News

Common Requirements Steering Committee Releases New Report

Ethan Bachand ‘22

Chief News Editor

On Monday, Nov. 9, the Common Requirements Steering Committee at the College of the Holy Cross released their proposed goals for changing our current system. Interim Report IV, as it was titled, is a comprehensive report that introduces areas the committee feels are the most important to developing a well-rounded liberal arts education. The reports is broken down into five components: an introduction, review of evidence, review of driving principle, proposed revision of Common Requirements, and their conclusion.

As detailed in the report, the new Common Requirements would target three major learning objectives that cover a wide variety of courses. The three objectives are as follows: “develop breadth of knowledge from different disciplinary perspectives to address complex issues; hone foundational competencies and habits of mind to support more advanced learning; and discern their roles as responsible citizens of different communities.”

Each overarching objective contains a set of recommended areas of study, many of which are similar to the current requirements. Under the category of “Breadth”, the “goals” proposed include inquiries in: Art, History, Language, Literature, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Philosophy, Religion, and a Social Science. The report states that these “would provide opportunities for students to acquire appropriate knowledge and perspectives in different areas of inquiry comprising the liberal arts.”

The other two pillars of the proposals in Interim Report IV introduce newer concepts into the system. The “Competencies” section breaks down into “Critical and Creative Thinking” and Communication. The six areas included under these classifications are as follows: information literacy, problem solving, quantitative reasoning, reading and textual analysis, writing, and oral communication.

In terms of “Responsible Citizenship” we see four proposed areas of study: ethical reasoning and action, justice and equity, environmental literacy, and intercultural competence. A footnote on this section suggests that students would only have to take a subset of these requirements due to course availability.

A vote on these proposed goals will take place at the Faculty Assembly on Dec. 8. The report also encourages students feedback directed to their email: commonrequirements@holycross.edu. The committee is chaired by Professor Josep Alba-Salas of the Spanish department and Associate Professor Scott Malia, Chair of the Theatre department.

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