Letter From the Dean

Welcome to the Core Division of Champlain College.

Because life is interdisciplinary, and because Champlain is committed to turning out graduates who are prepared not merely for jobs but also for careers in which they will be leaders, we have designed and implemented a revolutionary approach to general education that complements the outstanding professional preparation that Champlain students receive.

Core Division Dean Betsy BeaulieuThrough a four-year sequence of Core courses, students gain breadth and depth in the liberal arts, studying aesthetics, learning the history of science, exploring questions of faith and reason, and ultimately joining a community of thinkers and learners that is centuries old. Using the Inquiry Method, students partner with faculty to explore relevant questions from multiple perspectives in order to understand how different disciplines construct and convey knowledge. We emphasize critical thinking and reflection, and students are encouraged to ask questions rather than seek answers. We believe that this will serve them best when they graduate and enter the professional arena.

We also believe that learning occurs best in the context of community, and so all students study in cohorts; the first-year classes are no larger than twenty students, and each cohort has two faculty members who intentionally link their course content and methods of teaching and learning. Classes are discussion-oriented, and much of the learning is problem-based and experiential. Rather than exams, students work on group activities and individual response papers. Because the students are taking the courses in sequence and at the same time as their peers, the Core creates a strong sense of belonging among students who enroll in Champlain to study many different professional majors.

In addition to the community of their Champlain College peers, students also join an international community via Third Planet, a global social networking platform, which is integrated into some Core courses. Communicating across cultures with students in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, we encourage our students to entertain new perspectives and develop an increased appreciation for other cultures so that they can become insightful, experienced global citizens themselves.

The Core curriculum at Champlain College presupposes a love of learning — the kind of courage and curiosity that drives a student to seek higher education. The design of the courses, from the classroom environment each professor creates to the group projects and individual writing that students complete, fosters intellectual risk-taking that lasts a lifetime. We seek partners on the journey.

With every good wish,

Elizabeth Beaulieu, Ph.D.

Dean, Core Division

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