Chowan Plans to Adopt New VALUES Core
Chowan University Provost, Dr. Danny Moore, released a statement announcing that beginning next year, student learning opportunities at Chowan University will be transformed in Fall 2020 by a new general education curriculum created and approved by university faculty and pending approval by the Board of Trustees in April. Dr. Moore thoughtfully described the The Vocation, Application, and Learning in the Undergraduate Experience for Students (VALUES) Core as “an innovative curriculum centered on preparing students to consider questions about values ("How should I live?"), identity ("Who might I become?"), and purpose ("How do I reflect, integrate, and apply approaches to vocation from my exposure to a Chowan education?").”
Recognizing students want more independence in making decisions, the VALUES Core gives students more choices, while making the curriculum more personal and engaging, promoting lifelong learning, and ensuring students acquire the skills and knowledge employers want. The core is designed as a six-part journey that requires students to focus on writing, reading, religion, mathematics, and the first-year experience. Students will then choose from a variety of courses designed to help them identify their personal and civic values, historical and global values, scientific values, and cultural and diversity values. Another important component of the VALUES Core is its size. At thirty-six hours, the new core curriculum will provide students the ability to take more elective courses, pursue a minor, the HonorsCollege, or the Fellows Program. The final portion of the new core is a culminating experience students complete in their senior year.
The new general education core requirements are represented in the acronym, VALUES which stands for Vocation, Application, and Learning in the Undergraduate Experience for Students. Courses in the new core requirements are organized in different VALUES categories. The Chowan VALUES group requires all students to complete the following credits: two hours of First Year Experience I, one hour of First Year Experience II, four hours of College Writing, three hours of Advanced College Writing, one hour of Lit Sphere I, one hour of Lit Sphere II, three hours of a religion course, and three hours of a mathematics course. In total, the Chowan VALUES category requires eighteen credit hours.
In order to fulfill the Personal and Civic VALUES requirements, students must complete six total hours of approved courses from two different disciplines. Select courses from the following disciplines count towards Personal and Civic VALUES credit: Criminal Justice, Communications, Economics, Information Systems, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and Sports Science Physical Education. All approved courses under these disciplines are worth three credit hours each. According to the new core requirements, Personal and Civic VALUES courses are important as they allow students to develop a sense of self and identity while exploring the individual’s role in and impact on society.
The Historical and Global VALUES category requires students to complete a total of three credit hours. Select courses from the following disciplines will satisfy this requirement: Economic, English, Geography, History, Music, and Religion. As stated in the new core requirements, Historical and Global VALUES courses engage students in critical analysis of the past to understand how knowledge of history helps them to navigate their future. These courses also encourage students to ask critical questions about global issues and challenges.
Chowan University students must also complete three credit hours from select courses in the Scientific VALUES category. Scientific VALUES courses enable students to develop the skills necessary to employ the scientific method by accessing the way evidence- based knowledge affects the understanding of self, others, and the world. These courses encourage students to explore the physical, natural, and behavioral world. Select introductory level Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses worth either three or four credit hours will satisfy the new general education requirement.
The Cultural and Diversity VALUES category requires students to achieve six hours of course credit to reach completion. Similar to the Personal and Civic VALUES requirements, students must complete six total hours of approved courses from two different disciplines. In addition, at least half of the total credit hours required must be 200 level courses or higher. In an exhaustive list, the following disciplines have select classes that count toward Cultural Diversity VALUES credit: Art, Drama, English, Geography, History, Music, Religion, and Sociology. Cultural and Diversity VALUES courses are an important part of Chowan University’s general education requirement as they prepare students to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and thrive in an interconnected world. These courses introduce students to an understanding of diverse cultures, arts, and communities.
In addition to the credit requirements above, each degree program requires a capstone experience which provides students the opportunity to synthesize and apply disciplinary knowledge. The capstone experience can be implemented as a course or as an experience that is spread out over several courses in a given degree program. Holistically, the changes made to Chowan University’s general education requirements prioritize what is best for its students. The VALUES core emphasizes educational importance in a wide spectrum of disciplines to mold the most capable, well-rounded individuals.