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The general education program at Manchester University - The Manchester Core: A Program in the Liberal Arts - was approved by the Faculty in May of 2008, and was implemented in the Fall of 2009.
Manchester University seeks to develop in each student an appreciation for learning through an academic foundation grounded in the disciplines and in-depth study in specific majors. This combination prepares students for graduate school, the professions, and positions of leadership in all areas of society. A broad-based, flexible General Education curriculum in the liberal arts provides the most appropriate formal preparation to:
C-1 FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS
A strong education presumes that students can express their thoughts clearly in written and oral form; that they know how to organize, develop, and refine thoughts for maximum effectiveness; and that they can think quantitatively at a high level in order to understand the complexities of a technologically sophisticated world. All students are expected to demonstrate or acquire basic levels of these foundational skills during their first year.
Written, oral, and quantitative reasoning skills are infused across the Core curriculum so that students have multiple opportunities to reinforce them. Most courses proposed for the categories “Integration Into Our World,” “Ways of Knowing,” and “Synthesis and Critical Thinking” will reinforce one of these skills.
The syllabus will indicate that the skills instruction is an integral part of the course and that skills-oriented assignments will receive sufficient weight to reflect this foundational ability.
First-Year Seminar in Critical Thinking (C-1FYS)
Criteria for Core W-courses
Assignments should emphasize some of the following skills:
Criteria for Major W-course
Oral Communication (C-1O)
• COMM 110 or proficiency
Criteria for Oral Communication Foundation
Criteria for Core O-courses
Quantitative Reasoning (C-1Q)
Note: These courses have as a pre- or co-requisite MATH 105 Basic Algebra or proficiency.
Criteria for Quantitative Reasoning Foundation
For MATH 113, 115, 210, or PYSC 241: understand and use basic statistical concepts including making and interpreting graphic representations of data, constructing and interpreting scatterplots and regression lines, understanding randomness, error and variation in samples, survey and experimental design, basic concepts of statistical inference (i.e., estimation and/or hypothesis testing), and limitations of statistical approaches.
For MATH 121: understand and use derivatives and integrals, and apply these concepts to rates of change, optimization, exponential growth or decay, and area beneath a curve.
Criteria for Core Q-courses
C-2 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND WELLNESS
A strong liberal education presumes that students can meet the challenges of a career and responsible citizenship by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is essential that students engage in physical activity and learn life-long activities that will contribute to a purposeful, healthy, and rewarding life.
Students will choose classes from a list of physical activity and wellness courses — two from PE 101 (Lifetime Activity) and two from PE 105 (Fitness and Wellness Activity). Student-athletes who compete at the intercollegiate level are not allowed to take an activity course in the same sport in which they compete.
C-3 INTEGRATION INTO THE WORLD
Global citizenship requires an understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of the world and a commitment to addressing its multiple needs. Honoring its roots in the Church of the Brethren, Manchester University approaches such challenges through a commitment to responsible stewardship of resources, peaceful transformation of conflict, civic engagement and service to others, appreciation for other cultures, and respect for the infinite value of every person. Students can best be prepared to become persons of ability and conviction by approaching the challenges of global citizenship by applying the values and attitudes most central to the University’s history.
The above three criteria must be met through one of the following means:
C-4 WAYS OF KNOWING
A strong liberal education presumes a breadth of knowledge and basic understanding of how different disciplines define themselves, understand reality, and contribute to other fields. Students will choose a total of nine courses from lists of courses in the following areas:
Philosophical, Religious, and Creative Inquiry
How humans express their values and beliefs. This category is devoted to the study of human expressions of beliefs, values, and aspirations.
Four courses, one in each of the following areas, satisfying the following criteria:
Human Behavior and Institutions
How and why humans do what they do. This category is devoted to the study of how humans behave both individually and collectively.
Three courses, from different disciplines, each of which must satisfy the following criteria:
The Natural World
How and why the world works as it does. This category is devoted to the scientific study of natural processes in the world.
Two courses, from different disciplines, each of which must satisfy the following criteria:
C-5 SYNTHESIS AND CRITICAL THINKING
Liberal education requires both the acquisition of knowledge from many disciplines and also the ability to connect and synthesize material from multiple perspectives. Through public programs representing diverse topics and perspectives as well as an upper-level interdisciplinary course, students will learn to understand and respond to complexity.
•One course, to be completed during the junior or senior year.
Values, Ideas and the Arts
Through VIA programs, students will gain exposure to a range of intellectual and artistic ideas and values.
The BA and BS degree
Bachelor of Arts
Students who seek the BA degree will demonstrate language proficiency, other than their native language, at the Intermediate level.
They will be able to interact with native speakers well enough to accomplish uncomplicated communicative tasks in the target culture; acquire information from various media, including broadcast and print, and make basic suppositions; and write to convey information and opinions. Students will demonstrate basic control of structures to express different time frames (present, past, future) and attitudes (conditional, subjunctive), and understand common gestures and forms of politeness.
Bachelor of Science
Students who seek the BS degree will demonstrate mastery of quantitative thinking skills at the level of introductory (conceptual) statistics or applied (non-theoretical) calculus or higher.
They will be able to construct and interpret graphs used to present data and mathematical relationships, and identify misuses of data and common fallacies in numerical reasoning. In a course on statistics students will learn the role of probability in drawing statistical conclusions, understand when causation is a valid conclusion rather than simple correlation, and apply basic statistical techniques. In a calculus course students will understand and apply common growth models (e.g., linear, quadratic, exponential), and analyze and interpret rates of change in applied settings.
Course Distribution: (52 hours total)
C-1 Foundational Skills: 3 courses
C-2 Physical Activity and Wellness: 4 courses
C-3 Integration Into the World: 3 courses
C-4 Ways of Knowing: 9 courses
C-5 Synthesis and Critical Thinking: 1 course, 1 semester hour for VIA attendance