2016 - 2017 Academic Catalog

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum guides learning across all majors within Lasell’s unique connected learning environment. With its emphasis on multidisciplinary thinking, ethical reasoning, and problem-solving, the Core provides the basis for the skills and breadth of knowledge students need to succeed in the working world.

Core Student Learning Outcomes

 
The Core Curriculum is built on a set of 14 outcomes that are also integrated across courses in all majors. They represent three goals: core intellectual skills, knowledge perspectives, and synthesis & application.

Core Intellectual Skills

  • Read and respond in an informed and discerning way to written texts of different genres
  • Write clear, well-organized, persuasive prose
  • Use listening and speaking skills to express ideas and information clearly and confidently in a variety of settings
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to solve problems effectively
  • Use appropriate technological tools to solve problems efficiently
  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize appropriate data and sources effectively, ethically, and legally
  • Work effectively in collaborative settings


Knowledge Perspectives

  • Experience modes of self-expression and creativity (Aesthetics & Creativity)
  • Apply the process of scientific inquiry to comprehend the physical world and to solve problems (Scientific Inquiry & Problem-solving)
  • Interpret and analyze the complex interrelationships and inequities in human societies in a global and historical context (Global & Historical Perspectives)
  • Evaluate and understand how individual differences and societal contexts impact human behaviors, beliefs, values, interactions, and emotional and intellectual processes (Individuals & Society)


Synthesis & Application

  • Analyze how meanings and knowledge are created by diverse cultures and how they evolve over time
  • Respond critically and analytically to moral issues and make informed, ethical decisions
  • Participate actively as a citizen in local and global communities

Common Core Learning Experiences  

CORE COURSES   

The Core Curriculum is made up of inquiry-based courses and internship and capstone experiences, creating a common core learning experience for students each year. As the courses increase in depth and complexity, students develop knowledge, skills, and ownership of their education, and create the habits of lifelong intellectual exploration and social responsibility. Students earn 51 credits for courses taken within the Core Curriculum.

The theme-based First Year Seminar emphasizes the core intellectual skills, while providing an introduction to the knowledge perspectives; connected learning projects and challenging class assignments incorporate synthesis and application.

In the first year, students also complete a self-paced, technology-enhanced mathematics course and take two courses focused on writing skills. Students build on the skills in writing and quantitative literacy established in these foundational courses in two writing-intensive courses within the major and an additional mathematics course, often also within the major. In addition, two speaking-intensive courses within the major focus on oral presentation and speaking skills.

Four courses taken during the first two years engage students in understanding and solving problems they will encounter in their professional and personal lives from four different Knowledge PerspectivesAesthetics and Creativity, Scientific Inquiry and Problem Solving, Global and Historical Perspectives, and Individuals and Society.

Multidisciplinary Course, usually taken in the sophomore year, introduces a social or intellectual problem (such as sustainable cities) that cannot be addressed from a single knowledge perspective. Faculty guide students through a critical thinking process that crosses traditional disciplinary lines.

The Ethics Experience course, usually taken in the junior year, challenges students to analyze and grapple with real, current moral dilemmas, and their complex ethical solutions, by connecting cultural and historical ways of understanding ethical thinking with professional standards.   In their last two years, students further integrate the Knowledge Perspectives, refine the Core Intellectual Skills, and practice high-level Synthesis and Application in  courses within their majors. The Capstone and Internship Experiences serve as the culmination of the Core Curriculum where students experience the highest level of connection between Core and Department outcomes, skills, and knowledge.  

CORE COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT  

Students develop and refine their competencies in all 14 of Lasell's core student learning outcomes through courses in the Core Curriculum and in the majors. Opportunities for students to develop competencies for each outcome are described below:  

INTELLECTUAL SKILLS

These skills are essential to success across professional fields. They are introduced in key courses and are integrated into all majors at Lasell.  

  • Read and respond in an informed and discerning way to written texts of different genres

Lasell introduces students to this learning outcome with the common reading during the summer before they matriculate, and reflections on the common reading are then integrated into the First Year Seminar. Additional assignments in First Year Seminar and first-year writing courses require critical reading of diverse texts. All majors include two writing-intensive courses - one upper level and one lower level - that, in support of other courses in the major, apply critical reading skills to increasingly complex texts. Projects in the culminating capstone experience require reading texts in a sophisticated way needed for entry into the student's chosen profession or further study on the graduate level.  

  • Write clear, well-organized, persuasive prose

Two first-year writing courses introduce foundational skills; two department-based writing-intensive courses - one lower level and one upper level - emphasize these skills and support their application to the disciplines. Students continue to reinforce and sharpen their writing skills throughout their major programs of study, as well as in the Core Curriculum, especially in Knowledge Perspective courses, the sophomore multidisciplinary course, and the junior Ethics Experience. Senior capstone courses in each major feature significant written products appropriate to their professional context. Examples include grant proposals, research papers, team-developed analyses, and research-based design statements. 

  • Use listening and speaking skills to express information clearly and confidently in a variety of settings

Discussion-based first-year courses, especially First Year Seminar and first-year writing courses, introduce students to foundational speaking and presentation skills. Two department-based speaking-intensive courses - one lower level and one upper level - emphasize these skills and support their application to the disciplines. Students continue to reinforce and sharpen their listening, speaking, and presentation skills throughout their major programs of study, as well as in the Core Curriculum, especially in Knowledge Perspective courses, the sophomore multidisciplinary course, and the junior Ethics Experience. Senior capstone courses in each major feature individual and group presentations that demonstrate preparedness for professional work and future graduate study. The Connected Learning Symposium provides opportunities every semester for students to make poster and oral presentations in a professional conference-like setting.

  • Apply quantitative reasoning to solve problems effectively

A modular course in algebraic operations introduces students to foundational quantitative reasoning skills in the first year. Students' quantitative reasoning skills are reinforced through an additional Math course, such as Calculus or Statistics, usually determined by the major.  Additional course work emphasizes quantitative reasoning skills, as appropriate, through a variety of courses in disciplines such as Economics, Accounting, Environmental Studies, and Fashion Design, among many others. A Math minor offers an opportunity for students to complement their major with a program of study that concentrates on quantitative reasoning skills.

  • Use appropriate technological tools to solve problems efficiently

From the first year on, all Lasell students become more proficient and efficient in the use of Moodle, our Learning Management System, which is introduced to them during Summer Orientation. Faculty integrate technology tools into course work across the curriculum so that students gain the skills to use and benefit from simulations, software applications, and other tools needed to succeed in their chosen professions.  In addition, students gain skills at using presentation tools, which they demonstrate at the Connected Learning Symposium every semester.

  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize appropriate data and sources effectively, ethically, and legally

Writing II introduces all first-year students to the fundamentals of using research materials though library information literacy sessions and research assignments. Designated courses in every major emphasize the importance of these skills as they apply to specific disciplines, and the skills are reinforced through progressively more complex course work in the major, as well as in components of the Core Curriculum, including Knowledge Perspective courses, the sophomore Multidisciplinary course, and the junior ethics experience. Many students hone their research skills through independent Directed Study projects, linked credits, and Honors components. All students apply these skills to comprehensive assignments in their capstone courses.

  • Work effectively in collaborative settings

Consistent with Lasell's project-focused Connected Learning philosophy, courses in most majors and in the Core Curriculum require group projects that emphasize the importance of team work and collaboration. Beginning with First Year Seminar and culminating in major capstone courses, students collaborate with both faculty and peers on research projects, service learning projects, and Honors Components. Every semester, students demonstrate their collaborative efforts in presentations at the Connected Learning Symposium.

KNOWLEDGE PERSPECTIVES

Through the Knowledge Perspectives, students become acquainted with ways that professionals ask questions, solve problems, and communicate their results. An ability to understand and use these perspectives supports students' career success. First Year Seminar introduces all students to a "splash" of each of the four Knowledge Perspectives, while designated courses taken in the first two years provide a more in-depth experience. Courses in the majors, as well as co-curricular activities, apply the skills to professional and practical contexts.  

  • Experience modes of self-expression and creativity (Aesthetics & Creativity)

Following the "splash" in First Year Seminar, a course such as Art History I, Popular Music, or Dance Explorations provides a foundation for understanding and appreciating aesthetic principles and the creative process. Students may choose to explore this Knowledge Perspective further in relation to one of the other Knowledge Perspectives in a Multidisciplinary course taken in the sophomore year. Courses within certain majors, such as Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Communication, emphasize this KP, while many students choose minors such as Studio Art and Graphic Design that do so, as well. Many students take electives in the arts and/or pursue co-curricular activities, such as Chorus, drama productions, and dance, that apply aesthetic principles in creative practice. Much of this work is on display at the Connected Learning Symposium at the end of every semester.

  • Apply the process of scientific inquiry to comprehend the natural world and to solve problems (Scientific Inquiry & Problem-Solving)

Following the "splash" in First Year Seminar a course such as Astronomy or Forensics provides a foundation for understanding and appreciating principles of scientific inquiry. Students may choose to explore this Knowledge Perspective further in relation to one of the other Knowledge Perspectives in a Multidisciplinary course taken in the sophomore year. Courses within certain majors such as Athletic Training, Exercise Science, and Environmental Studies emphasize this KP. Work in these courses is often on display at the Connected Learning Symposium at the end of every semester.

  • Interpret and analyze the complex interrelationships and inequities in human societies in a global and historical context (Global / Historical Perspectives)

Following the "splash" in First Year Seminar,  all students take HIST 104: World Civilization II sometime in their first two years. In this team-taught and highly interactive course, students are immersed in the kinds of inquiry and discourse that historians use to understand world events over time in a global context. Selected courses in most majors and minors reinforce this Knowledge Perspective, and some, like History, Sociology, and Human Rights, emphasize it. Students have additional opportunities to develop skills related to this Knowledge Perspective through programming by the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies, participation in international service-learning programs, and Study Abroad.

  • Evaluate and understand how individual differences in mental processes and behaviors relate to beliefs, values, and interactions (Individuals & Society)

Following the "splash" in First Year Seminar, a course such as Psychological Perspectives or Sociological Imagination introduces students to connections and interactions between individual beliefs and behaviors and societal values and norms. Course work in several majors, such as Psychology and Human Services, and certain minors, like Aging and Intergenerational Studies, emphasize this Knowledge Perspective, and disciplines associated with it, such as Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice, offer courses that are popular electives for students in many other majors. Many students explore this Knowledge Perspective more deeply through linked-credits in service-learning, social justice activism, and intergenerational studies. Students have additional opportunities to develop skills related to this Knowledge Perspective through programming by the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies, participation in international service-learning programs, and Study Abroad.  

SYNTHESIS AND APPLICATION

These outcomes call on students to integrate skills, knowledge, and experiences in their major courses, field work, and Core courses. The related skills are essential for members of workplace and civic communities.  

  • Analyze how meanings and knowledge are created by diverse cultures and how they evolve over time

Many of the Knowledge Perspective and Multidisciplinary courses in the Core Curriculum introduce students to critical analysis, especially in the context of cultural diversity. Certain majors, like English Literature, and minors, like Diversity and Inclusion, emphasize these skills, as do selected courses in most other majors and minors. Many students develop these skills of synthesis and application related to issues of diversity further through linked-credits in service-learning, social justice activism, intergenerational studies, and research, as well as through programming by the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies, and especially through participation in international service-learning programs and Study Abroad.

  • Respond critically and analytically to moral issues and make informed, ethical decisions

While courses in all majors introduce students to ethical issues and moral reasoning, and many majors have specific requirements related to professional ethics, the Junior Ethics experience offers students the most comprehensive academic opportunity to apply and synthesize modes of ethical reasoning and practical decision-making. Many students develop these skills of ethical reasoning and moral decision-making further through linked-credits in service-learning, social justice activism, intergenerational studies, and research, as well as through programming by the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies and participation in international service-learning programs.

  • Participate actively as a citizen in communities both large and small

First Year Seminar and many Knowledge Perspective and Multidisciplinary courses introduce students to principles and practices of active citizenship, and these are reinforced through service-learning requirements in certain courses in every major. Many students develop these skills of synthesis and application related to active local and global citizenship further through linked-credits in service-learning, social justice activism, intergenerational studies, and research, as well as through programming by the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies and participation in international service-learning programs. Active local and global citizenship is a signature theme of the Lasell College Honors Program.