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Integrated Courses in the Integrative Core

The major challenges faced by societies have always been complex and are becoming even more so. In order to appreciate these complexities and to work toward just solutions, John Carroll students need the ability to integrate knowledge from more than one perspective or discipline. Thus, part of the responsibility of a liberal arts core curriculum is to assist students in gaining that competency through exposure to interdisciplinary and integrated models of learning. This competency will help them better understand past and present while preparing for the future.

Integrated courses come in two varieties:

  • Linked Courses
  • Engaging the Global Community (team taught or learning community courses)

Because all integrated courses have a writing component that builds on the skills students learn in their foundational writing course(s), foundational writing (EN 125 or EN 120/121) is a prerequisite for all integrated courses.

Few critical issues facing us today can be adequately addressed through a single perspective. Equipping our students to examine real-world problems and key intellectual questions through multiple disciplinary lenses is the goal of our linked courses. Two three-credit courses from different departments and disciplinary perspectives will focus on a shared theme or a shared set of topics and ask students to use the methodologies of each discipline to gain a deeper understanding of the theme, intellectual question, and/or real-world problem.

Requirement: Students will take one pair of linked 3-credit courses, which are co-requisites, from two different departments, during a single semester.

One distinct element of the Integrative Core Curriculum is the requirement that students pass a linked pair of courses that examine similar concepts from different disciplinary perspectives. The linked pairs require a level of integration that distinguishes them from any other offerings. Students must pass both courses in the linked pair for Core fulfillment. Consequently, the University has a unique policy for how to resolve drops, withdrawals, and insufficient grades, which may occur in one or both linked classes. Specific guidelines are provided below.

Students who drop both courses during Add/Drop (Week #1) may retake the entire link without the submission of an academic petition. They also may take a different link to fulfill their Core requirement. Students who withdraw from both courses after Add/Drop (Weeks #2-12), or who finish both courses with a C- or lower, may submit an academic petition for permission to retake the entire link. Students should see the University’s Course Attempt policy for further guidelines.

Students who withdraw from both courses also may take a different link to fulfill their Core requirement. Students who withdraw from one of the linked courses and remain in the other must obtain both instructors’ written permission (sent to Enrollment Services) to do so. Students who withdraw or fail one of the linked courses and pass the other with a C or better may submit an academic petition for permission to repeat the entire link.* They also may take a different link for Core fulfillment. If the choice is to repeat the same link, the last passing grades will factor into the grade point average. Course credit will be awarded once, and all attempts remain on the transcript.

*This is an exception to the Course Attempt policy. It is an exception due to the unique integration of courses required in a linked-pair of classes.

Prerequisites: Because writing/writing as a process is emphasized in the linked courses, students must complete their foundational writing requirement before enrolling in the linked courses.

Engaging the Global Community (EGC)

The global interconnectedness of the 21st century requires a curricular component in which students engage with diverse cultural perspectives and develop a sense of global responsibility. Global interdependence brings about new widely-shared meanings, values, and understandings of the natural and social worlds. An emphasis on global learning recognizes that every person occupies simultaneously a range of positions between the local and global and that changes in one part of the system will result in changes in other parts. Because issues of global impact likewise cross disciplinary and national boundaries, EGC courses are interdisciplinary: they are either team-taught by professors from different disciplines or taught by a single professor who is part of an interdisciplinary learning community.

Requirement: Students must take one EGC course.