The Core Curriculum is the foundation of student learning at Saint Mary’s College. It is an intentional, developmental, and integrated program of study designed to educate students in three broad intellectual areas: Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, and Engaging the World. Most importantly, the SMC Core is student-centered, focused on the skills, knowledge, and values that our students will learn in their time at Saint Mary’s.
Habits of Mind: Fundamental to a liberal arts education are the habits of mind that prepare students for a lifetime of learning and critical engagement with the world. The SMC Core is designed to challenge students to develop their skills in Critical Thinking, Shared Inquiry, Written & Oral Communication, and Information Evaluation & Research Practices across the four years of their education. Students will first encounter these skills in their Collegiate Seminar and Composition courses, further practicing and developing them in their majors and throughout the rest of the curriculum.
Pathways to Knowledge: An understanding of the diverse ways that humans encounter and explain the world is a central component of a liberal arts education. Through specially designated courses in the disciplines, the SMC Core assures that students will learn to tread the most important such pathways to knowledge: Artistic Understanding, Theological Understanding, Mathematical & Scientific Understanding, and Social, Historical, & Cultural Understanding.
Engaging the World: An education is only complete when it ventures beyond the walls of the classroom. In fulfillment of the Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts mission of the College, the SMC Core asks all students to engage with the world in substantive and meaningful ways. Through participation in curricular and co-curricular experiences that meet the goals of American Diversity, Global Perspectives, The Common Good, and Community Engagement, students will explore issues of justice, civic responsibility, and social difference that facilitate a critical reflection on what it means to be a citizen in today’s world.