Foundations Tier Course Descriptions

The Foundations Tier core course requirements are designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college. Five foundations courses are required.


(LC) Learning Community

In your Learning Community, faculty from two different academic disciplines teach two linked courses sharing a common theme, giving you the opportunity to learn about a topic from at least two perspectives. Learning Communities target writing, discussion, research, and group work skills as the first step in improving your ability to succeed in college.

Skills: Writing, information literacy, multiple perspectives
Rubric: Learning Community (LC) Rubric


(RW) DEPT 199

In this course, you'll learn the basics of writing an academic research paper, beginning with the process of conducting scholarly research using the College’s databases. Faculty members emphasize the elements of persuasive argumentation, different ways of incorporating multiple scholarly perspectives into one’s writing, the proper use and documentation of sources, and revision. You'll also learn how to make an effective oral presentation of your research.

Skills: Research, writing, oral communication, information literacy
Rubric: Research-based Writing (RW199) Rubric


(SQ) Scientific and Quantitative Literacy

The goal of this core area is to investigate the question: In what ways can quantitative and scientific thinking help me make more informed decisions? You will explore this question through a scientific approach, which centers on the idea of asking questions and encompassing the notions that ideas must be testable and falsifiable, conclusions must be based on observations and be objective, and theories must be predictive rather than simply descriptive. This approach is then supported by quantitative methods including the representation of data, the use of numbers and scale, the understanding of perspectives and bias in data, the notion of uncertainty in data, and the knowledge of methods and tools for the analysis of data. Courses in this core area are not about specific scientific facts and mathematical methods, but rather explore the nature of science and mathematics and their role in helping us understand the world. Note: if you are completing a major in mathematics or the sciences, this core requirement will be satisfied by completing one of a number of specified clusters of courses in the sciences; you are not required to take an additional course under this designation.

Knowledge: Mathematics
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills, complex problem-solving, quantitative/scientific reasoning
Rubric: Scientific and Quantitative Literacy (SQ) Rubric


(CC) Cultural Contrasts

The demands of today’s work environment require communication, cooperation, and collaboration between individuals of diverse backgrounds. In this course, you will explore cultural differences that will promote self-reflection in order to develop tools for becoming an engaged citizen in a multicultural world.

Knowledge: Intercultural Perspectives
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills
Rubric: Cultural Contrasts (CC) Rubric

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