Xavier University of Louisiana’s Core Curriculum (the Core) emphasizes Xavier’s identity as a Catholic and historically Black institution and supports the goal that students should achieve both breadth and depth of knowledge in the liberal arts. The Core enriches the undergraduate educational experience by exposing students to integrative approaches in learning and by cultivating nuanced perspectives for engaging in thought and in action the major questions of their lives. Required of all undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the 40 credit hours of the Core provide the foundation and, together with the major program of study, contribute to a well-rounded education.
The following Learning Outcomes of the Core Curriculum include skills, knowledge, and values that reinforce Xavier’s mission and its identity as a Catholic and historically Black university.
- Students will be able to communicate effectively through writing and speaking.
- Students will be able to use quantitative, empirical, and critical reasoning skills to solve problems.
- Students will be able to incorporate diverse cultural perspectives in their analysis of issues, from local to global, and to recognize the interconnectivity of human experience.
- Students will be able to demonstrate a science-based understanding of the natural world.
- Students will be able to interpret and evaluate diverse forms of human expression.
- Students will apply socially responsible and ethical principles to promote equity and sustainability in ways that align with Xavier’s mission as a historically Black and Catholic institution.
The Core helps to prepare students for lifelong learning and ethical living. It includes courses that frame an integrative academic experience, support student’s work in their major, and provide the tools to synthesize and apply knowledge, skills, and values. The Core requires students to engage in a continuous search to make meaningful connections by incorporating and applying multiple perspectives and methodologies to find solutions to complex problems. It also includes bookend courses that highlight Xavier’s unique mission. By the time Xavier students complete their course of studies, they are better equipped to exercise global leadership towards the creation of a more just and humane society.
Three skills are embedded throughout the different areas of the Core Curriculum. In practice, the skills of writing, speaking, and critical thinking are all interdependent. Sharpening one of them leads to greater command of the others. The ability to communicate ideas clearly, accurately, ethically, and in an engaging way is essential to success in both academic and professional life.
Oral Communication skills allow students to transmit ideas appropriately in spoken form based on audience, purpose, and context, and to listen with critical and literal comprehension. Integrating Oral Communication across the curriculum enhances students’ ability to analyze and construct messages critically, accomplish communicative goals, and apply ethical communication principles.
Written Communication skills allow students to express ideas clearly and cohesively in multiple written forms to different intended audiences. Integrating Writing across the curriculum enhances students’ ability to produce writing of increasing complexity that has a clear central purpose, appropriate structure, and compelling argument.
Critical Thinking skills allow students to analyze, assess, and reach informed and logical conclusions about different subjects, issues, or concerns. Integrating Critical Thinking across the curriculum enhances students’ ability to investigate increasingly complex questions and produce rational conclusions from multiple perspectives.
Students begin their intellectual exploration during their early years; this will prepare them for more integrated and applied learning as they advance through the curriculum. Students progress through the Core in three distinct stages: 1) Foundations at Xavier; 2) Explorations in the Liberal Arts; and 3) Engagements with Knowledge and Practice.
Courses that fulfill the core may be counted toward majors and minors except as noted for XCOR 3010 /XCOR 3020 .