documents: faculty guidelines for requesting & evaluating core courses
Guidelines by Core Category
VIII. NATURAL SCIENCES
The objective of the study of a natural sciences component of a core curriculum is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the bases for building and testing theories.
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- New courses approved for the core curriculum must be non-advanced courses except for substantiated reasons justified and approved on a course by course basis.
- The request must show how the course intends to meet the exemplary educational objectives, as set forth by the Coordinating Board. This shall be done by including a syllabus that addresses the appropriate objectives.
- To meet Coordinating Board requirements that core courses be evaluated, requests for new core courses must present processes and procedures for evaluating course effectiveness in regard to appropriate objectives and must delineate how the evaluations will be employed in course development.
Relevant guidelines derived from the CB's Criteria for Evaluation of Core Curricula appear below:
- How is the course consistent with the appropriate elements of the core curriculum component areas, intellectual competencies, and perspectives as expressed in "Core Curriculum: Assumptions and Defining Characteristics" adopted by the Board?
- How are the institution's educational goals and the exemplary educational objectives of the core curriculum recommended by the Board being achieved?
- What processes and procedures are being used to evaluate the course and its contribution to the core curriculum?
- How will the evaluation results be utilized to improve the course and its contribution to the core curriculum?
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EXEMPLARY EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES:
- To apply arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, higher-order thinking, and/or statistical methods to modeling and solving real-world situations.
- To represent and evaluate basic mathematical information verbally, numerically, graphically, and symbolically.
- To expand mathematical reasoning skills and formal logic to develop convincing mathematical arguments.
- To use appropriate technology to enhance mathematical thinking and understanding and to solve mathematical problems and judge the reasonableness of the results.
- To interpret mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables and schematics, and draw inferences from them.
- To recognize the limitations of mathematical and statistical models.
- To develop the view that mathematics is an evolving discipline, interrelated with human culture, and understand its connections to other disciplines.
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ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR NATURAL SCIENCES:
Undergraduate Committee provides the following guidelines for the submission of natural science core courses. Natural science core courses will also be using the following criteria:
Courses in the natural sciences core are intended to provide students with an understanding of the sciences in a way of viewing life and the physical world.
The emphasis is on:
- Showing how the processes of science discover and validate knowledge;
- Developing the distinction between the creation and confirmation of hypotheses;
- Exploring the criteria of acceptable scientific theory.
- All courses approved for the natural sciences core requirement shall carry the minimum prerequisite of concurrent enrollment in or satisfactory completion of one course from the list of classes fulfilling the mathematics core requirements.
- Courses in the natural sciences which are the general introduction to the major are acceptable for the natural sciences requirement of the Core.
- In addition, courses designed primarily for non-majors must be of a general level of rigor equivalent to that of an introductory course for majors and should have a substantive component of scientific knowledge. They may be comprehensive in their coverage of scientific discipline, or they may instead emphasize greater depth of understanding in a more restricted area of science.
- These courses should lead to an understanding of the process of science, of its relationship to scientific facts, and of the nature of those facts.
- An appreciation of the rigorous nature of scientific thinking should be taught, including the formulation and testing of theories.
- In particular, in those instances where material normally studied by science majors as a component of a given topic is considered inappropriate in a non-major course, it should be replaced with other materials selected to enhance the understanding of science which is the goal of the Core requirement.
- Although the use of mathematics beyond the level of college algebra may not be required, students should nevertheless be required to deal with abstract concepts.
- Courses fulfilling the natural sciences core requirement should employ and develop mathematical or other forms of analysis.
- An appreciation of probability and statistical reasoning and an ability to comprehend graphical presentations of natural phenomena should be transmitted.
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