Jun 14, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education

The general education curriculum at North Central College was designed by the faculty to offer a well-balanced, interdisciplinary and integrative experience over the course of a student’s academic career. Core courses from across the curriculum introduce students to the liberal arts and sciences, giving particular attention to writing, oral communication and critical thinking. Interdisciplinary components of the core make connections among areas of study to enrich insight and to reveal alternative ways of seeing.

Emphasizing interdisciplinary themes, collaborative learning and problem solving from multiple perspectives, all-college requirements build upon the core. Pursued concurrently with studies in the majors, they prepare students for entering a world in which communication across specializations and the ability to place subjects in multiple contexts play as significant a role as professional expertise. All-college requirements emphasize three themes and contexts that prepare students for a lifetime of learning: religion and ethics; intercultural and global studies; and leadership, ethics and values.

General education requirements may be met by study in appropriate courses. Course descriptions  in this catalog include a notation regarding which component of general education is fulfilled by each course. Students are expected to work with their academic advisors to develop a plan for meeting these requirements that best suits their previous experience, needs and interests.

Although each of the general education requirements implies enrollment in an appropriate college-level course, the student may fulfill selected requirements by demonstrating the attainment of the proficiency or training which essentially meets that requirement. Demonstrated proficiency or training may include work study projects, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the CEEB Advanced Placement Program, special emphases in approved experimental courses, actual performance (as in writing or speaking) and unusual high school concentrations. The academic advisor will help the student explore opportunities for documenting such proficiency and help make arrangements appropriate to the relevant request to meet a requirement. Students must complete the interdisciplinary seminar and both ACR seminars (Intercultural and Leadership, Ethics and Values) at North Central College. Students who transfer in with 18 or more hours are exempt from the interdisciplinary requirement. 

The Core Requirements

Core courses from across the curriculum introduce students to the liberal arts and sciences, giving particular attention to writing, oral communication and critical thinking. Interdisciplinary components of the core make connections among areas of study. The core courses provide a foundation of skills and approaches to learning that are integral to a liberal arts education and to a lifetime of learning. Students are introduced to:

Composition   The study and practice of writing with an emphasis on planning, drafting, analysis, argument and research methods within multiple contexts. Six credit hours
Speech Communication   Study which promotes an understanding of the nature of the speech communication process through emphasis on and practice in public, interpersonal and/or small group communication. Three credit hours
Mathematics   Study and practice which cultivate the ability to engage in mathematical reasoning and problem-solving. Three credit hours
Life and Physical Sciences   Investigation of the process and/or products of the scientific method in the life and physical sciences. Six and one half credit hours*
Humanities and Fine Arts   Study of intellectual and cultural expression as approached through historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts. Nine credit hours distributed over three courses**
Social Sciences   Study in the social and behavioral sciences leading to an appreciation of human continuity and change. Nine credit hours distributed over three courses**
Integrative and Interdisciplinary Study   Inquiry and practice which cultivate the ability to analyze, integrate and apply different disciplinary perspectives to an area of study.

Interdisciplinary First-Year Seminar - IDS 125  (or ENG 125 ) is the gateway seminar for an integrative academic program that promotes reading, writing, critical thinking and integrative inquiry across the curriculum. These seminars emphasize the study of topics that benefit from multi-disciplinary perspectives. Topics vary from section to section, reflecting themes from across academic programs.
Three credit hours; 
IDS 125  or ENG 125  

*Must include one laboratory course
** Within the 18 credit hours required in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences, up to six credit hours may be taken in the same department.

The All-College Requirements (ACR)

The College’s commitment to interdisciplinary and integrative themes continues into the junior and senior years at North Central, when students’ development in the major course of study allows for more advanced consideration of topics that benefit from increased attention to context and interdisciplinary approaches to inquiry. All graduating students complete the following requirements:

Religion and Ethics   Students are asked to examine ethical and religious ideas, traditions, and issues through one of a variety of courses that meet the requirement, including designated courses in the departments of Philosophy, Religion and History of Ideas. Courses in the core, ACR seminars or electives may be used to fulfill this requirement. Three credit hours*
Intercultural Seminar ** Incorporating an interdisciplinary approach, varying topics are addressed from global, international or multi-cultural perspectives. These seminars invite students to explore problems that benefit from a multi-national solution, to examine the world-view of a culture outside the United States or to examine the multicultural heritage and contemporary multicultural experience of North America. The intercultural requirement may also be fulfilled through participation in an approved study abroad program. Three credit hours
Leadership, Ethics and Values Seminar **  Offered within majors as well as in interdisciplinary courses, the LEV seminars examine varying topics with an emphasis on how leadership, ethics and values interact. The seminars offer students a context for analyzing one or more social, political or cultural problems and for considering the nature of leadership, ethics and values themes in relation to their majors or other areas of special interest. These LEV seminars offer an integrative capstone experience that links general education perspectives and skills to advanced studies. Three credit hours

*May be taken as a separate course, as part of the core requirements or as one of the two ACR seminars.
**The courses used to fulfill the two ACR seminars must be drawn from two different disciplines and must be taken at North Central.

The Shimer School Core Curriculum

Students in the Shimer Great Books School satisfy North Central College’s general education requirements through completion of the Shimer School Core Curriculum.

Basic Core Studies

Mathematics Competency Examination
Basic Studies Comprehensive Examination

Advanced Area Core Studies

Area Studies Comprehensive Examination

Advanced Integrative Core Studies

Senior Thesis