The Core Curriculum of University of the Incarnate Word is, as the name implies, the heart or center of the undergraduate educational experience. The Core Curriculum is an integrated and sequenced course of study dictated by the traditional concept of liberal arts education. It includes a carefully devised study of rhetoric (intelligent reading and correct writing), philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, mathematics and the natural sciences, history, the behavioral and social sciences, language, and wellness.
Unique to the University’s approach to the liberal arts, however, is a conscious emphasis on integrating their content elements. This emphasis is rooted in the experience of the academic community that knowledge is not acquired in isolated elements and that wisdom derives from an exploration of truth in all its aspects. A whole person is an organism of body, mind, emotions, and spirit and comes to know truth by way of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic exploration of reality.
In addition to the content of the liberal arts and their integration, the Core Curriculum addresses itself to the major processes identified as requisites for success as an effective participant in the contemporary world, namely, critical thinking and learning, social interaction, wellness development, values formation, and ethical decision making. Because its mission, founded in the Catholic tradition, is based on the premise of a sound faith relationship between the creature and the Creator, the University of the Incarnate Word includes in its Core a study of religion.
The core is a common experience for all UIW students and represents a major vehicle for transmitting the mission values of the University. The Core and Major (specialized curriculum in a particular field of study) are intended to assure that every student accomplishes ten broad educational goals. Objectives under each goal specify learning outcomes to be developed by all undergraduates who complete a degree at UIW....
Appropriate assessment strategies will determine student success in achieving the outcomes under these goals and demonstrate that UIW is accomplishing its educational mission. By this means, UIW offers its students the opportunity to grow as self-fulfilled human beings and competent professionals dedicated to service.
The Core Curriculum is comprised of specific courses from designated disciplines, a Community Service component and demonstrated technology competence.
Additional philosophy in the design of the core outcomes, and the related curriculum, is elaborated in the 1999 VOICE document, A Vision Of Integrated College Experience.