About Drury CORE
Drury recognizes that both individuals and societies face challenges that are global in scope, and so can only be successfully addressed through forms of collective action that reach across regional and national boundaries. Thus, we are committed to a liberal arts education that equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the pressing challenges and opportunities that await them in today’s interdependent world. Our general education curriculum, The Drury Core: Engaging Our World, prepares students by emphasizing the global connections of all areas of study and by prioritizing applied learning through direct engagement in communities both at home and around the world.
According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), “liberal education has the strongest impact when students look beyond the classroom to the world’s major questions, asking students to apply their developing analytical skills and ethical judgments to significant problems in the world around them.” To advance these aims, the Drury general education curriculum embraces four modes of engagement. Together, they collectively represent our continuing emphasis on global learning combined with the longstanding goals of a Drury education; a broad exposure to the liberal arts and the development of the key skills of writing, oral communication, critical thinking and sound ethical decision making.
- Engagement with global challenges
In the Engaging Our World curriculum, students take 18 credit hours of coursework concerned with global challenges: 6 credits of foreign language and 12 credits of classes emphasizing global challenges and diversity distributed across at least three of the four academic divisions. In order for students to meet this cross-disciplinary requirement, global learning is infused across the campus, with all departments offering courses that present disciplinary content situated in a global context. This cross-disciplinary infusion exemplifies AAC&U’s recommendation that global learning should move “to a broader framework that shapes all, or significant parts, of the general education curriculum.”
Moreover, we begin with the recognition that no rigid definition or rubric captures the study of global issues. Instead, the Engaging Our World curriculum embraces a system of tagging courses that value and endorse some aspect(s) of global learning. This approach allows faculty to develop and teach courses that both draw on their expertise and demonstrate that all areas of academic study offer key insights into, and tools to address, the challenges and opportunities of today’s interconnected world. These tagged courses will thus be diverse, including such approaches as:
Engagement with communities
- Cross-cultural study, including examinations and analyses of human behavior;
- Globalization, as evidenced in economic, international and comparative political systems;
- Diversity, in terms of the relationships between dominant and minority groups;
- Sustainability, addressing the challenges facing the planet as a whole;
- Disciplinary knowledge seen and viewed through a global lens; and
- Immersion in foreign cultures, through study abroad experiences.
The Engaging Our World curriculum also requires students to complete two engaged learning experiences. Powerful evidence shows that high impact learning practices, such as service learning, internships, study away/abroad, leadership development and student/faculty research, stimulate gains in critical thinking skills, civic and global awareness, and commitment to intellectual success. The new curriculum integrates such practices into general education in a systematic and intentional way: for example, study abroad is rewarded and encouraged, and the one-credit CORE-103 course includes a service component that emphasizes Drury's strong commitment to engagement with the community.
Engagement with diverse methods, approaches and areas of knowledge
The Engaging Our World curriculum exposes students to a broad range of knowledge, and accomplishes this in two central ways. First, students begin their academic career in thematic First-Year Experience seminars staffed by faculty from all academic divisions. These courses combine the development of key skills with an exploration of important and interesting topics, taught by faculty with expertise in these areas. Second, students take at least six credit hours in each of the four academic divisions, in courses carefully designed to develop understanding of, as well as to highlight, that discipline's specific way of knowing: a distinct way of understanding, interpreting, or studying the world. Such differences may be revealed by focusing on the questions that a discipline asks about the world, by examining the methods used to answer those questions, or by investigating the assumptions it makes about the world.
Engagement with core skills necessary for professional success, lifelong learning, and ethical participation in the global community
The Engaging Our World curriculum recognizes that meaningful engagement with the world requires key skills. Development of the first set of skills – writing, oral communication and critical thinking – begins in the thematic FYE seminar and continues in the 3-credit FYE2 Foundations course. To assure mastery of more advanced writing, each student also develops proficiency as writers in their major. A second set of skills – the capacity for sound moral judgment – is developed in the sophomore-level Ethics seminar course. Third, kinesthetic and wellness skills are developed and cultivated through the EXSP 220 Personal Wellness course.
Through these four modes – Engagement with Global Challenges, Engagement with Communities, Engagement with Diverse Ways if Knowing, and Engagement with Core Skills – the Engaging Our World curriculum provides Drury students with a robust liberal arts general education that will prepare them for professional careers, engaged citizenship, and a life of learning.