A proposal for changes to the current core curriculum (download pdf) will be brought to a vote of the full faculty for final approval in a General Faculty Meeting in January.
The proposal contains 22 individual objectives that each degree program should enable graduates to meet. It represents both an elaboration and a modification of the current core requirements.
According to the Faculty Constitution, these changes must be considered and approved by a majority of the full Rensselaer Faculty.
View the Institute Core Curriculum Presentation by Gary Gabriele.
Students should have thorough competence:
1. Sciences: Students should have a fundamental understanding of the scientific method of inquiry with basic understandings of both the physical and biological world.
2. Mathematics: Students should have a fundamental grasp of the basic principles of calculus, and an understanding of data analysis through exposure to the fundamental principles of probability and statistics.
3. Social Sciences: Students should have a background for informed understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena, and knowledge of the major concepts, models, and issues of at least one discipline in the social sciences.
4. Humanities: Students should have an appreciation for the breadth of human endeavor through a significant exposure to at least one of the disciplines of the humanities.
5. Diversity: Students should have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are basic for decision-making and participation in a world characterized by cultural pluralism, interconnectedness, and international cooperation.
6. Entrepreneurship: Students should have a basic understanding of how organizations turn ideas, services, and technology into value.
7. Multidisciplinary: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to apply information and concepts from multiple disciplines in their intellectual, professional and community lives.
8. Information Technology: Students should have thorough competence in the fundamental understanding of the concept of an algorithm and the ability to examine and engage problems through the use of information technology
9. Information Use: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to locate information using resources such as the Internet and libraries and the ability to evaluate and synthesize this information.
10. Argumentation: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to identify, analyze and evaluate arguments and data as they occur in their own or others' work and develop well-reasoned arguments.
11. Communication: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to communicate in ways that display organization of ideas, a command of style and "mechanics," and an awareness of context and audience.
12. Media Use: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to communicate in a variety of media and to develop content appropriate for each.
13. Review & Revision: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to assess and revise their own and others' work.
14. Research & Design: Students should have thorough competence in addressing open-ended problems by identifying essential issues, defining and framing a problem statement, researching and exploring various alternatives, and developing and communicating solutions to a diverse audience.
15. Values: Students should have thorough competence in a personal value system that respects self, others and society, and speaks to the societal impact of differences among people.
16. Ethics: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to make informed and principled choices when presented with conflicting situations in their personal and professional lives, and to foresee the consequences of these choices.
17. Evaluation: Students should have thorough competence in the capacity to actively evaluate the assumptions, goals, and methods of gaining knowledge in academic studies and in professional life.
18. Leadership: Students should have thorough competence in the leadership skills that embrace cultural diversity and world citizenship.
19. Outreach: Students should have thorough competence in the ability to examine and organize knowledge and experience and apply it to issues and problems in a broad sphere.
20. Synthesis: Students should have exposure to several activities requiring them to synthesize their knowledge; often in the creation of a product (i.e. report, thesis, exhibition) that demonstrates their ability to frame and resolve an open-ended question. These activities should occur at several points throughout the four-year curriculum, and provide experiences both within and outside of their discipline.
21. Teaming: Students should have several opportunities to participate in team-oriented activities that allow them to develop their collaborative and leadership skills.
22. Out-of-the-Classroom: Students should have the opportunity to include at least one out-of-classroom activity (e.g. co-op, study abroad, community service) that is a mixture of life and academic experience.