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Core Curriculum Proposal Guidelines

Eloquentia Perfecta

From the core document:

Goals. The ability to express oneself with logical clarity in both written and oral form is a basic goal of the core and needs to be pursued in courses beyond the first phase of the core that deals explicitly with writing proficiency. Building on skills developed in the foundational Composition and Rhetoric class or introducing students to disciplinary approaches to effective presentation, EP seminars will embody the core’s emphasis on writing and speaking, now with particular attention to the disciplinary concerns of the specific courses bearing the EP designation.

Description. In addition to their disciplinary goals, core classes designated as Eloquentia Perfecta (or EP) seminars will dedicate at least one fifth of class time to student writing and oral expression. Work on student writing and oral expression might include, but need not be limited to, peer review and editing, guided group analysis of student essays, in-class work on essay assignments, study of discipline-specific writing conventions, and oral presentations by individuals and/or groups. In order to facilitate sustained and detailed attention to student prose, EP seminars will be capped at 19 students.


  • Writing Component:
    • Specify how a minimum of 15 pages of writing, based on at least one cycle of feedback and revision, will be assigned.
    • Specify how feedback, revision, and skill development will take place. (Include both instructor feedback and peer feedback if any.)
  • Speaking Component:
    • Specify how the speaking component of the course will be implemented.
    • Specify how feedback and skill development will take place on the speaking portion of the course.
  • Distribution of class time:
    • A minimum of 1/5 of overall class time during the semester is to be devoted to student writing and speaking. Specify how much class time is devoted to:
      • Writing, feedback on writing, revising and development of writing.
      • Speaking, feedback on speaking, and development of speaking skills.

Note: A course that is proposed for Eloquentia Perfecta should not also be proposed for Interdisciplinary Capstone Core. A course that is proposed for Eloquentia Perfecta 2 must also be proposed for Texts & Contexts. A course that is proposed for Eloquentia Perfecta 4 must also be proposed for Values Seminar.

American Pluralism

From the core document (as amended by College Councils):

Goals. American Pluralism courses will afford students the opportunity to develop tolerance, sensitivities, and knowledge of the following forms of American diversity: race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender. Questions relating to the social, historical, political, religious and cultural manifestations of race and ethnicity will normally have a strong presence throughout the course.


  • Identify the form(s) of American Pluralism that this course will focus on.
  • Identify readings and assignments which ensure that race and ethnicity has a strong presence in the course.
  • Specify how the course fulfills the particular goals of the American Pluralism requirement to afford the student the opportunity to develop tolerance, sensitivities, and knowledge of the forms of diversity described above.

Global Studies

From the core document:

Goals. Global studies courses are intended to ensure that students come to respect, understand, and appreciate the significant variations in customs, institutions and world views that have shaped peoples and their lives. Economic, political, business, religious, and/or social institutions, as well as values and the media, the arts, literature, and philosophy are all appropriate categories for investigation.

Courses. In order to ensure an appreciation of varying customs and views, a significant portion of each course will be devoted to materials outside the experience of most students; i.e., distinct from North American or European mainstream experience.


  • Explain how the course employs materials that are “outside the experience of most students, i.e., distinct from North American and European mainstream experience.”
  • Identify readings and assignments that offer non-Western/non-hegemonic perspectives.

Interdisciplinary Capstone Core

From the core document:

Goals. Courses offered to fulfill this final requirement in the Literature/History/Social Science sequence use interdisciplinary study to bring students to a higher level of understanding through learning the limits of disciplinarity. By focusing on and comparing multiple methodologies, students will develop a more reflective appreciation of the interrelationships among various disciplinary ways of knowing, and of the ways in which Literature, History, and/or Social Science give rise to knowledge and may lead to higher level syntheses and comparisons.

Description. Each course will feature at least two disciplines, at least one involving Literature, History, or Social Science, that conceive and study a common topic or problem. These courses will likely be topical and will involve the detailed study of complex subject matter from the point of view of more than one discipline. The courses are expected to use original sources — texts, documents, objects, materials and data — characteristic of the disciplines featured. Depending on instructors or topics, the disciplines may be related in various ways; for instance, the examination of how different disciplines can be integrated in order to solve a complex problem that neither discipline alone could solve; a dialog between or across disciplines that engenders an expanded and enriched perspective; or the confrontation of two conflicting methodologies that engender tension and opposing conclusions. Introductory disciplinary courses in English, History and Social Science are prerequisites. Advanced courses in these disciplines should be taken before or at least simultaneously with the Interdisciplinary seminar. These courses will be capped at 19 students per professor (i.e., 38 students for two professors, 57 for three, etc.) in order to allow for discussion and detailed attention to students’ writing and oral presentation.

Courses. The Interdisciplinary seminar will be team taught by professors representing different disciplines or taught by a single individual who has expertise in both disciplines. One discipline featured in each interdisciplinary course must use methods that are literary, historical, or based on a social science, and may include participants from areas such as English, History, Social Sciences, Classics, African and African American Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures, and interdisciplinary programs. The second or other disciplines in each course must be different from the first, but may be literary, historical or social scientific, or from any other discipline, such as the sciences, fine and performing arts, philosophy or theology. Courses may feature two different social sciences if their disciplinary approaches are different.

Further guidance:

The challenge for an ICC label is to analyze the intrinsic interdisciplinarity of a field into its disciplinary constituents: How do two disciplines approach the same topic differently to add to our understanding of it? So, we want students to see how your topic might be approached by, say, Philosophy and then again by, say, History, to see how both disciplines have something to contribute. Finally, while it is difficult to distinguish primary and secondary sources (and that may be an important point that the course makes), the ICC asks that the students get to see the typical primary sources used by each discipline (e.g., survey data or court transcripts or poems).

The spirit of the ICC is to examine the role of disciplines in knowledge formation by "focusing on and comparing multiple methodologies.” A course may be intrinsically interdisciplinary, but for an ICC one needs to spend time separately with each discipline showing its unique contributions and limits. A key here is indeed getting students to understand the “limits of disciplinarity." In general, ICC interdisciplinarity is best limited to 2 or 3 disciplines (at least oneof which is History, Literature, or a Social Science). The disciplines should be introduced as disciplines, and students should see discipline-typical primary sources.


  • List two or more different disciplinary approaches your course will take to its central topic or problems. At least one of the disciplines must be literary, historical, or a social science.
  • Identify scholarly readings and other assignments in which these different disciplinary approaches are introduced and related to one another.
  • List some examples from your syllabus, of primary sources characteristic of each of these disciplinary approaches.
  • Indicate how the seminar expectation for discussion and interaction will be met (especially for courses with two or more instructors).

Note: A course that is proposed for Interdisciplinary Capstone Core should not also be proposed for Eloquentia Perfecta. A course cannot have the ICC attribute and also one of the Advanced Literature, Advanced History, or Advanced Social Science core attributes.

Values Seminar

From the core document:

Goals. In this capstone seminar, students will learn that all knowledge and living involves values. The focus of each seminar will be the identification and questioning of ethical and moral issues in order to cultivate social responsibility in scholarship and living. Students will learn to confront complex problems from multiple points of view, to respect and converse with points of view other than their own, and to reflect on and intelligently discuss different approaches to the questions concerning how people live. Most importantly, this course aims to teach students to identify, take seriously, and think deeply and fairly about complex ethical issues in contemporary and former times. As a seminar in the Eloquentia Perfecta format, all the skills developed in the core curriculum will culminate: close reading, analysis, critical thinking, and eloquent verbal and written expression. Finally, as one of the capstones to the undergraduate core, these seminars will allow students to recollect and integrate their undergraduate learning with an eye toward its application in their later lives.

Description. Faculty from all departments in the Arts and Sciences will develop these capstone seminars that challenge students to think ethically about problems facing human beings in the 21st century. Deliberately small and writing intensive, this capstone seminar will be structured in an Eloquentia Perfecta format with a fifth of class time devoted to writing and presentation. These courses will be offered and owned by the entire faculty and reflect the ways in which moral questions infuse the full spectrum of arts and science disciplines. Diverse topics will provide compelling occasions to bring into focus the challenges of knowing and living a good life aimed at social justice in the complex social world.


  • Identify the ethical and moral issue(s) this course will focus on.
  • Identify readings and assignments which approach these issues from multiple points of view.
  • Explain how this course fulfills the goals for a capstone seminar.

Note: A course proposed for Values Seminar must also be proposed for Eloquentia Perfecta 4.