Contact Linda Goodrum, Core Division Operations Manager
Our sequential Core curriculum, which supplanted the College's previous menu-driven approach to general education in 2007, emphasizes inquiry, interdisciplinarity, reflection, and integration. The faculty members who teach in the Core Division represent widely diverse scholarly backgrounds; all are committed to embracing interdisciplinary approaches in the classroom and practicing inquiry by partnering with their students to explore big questions and ideas.
The developmental design of the curriculum encourages students to forge connections across courses, across disciplines, and between the Core curriculum and their professional major courses. The first year focuses on the self (first semester) and community (second semester); classes are linked and students are cohorted in groups of 20 to form small learning communities as they are introduced to interdisciplinary ways of thinking and the rhetoric of analysis and argument. Paired faculty members capitalize on opportunities for shared readings, common assignments, and multi-course projects. During the second year, students study western traditions; the courses are no longer cohorted, but each course is carefully designed to allow the discovery of unforeseen links and connections. In their third year, students spend a semester exploring global themes with an emphasis on human rights and a semester immersed in one or more focus cultures, either in Burlington or abroad. The curriculum culminates in the fourth year with an integrated capstone which requires students to complete a project synthesizing what they have learned in the Core and in their professional field of study.