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Academic Core

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Student Learning Outcomes

The Marist Core supports its students’ achievement of positive outcomes by advancing the following student learning goals:

  1. To assist and challenge students to become more aware of their own values and the ethical implications of the choices they face in their public and private worlds. This outcome furthers Marist’s emphasis on students’ characters and on the importance of leading ethical and enlightened lives both in college and beyond. The Marist Core provides students with many opportunities to develop their values awareness.
  2. To develop in students the capacity to synthesize and integrate methods and insights from a variety of intellectual disciplines. In providing students with interdisciplinary learning experiences at the beginning, middle, and end of their undergraduate careers (through the First Year Seminar, the Pathway, and the Capping course, respectively) the Marist Core equips students to respond constructively and creatively to complex 21st-century problems and challenges.
  3. To introduce students to the essential ideas and skills that comprise the disciplines of the liberal arts and the sciences. Both the Breadth requirements in the Marist Core and the shared themes of the First Year Seminar and Writing for College (Nature & the Environment, Civic Engagement, Cultural Diversity, and Quantitative Reasoning) develop students’ intellects and prepare them for life as productive citizens and professionals in their local, regional, and global communities.
  4. To develop in students the critical skills of written exposition, critical thinking, public presentation, technological competency, and information literacy. Recognizing that intellectual abilities and values reflection are inextricably linked to effective research, technological competency, and communication in many formats, the Marist Core develops a wide range of key contemporary skills.

Students’ mastery of these outcomes is regularly evaluated in a campus-wide Core assessment process that works with material drawn from the senior-level Capping course.


The College’s emphasis on values awareness builds upon the Marist Brothers’ living legacy and provides the community with a strong sense of shared purpose. As stated in the Mission Statement, education at the College involves character development, as well as intellectual enrichment and skill instruction.

This commitment takes curricular form in the Marist Core. The themes linked to the First Year Seminar and Writing for College course—Civic Engagement, Cultural Diversity, Nature & the Environment, and Quantitative Reasoning—ensure that values awareness is a key aspect of students’ learning from the very outset of your time at the College.

The required Philosophical Perspectives course, another common experience for first-year students, provides them with a strong foundation upon which to build their own answers to questions involving knowledge, reality, and human values. The Ethics and Justice distribution requirement encourages students to explore even more fully the relationship between broad principles and specific problems and challenges. Many Pathways (e.g. Public Health; Gender Studies; Global Studies) offer opportunities to apply insights to pressing real-world questions. Finally, the senior-level Capping course connects these academic experiences to a culminating research experience requiring students to consider values questions related to a particular academic and/or professional context.