1.    Learning in Common Curriculum


2.A. Philosophy of General Education


The seven goals below led to the development of the Learning in Common Curriculum, and serve as the basis for that curriculum for all students at Moravian College.


·         GOAL I  Students should have a broad spectrum of learning in the liberal arts and science; should develop the appreciation of and capacity for scholarship; and should sustain a lifelong love of learning.

·         GOAL II  Students should develop the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, numeracy, and facility with information technology, including computer applications.

·         GOAL III  Students should develop the complex abilities of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and aesthetic expression.

·         GOAL IV  Students should have an awareness of contemporary information on matters concerning physical and emotional well being.

·         GOAL V  Students should have an awareness of a wide variety of cultures, with the dual goal of increasing understanding and revealing the interconnectedness of the contemporary world.

·         GOAL VI  Students should have a basic understanding of the moral implications of their actions as individuals and participants in larger communities.

·         GOAL VII  Students should be able to compare, contrast, and integrate where possible multiple perspectives on a given subject



2.B. Learning In Common category descriptions


IMPORTANT!  Note to adjunct instructors:  If you have been hired to teach a course that fulfills one of the Learning in Common (LinC) categories, please consult with your department chair or the Academic Affairs Office on the specific student outcomes for that category.  Course review sheets, which describe the required course components, can be found at http://faculty.moravian.edu.  This is currently accessible only on campus, not via the internet.  To access this site, you will need a Moravian e-mail account.


Foundational categories (F1-F4):

F1 Writing (1 course)

F2 Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)

F3 Foreign Language (0-2 courses)

F4 Science (lab requirement) (1 course)


Multidisciplinary categories (M1-M6):

M1 Historical Studies (1 course)

M2 Literature (1 course)

M3 Ultimate Questions (1 course)

M4 Economic, Social, and Political Systems (1 course)

M5 Cultural Values and Global Issues (1 course)

M6 Aesthetic Expression (1 course)


Upper division categories (U1-U2):

U1 The Social Impact of Science (1 course)

U2 Moral Life (1 course)


The Freshman Experience

Introduction to College Life (1/2 course)

Concepts of Fitness and Wellness (1/2 course)


Other Requirements

Writing across the curriculum

Speaking across the curriculum

Computer Literacy

Two additional non-credit Physical Education courses




Foundational categories


F1:        Writing

            This course, in multiple sections or seminars, will provide and involve the following: 1) experience in writing-to-learn and instruction in writing skills; 2) library and online research; 3) correct use of citation of sources; 4) appropriate technology (word-processing programs, etc.); 5) reading assignments in line with the instructor's chosen topic(s) or theme(s), designed to foster critical thinking and awareness of rhetorical strategies; and 6) introduction to oral communication skills to accompany the writing to learn experience.

            The components of a writing-to-learn course include: 1) an introduction to writing as process: invention and prewriting, drafting, and revising; 2) ungraded writing (in the form of practice exercises, warm-ups, journal entries etc.) that allows students to think in writing about what they are reading; 3) writing experience, graded and ungraded, that affords engagement with rhetorical skills (working with a variety of audiences, voices and styles); 4) peer editing and collaboration through in-class group work and/or online resources and Writing Center tutors; 5) teacher conferences with each student.

            Instruction in writing skills includes: 1) focus on rhetorical skills and guided practice; 2) providing for students the experience of writing for varied audiences and in varied styles; 3) the use of a shared writing handbook (to be selected by a committee of first-year instructors and English Dept. members) for instruction in specific conventions of standard written English; 4) increased/enhanced role for Writing Center tutors (dependent upon increased funding); 5) uniform minimum writing requirement (in terms of number of pages/semester, number of papers/semester, or number of words/semester.)

            As an outcome, students should be better able to assess writing projects so as to choose appropriate rhetorical and research strategies and employ them effectively.  In addition, students should be adept in technologies used to conduct research and to write.

F2:        Quantitative Reasoning

Each course in this category will develop the student’s facility in quantitative reasoning through a wide variety of applications chosen from many fields, including but not limited to science, history, and the social sciences, and involve the following:


1.     Converting conceptual information into problems that can be solved quantitatively;

2.     Appropriate techniques for analyzing and solving quantitative problems that lead to the formation of a conclusion;

3.     Pictorial and graphical representation of data and data analysis, including those showing relationships among and/or between multiple variables;

4.     Significant use of appropriate technology as a tool for quantitative analysis;

5.     Formal, written interpretation of results and/or solutions of some problems.


F3:        Foreign Language

All students should achieve a proficiency in a foreign language closely equivalent to the Intermediate-Low level as defined by ACTFL, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.  In order to meet this requirement a student may:

1.      Successfully complete either FL 100-105 or FL 105-110 or FL 110 in any language offered at Moravian College; or

2.     Successfully complete an analogous sequence of courses at another college or university; or

3.     Successfully complete a semester of study focused on any subject in an approved program in a country whose primary language is not English.


            In order to be exempted from the requirement, a student may:

1.      Receive a score of 3 or better on the AP Placement Exam in any foreign language before entering the College; students receiving a score of 3 or better on the AP Placement Exam will receive 1 unit of course credit; or

2.      Receive a score of 600 or higher on the Foreign Language Achievement Test of the CEEB; no course credit will be given; or

3.      Successfully demonstrate proficiency in any language at the Intermediate-Low level by taking an exam administered by the Department; no course credit will be given.


            A student whose primary language is not English is exempt from the Foreign Language requirement; no course credit will be given.

            The Department will suggest an appropriate level based on performance in and number of high school language courses.  Students may decide, after consultation with the department, to drop back at most one level from the Department’s recommended placement level.


F4:        Science (lab requirement)

Both theoretical and experimental aspects of science have had a major impact on all areas of human intellectual and cultural development.  Liberal education in natural science emphasizes the fabric and the substance of a science, involves a study of the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of that science, demonstrates change and creativity in science, and addresses some of the broad implications of science.  Through laboratory participation, a student will have an opportunity to understand the scientific method.



Multidisciplinary categories:


            The six courses in this category will involve multidisciplinary teaching and learning and include perspectives and approaches from different disciplines.  One element in multidisciplinary teaching and learning can be the linkage of courses in different disciplines.  Linkage can be a simple as a lecture given in a colleague’s class or, at a much more integrated level, can involve two courses that meet at the same time and whose students have reading assignments in common.  A third example would be two courses whose instructors have put together reading lists with some overlap and agree to discuss the readings in each other’s classes.  Colleagues are strongly encouraged to link courses in this category to courses in different disciplines.


M1:      Historical Studies

            History evaluates human experience and change over time. It seeks to provide a contemporary understanding of the past by assessing an historical period on its own terms. Historical methods are interdisciplinary in nature. Students will learn how to integrate political, economic, social, and cultural perspectives in order to build up a holistic picture of the past.

            General Education courses in Historical Studies should be Western in emphasis and should deal with a significantly large period and region.  In addition, students will be able to evaluate various approaches to the study of history and learn to scrutinize a range of primary sources.


M2:      Literature         

            Literature is humankind's written record of what it's like to be alive. It gives voice to the imagination as it chronicles the human condition. Courses in this category should provide perspectives from which students can understand themselves, their own society, and societies and cultures other than their own. These perspectives should be gained through a course which examines an appropriately large time or place and a variety of authors. Finally, a literature course should provide opportunities for students to express themselves thoughtfully, with clarity and accuracy.


M3:      Ultimate Questions 

Ultimate Questions courses consider questions and answers fundamental to religious and philosophical traditions.  They emphasize the relevance of these questions to contemporary experience and self-understanding, and include the reading and analysis of original texts.  Examples of “ultimate questions” that orient such courses are:  What is really real?  Who are we?  How should we live?  What is of value?  What are our origins and destiny? How is knowledge possible?

            Such courses provide students with the ability to think and write about “ultimate questions” in ways that demonstrate both an understanding of the questions’ importance to individuals and to society, and the ability to critically evaluate their own and others’ answers.



M4:      Economic, Social, and Political Systems

            Under this rubric, each course will deal with a variety of approaches to social systems.  This may be accomplished by a course which incorporates significant material from more than one social science, or a course which includes a unit devoted to a single topic team-taught from the perspectives of several disciplines.  As an outcome, students should understand some of the social systems in which they live, as well as the complexity of those systems.  They should be aware of the social and behavioral forces which act on them, and of their own effect on these forces.  They should be aware of the various systems or methodologies which can be used to address and ultimately understand complex social issues, and which will help them to formulate their own role as citizens in society.


M5:      Cultural Values and Global Issues

 The student will come to an understanding of the interplay between cultural traditions and transcultural issues through the study of non-Western culture.

            Courses may either 1) begin with the study of the history and traditions of a particular non-Western culture and then explore how its cultural values shape its interpretation of and response to two or more global issues (e.g., environment, economic development, war and peace, human rights, gender, or 2) select one or two global issues and show how various cultural differences shape the global community's discussion of and response to these issues.  Each course should include significant study of the lives of the less powerful as well as the lives of political, economic, or social elites.

            Students themselves should become more aware of their own cultural values and the common issues we face, and thus more prepared to contribute positively to our global future.


M6:      Aesthetic Expression

            All students of Moravian College must gain an appreciation of the creative process in the fine arts.  As part of the general education curriculum, a student will have experience in both the theoretical and practical components of the fine art--creative writing, the visual arts, music, or theater.  The course or activity must include an analysis of procedure and production in a historical context, and may also engage the students in an active, creative experience in one of the fine arts.

            As a result of taking a course in this category, students should develop an understanding of the diversity and complexity of one of the fine arts, the interdependence of form and content, and the richness and  importance of artistic expression for individuals and society.  They should have the ability to discuss and analyze works of art (creative writing, the visual arts, music or theater) using vocabulary germane to the discipline, and should also understand the relationship between a work of art and the society in which it was created.


Upper division categories:


U1:       The Social Impact of Science

            The purpose of courses in this category is to examine the impact of selected areas of science and/or technology on contemporary society. 

            These courses give both the science major and the non-science major a chance to understand relevant scientific principles and/or technological innovations and their impact on contemporary society. Faculty from a variety of disciplines could offer courses under this rubric.  Possible areas of focus include nuclear power, science and religion, evolution and creationism, the choices and trade-offs of energy production, the problems of toxic waste disposal, the economic costs of modern health care, or the impact of the Internet on journalism. 

            Through taking courses in this category, students should acquire an informed perspective of the role of science and/or technology in their lives and in society.


U2:       Moral Life

Courses which satisfy this rubric will have two foci. One focus is an introduction to two or more theoretical frameworks for reflection upon a moral life. A second focus is multiple realms of application for these frameworks--that is, two or more significant contemporary issues that will be explored in light of these theoretical considerations. Possible issues or topics include racism in America, sexism, moral traditions of non-Western societies, war and peace.

These courses should advance toward several outcomes: the student learns that moral issues are typically more complex than they appear to be and that informed decision-making about them requires interdisciplinary understanding; the student has occasion to grapple with her or his own values and moral position-taking; the student’s capacity for moral discernment, criticism, and argument is enhanced.



The Freshman Experience

Introduction to College Life (LinC100.2)

This is a half unit (.50) course requirement whose primary goals are to introduce first-year students to the intellectual life of Moravian College, to promote a smooth transition to college life, and to help students develop a coherent plan for their education. Specific topics include: becoming familiar with college policies related to your role as a student and member of the Moravian College community; assisting your transition to becoming a successful college student; exploring the purpose of a liberal arts education at Moravian College and its relation to life after college; developing specific goals, objectives, and plans for the students’ education; and assisting their engagement in college life.

Students take Introduction to College Life in the fall term.  The sections, containing no more than twenty students, would be led by a faculty or staff member who would attempt to foster a mentoring relationship with the students throughout their entire four years (in the same way that Add-Venture students currently have a mentor from the Add-Venture Committee as well as their major adviser); the instructor will serve as an academic advisor at least until students choose a major.  There will be a common “Freshman Experience” text for all sections, as well as the initiation of student personal education plans (PEP’s). 

            Students successfully completing Introduction to College Life should have a greater understanding of themselves, their responsibilities as students, and their role as citizens in the College community and in the larger society.  They should possess the necessary skills for maximizing their academic performance, and they should appreciate the relevance of a liberal arts education.


Concepts of Fitness and Wellness (Phed 107.2)

            The main learning objectives will be the following:  identify and briefly describe the five components of health-related fitness and the six components of skill-related fitness; identify the benefits of being physically fit and active and discuss the latest recommendations for being physically active; explain the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle and explore several of the hypokinetic diseases linked to inactivity; and describe the importance of physical fitness and activity to wellness; discuss the six major health and wellness components and identify the six major influences on health and wellness; explain the wellness-illness continuum; discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and explain the relationship of prevention to wellness; describe the importance of physical fitness and activity to wellness and describe several strategies to achieve well-being.  Students will assess their fitness and leisure patterns and then develop personal strategies to change health and fitness behavior.  Students will do health-style self-tests, interpret their scores, and develop their personal wellness wheel.


Other Requirements


The General Education program requires the establishment of College-wide standards for writing-intensive courses within the major that would build upon and complement the instruction provided in the first-year writing courses.  These standards should be developed by a separate committee consisting of members of the English Department and representatives of each of the academic divisions.



Instruction in oral communication skills will be part of all first year writing courses.  As with Writing Across the Curriculum, oral communication—in a manner and venue determined by individual departments—should be a requirement in the major, and the above-mentioned committee should also develop College-wide standards in this area.


Computer Literacy

A computer-literate student has the ability to:

1)      perform basic tasks on a computer with a graphical user interface

2)    navigate within a network environment

3)    create documents using word processing software

4)    use both on- and off-campus databases and other information sources for research purposes

5)       communicate via electronic mail


It is a goal that all students attain these five levels of computer literacy as soon as possible.  Computer skills should be developed and reinforced in the Writing and Quantitative Reasoning courses.  In addition, the committee recommends that departments establish clearly-specified computing requirements within their major.


Two additional non-credit Physical Education courses

            These courses will build upon the foundations provided in the Concepts of Fitness and Concepts of Wellness courses.  Students will be required to select two courses from the four Physical Education Component Areas:  Health-Related Fitness; Individual Sport/Activity; Team Sport/Activity; and Electives.  Participation in a varsity sport will count towards one of these requirements.