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Westfield State University    
 
    
 
  Dec 13, 2017
 
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Common Core


 

Core Implementation Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines to accept course work into the University’s revised Common Core. Its provisions are consistent with the terms of the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and with policies for transferring general education coursework between the State four-year colleges.

General Education Requirements completed at another institution:

  1. Students transferring to Westfield State University after completing all the general education requirements at another Massachusetts state college will be deemed to have satisfied Westfield’s general education requirements.
  2. Students transferring to Westfield State University under the 1990 Commonwealth Transfer Compact will be deemed to have satisfied all portions of Westfield’s core except the 6-credit upper-level requirement.
  3. Students enrolled in the Second Bachelor’s Program through DGCE who have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree at an accredited college will be deemed to have completed the Westfield core.
  4. In all other cases, the evaluation of courses will be done on a course-by-course basis by the admission officer/academic advisor evaluating the transcript at the time of application. The evaluator will move to the next step only if the outcome of the previous step is not satisfactory to the student:
    1. Award credit if, based on guidelines established by the appropriate department chair, the course is determined to be equivalent to a Westfield core course.
    2. Award credit if the course fulfilled a comparable general education requirement at the school where it was taken.
    3. Award credit if, after consultation with the appropriate department chair, the course is determined to meet the Westfield State University standards for the core area.
  5. The results of the evaluation of core courses must be reported in writing to the Registrar (for Day Division students) or the undergraduate records coordinator (for DGCE students).
  6. Students not satisfied with the results of the core determination may appeal to the appropriate Dean.

This policy is implemented similarly for Continuing Education students, although they may take courses at other institutions only with prior written approval once they have been accepted into a degree program. The necessary forms are managed through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Note: The wording of the above policy has been modified to provide students with information about how the policy is applied and/or procedures to follow when applying the policy. The exact wording of the original policy may be found in the Westfield State University Policies and Procedures Manual.

General Education course work completed at Westfield:

  1. Courses that are approved for the new core may count in the appropriate category for students completing the old core. Note: Courses that appear ONLY in the Diversity section of the new core do not fulfill requirements under the old core.
  2. Courses approved for the core will become applicable for core credit in the next semester that they are offered. Students will not be granted core credit retroactively.
  3. Students not satisfied with the results of the core determination may appeal to the appropriate Dean.

Note: The wording of the above policy has been modified to provide students with information about how the policy is applied and/or procedures to follow when applying the policy. The exact wording of the original policy may be found in the Westfield State University Policies and Procedures Manual.

Common Core

All students must complete a core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as follows:

  • Humanities (18 credits)
    • English Composition (6)
    • Literary and Philosophical Analysis (6)
    • Appreciation of the Arts (6)
  • Social Science (12 credits)
    • United States History and Government (3)
    • Social Understanding (9)
  • Mathematics/Applied Analytical Reasoning (6-8 credits)
    • Traditional Mathematics (3 - 8)
    • Applied Analytical Reasoning (0 - 4)
  • Science (7-8 credits)
    • Laboratory Science (4 - 8)
    • Allied Science (0 - 4)
  • Diversity (6 credits)
    • Global (3)
    • United States (3)
  • Upper-Level (6 credits)*

*Note: Because the Curriculum Committee has not yet taken action on courses for which Upper-Level inclusion has been requested, students are not yet expected to meet the Upper-Level requirement.

Because courses may satisfy more than one distribution area, the total number of credits a student will need to satisfy the core will vary, according to the specific courses chosen. For example, a single course may satisfy both a Literary and Philosophical Analysis requirement and an Upper-Level requirement; or a course may be designed to satisfy both a Social Understanding and a Diversity requirement.

In keeping with the University’s mission to assist its students to develop intellectually and to use their knowledge to improve the conditions of their communities, the Core has been designed to introduce students to a variety of academic disciplines and social issues.

For each area in the core a set of goals has been established, offering students an opportunity to develop the critical skills needed to deal effectively with a variety of academic disciplines and concepts. The foundations of the Common Core are disciplinary forms, within which, students select specific courses. One of the goals of the Common  Core is to introduce students to areas of study which are seen as necessary ingredients for a cultivated, humane life.

In meeting the requirements of the Common Core, Westfield students acquire:

  1. The capacity to communicate clearly in one or more natural languages
  2. The capacity to understand literary and philosophical responses to fundamental questions of the human condition
  3. An appreciation for creative expression and aesthetic issues through study of the arts
  4. An understanding of United States government, history and the processes of democratic citizenship
  5. The capacity to understand the workings of society and its institutions
  6. An ability to use mathematics to solve problems and to reason logically and analytically
  7. An understanding of scientific theory and methodology as well as an appreciation of physical and natural processes
  8. An understanding of the social and conceptual foundations among people, such as race, class, gender, or ethnicity
  9. An opportunity to extend their understanding of a subject beyond the introductory level and to appreciate the value of multi-disciplinary approaches to areas of inquiry

The Core is a work in progress. Academic departments are still in the process of reviewing their curricula for courses that meet current core standards, and are also developing new courses for core inclusion.

Composition Component Of Core

All full-time students must complete ENGL 0101  and ENGL 0102 , English Composition I and II. These two courses constitute a unit, which all students must complete within the first two semesters in which they are enrolled at Westfield State University. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Chair of the English Department. Note that students are not permitted to withdraw from ENGL 0101  or ENGL 0102 ; both courses are pre-requisites for 0200-level core English courses.

Common Core Of Studies

The Common Core of Studies is divided into 5 sections (Humanities, Social Science, Mathematics/Applied Analytical Reasoning, Science, and Diversity) each having its own sub-categories.

Humanities Section - 18 credits:


6 from each area

Literary & Philosophical Analysis - 6 Credits [LPA]


Social Science Section - 12 Credits Required:


At least 3 credits must be from the U. S. History & Government area

Mathematics/Applied Analytical Reasoning Section - 6 Credits Required:


3 credits must be from the Traditional Mathematics area

Science Section - 7 Credits


4 must be a Lab. Science

Diversity Section - 6 Credits


3 credits from each area

Global Diversity [GDIV]


United States Diversity [UDIV]