural world,
  • realize their role and responsibilities within a larger society,
  • embrace the diversity of cultural differences,
  • participate effectively as citizens of their own country and the world, and
  • appreciate the aesthetic value of artistic works.

Each of the nine competency categories possesses two tiers of expectations. Tier 1 provides breadth through a fundamental set of outcomes that every student will complete, where as Tier 2 provides depth through higher-level learning outcomes related to more focused content. Tier 2 courses can be selected by the student if not prescribed by the student’s major program. In consultation with a faculty adviser, and based on degree requirements, each student will select core courses from the nine categories.

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Learning Outcomes for the Core Curriculum Competencies

Category Tier 1 Learning Outcomes Tier 2 Learning Outcomes
CC1 - Written Communication The student can:
  1. Produce effective writing that demonstrates an understanding of the relationship among audience, purpose, and voice.
  2. Craft a written response to multiple texts that puts the student’s ideas into conversation with those in the texts.
  3. Develop a writing process that incorporates invention, research, drafting, sharing with others, revision, editing, and reflection.
The student can:
  1. Communicate within the writing conventions of a specific discipline through attention to tone, format, and style.
  2. Compose written work that demonstrates mastery of concepts in the discipline.
  3. Craft a written response to professional writing that puts the student’s ideas into a disciplinary conversation.
CC2 - Oral Communication and Presentation The student can:
  1. Deliver an oral presentation appropriate to the audience and purpose.
  2. Explain the fundamental principles of communication theory.
  3. Adapt oral communication to various interpersonal contexts, such as group discussion, leadership, and conflict situations.
The student can:
  1. Apply communication principles to team building.
  2. Adapt communication to intercultural contexts.
  3. Integrate methods of persuasion into an oral presentation or interaction.
CC3 – Mathematical and Quantitative Literacy The student can:
  1. Apply mathematical concepts and principles to solve problems.
  2. Differentiate among multiple representations of mathematical information.
  3. Assess mathematical reasonableness and consistency.
The student can:
  1. Generate mathematical models based on abstract concepts.
  2. Justify the correctness of a solution based on assumptions made and known limitations of methods used.
  3. Solve complex mathematical problems involving multiple mathematical forms and techniques.

Draw appropriate conclusions as the result of performing quantitative data analysis based on sound assumptions regarding estimation and modeling.

CC4 – Scientific Exploration The student can:
  1. Articulate structural and/or functional aspects of elements of a portion of the natural world.
  2. Use discipline-specific methodologies and technologies to draw conclusions about natural phenomena.
  3. Illustrate the effects of scientific knowledge and progress on societal issues.
The student can:
  1. Evaluate the conduct and/or design of scientific inquiry.
  2. Apply advanced methods/techniques in conducting scientific inquiry.

Assess the potential implications of scientific inquiry.

CC5 – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving The student can:
  1. Compose analytical and/or argumentative essays that address a specific question.
  2. Discern the relevance of available information as it pertains to supporting a chosen position.
  3. Develop a reasoned proposal that addresses a particular issue.
The student can:
  1. Synthesize information from multiple sources to solve a problem.
  2. Follow a process to develop an effective solution to a problem.
  3. Assess the effectiveness of a proposed solution to a problem.
CC6 – Historical Perspectives The student can:
  1. Explain the historical interplay of transformational events and movements in one or more broad regions.
  2. Evaluate primary and secondary historical sources for their perspective and credibility.
  3. Examine the impact of different political, economic, socio-cultural, or religious systems on the historical development of civilizations.
The student can:
  1. Examine the historical interplay of transformational events and movements in a specific context.
  2. Evaluate trends and inconsistencies in historical interpretations and/or assessments of events.
  3. Synthesize historical data from primary and secondary sources into coherent analytical arguments that address questions about the past.
CC7 – The Individual and Society The student can:
  1. Relate theories or perspectives on thought, behavior, and decision-making to personal and social awareness.
  2. Articulate various theories or perspectives of social interaction.
  3. Reflect upon group or organizational membership as it relates to ethical conduct.
The student can:
  1. Evaluate the decisions and interactions of individuals and/or groups.
  2. Compare and contrast various theories/perspectives regarding the individual and society.
  3. Express a personal philosophy or code of ethics in the context of social responsibility.
CC8 – Global and Intercultural Awareness The student can:
  1. Interpret various aspects of another society’s material and expressive culture.
  2. Identify differences among the culture being studied and other cultures.
  3. Explain some of the cultural practices related to the formation of social identities.
The student can:
  1. Interpret aspects of the material and expressive culture of a specific region and/or group.
  2. Evaluate differences among the culture being studied and other cultures.
  3. Analyze the cultural practices of a specific region and/or group.
CC9 – Perspectives on Creative Arts The student can:
  1. Describe various forms of creative arts as expressive and material culture in social contexts.
  2. Examine the respective roles of technique, process, and methodology needed to produce creative artworks in various media forms.
  3. Draw conclusions about the use and function of a creative art practice and/or specific artworks within historical and/or cultural contexts.
The student can:
  1. Analyze and/or produce one or more creative art forms and/or works of art.
  2. Incorporate elements of technique, process, and methodology in the making and/or analysis of art.
  3. Employ reflection and/or revision in the appraisal or making of art.
CCW – Writing Across the Curriculum A course designated with a W has the following requirements:
  1. Maximum student enrollment is 20.
  2. The instructor must provide explicit instruction on writing, including strategies for developing ideas, organization, style, and mastering discipline-specific formats.
  3. The instructor must incorporate feedback on writing assignments, including comments related to thesis development, essay structure, organization, mechanics and correctness.
  4. The instructor must emphasize revision as part of the writing process.
  5. Each student must submit a minimum of 4500 words of revised written work.
  6. The instructor must use writing to enable and extend learning of the subject matter (i.e., writing is not done solely for purposes of evaluation. Students learn through writing.)

“W” courses do not have to be in Tier II, nor do they need to be Core Curriculum Courses.