Engaged Citizen Core Curriculum
A Central College education prepares students to be engaged citizens. The core curriculum of a Central education is a combination of courses and proficiency requirements that ensure the education of all Central students is grounded in doing the world a world of good.
We teach students to be mindful of our relationships with other human beings and the world around us. These include our relationships with families and local communities as well as diverse populations across the nation and the globe. We are also mindful of our relationships with nature and technology, the non-human elements that shape our lives.
As engaged citizens, we practice critical reflection about questions of importance to our communities and relationships. This reflection requires informing ourselves about the world by using rigorous methods of inquiry. It also involves entering the intellectual conversation, formulating and critiquing arguments as part of public discourse.
Finally, as engaged citizens, we act with responsibility, working to build a more just society and to find solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Informed by ethical reflection, we are actively involved in our communities, exercising empathy in our service to others.
The student learning outcomes include the opportunity to:
- Cultivate behaviors conducive to lifelong learning.
- Develop and demonstrate essential knowledge, habits and values for ethical, engaged citizens in diverse communities.
- Develop and demonstrate essential skills for future careers.
Core Requirements for Engaged Citizenship
The Core consists of five main components: Civitas, Citizenship, Written and Oral Communication, Exploration and Modern Language.
Civitas I courses will emphasize becoming an engaged, reflective and responsible citizen of our campus community. All first-year students enroll in a Civitas I seminar. Small groups of students explore the intersections of academic and intellectual disciplines, ideas and events that converge, connect and collide.
Civitas II courses focus on a problem or question related to creating a more just society. Some form of community engagement is an expectation. The courses serve as a common sophomore experience and reinforce the student learning outcomes and written and oral skills introduced in Civitas I courses.
Civitas I and II (2 courses) are required interdisciplinary courses designed to develop skills in open-inquiry, respectful dialogue and critical reading, as well as written and oral comm vitas I courses.
Citizenship courses (2 courses at the 200-400 level) offer opportunities for students to identify, research and respectfully discuss national and global issues of the past, present and future from more than one perspective. As distinct from the broader, problem-focused approach of Civitas II, these courses are more discipline-specific. These issue-focused courses provide an opportunity to compare and contrast responsible membership in local communities with broader national or global citizenship.
Written and Oral Communication courses (2 courses at the 200-400 level) develop advanced oral and written communication skills both within and outside of the major. Students must take one course within their major.
Exploration courses (3 courses) are required to encourage first- and second-year students to explore a range of disciplines since a well-rounded, liberal arts education enables them to be better citizens. These courses teach students foundational skills for academic success.
Modern language courses (2 courses or equivalent) support Central students’ intercultural development through the attainment of college-level language skills. The study of modern languages opens new pathways for cultural encounters and helps students to reflect on their own culture.
In total, the Engaged Citizen core requirements represent approximately one-third of the 120 total credits required for graduation. For specific information on the courses that fulfill core requirements, please see the course catalog.