Message from Board of Trustees | Our Academic Core
To the Mount Community,
This week marks a key point of academic progress for our University, and I want to take the opportunity to tell you about the focus of our curriculum, what we have done, why it was imperative, and how we are thinking about our curriculum in the future.
First, the Board of Trustees and the President charged the faculty in September with shrinking a 66-credit core curriculum that, while aligned with our mission, became a challenging fit for many majors, and it was unfriendly for transfer students. With this in mind, and in keeping with our Catholic liberal arts tradition, the faculty committees have arrived a 49 credit core, offering nearly 20 more credits for students in their major or minor of choice. We commend the faculty for responding to the directive of the President and the Board of Trustees, by taking a huge step toward a core curriculum that is responsive to our mission, while also responsive to the customer – the student. In keeping with our role as a student-focused University, the Board of Trustees has requested a plan for the future of the curriculum and an annual assessment to assure its success in achieving student-learning outcomes.
Second, the Board has passed a resolution to simply call the curriculum by its functional name, core curriculum. This move is a signal that the University understands that students come to Mount St. Mary’s to be formed in the Catholic liberal arts tradition and ultimately to be prepared for productive citizenship in our world. The core curriculum is an important part of the academic experience, as is typical at Catholic liberal arts universities, yet is not our differentiating characteristic. It is but one component of a holistic investment that families make in a college education along with deep study in a specific major, experiential learning, and internships that lead our graduates to find good jobs and their place in the world.
Lastly, and of great importance, the University has established a Center for Student Engagement and Success, in the Office of the Provost. We believe that the intimacy, and caring nature of our community is a key differentiator for Mount St. Mary’s University, and we are formalizing these programs under Vice Provost for Student Engagement and Success, Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau.
More information will be forthcoming from the Provost’s office regarding the implementation of the revision, and the specific changes by class year in the coming days. Students can expect this and all future communication regarding curriculum to come from the office of the Provost.
Mary D. Kane, C'84
Chair, Board of Trustees