University of Central Arkansas Core requirements are designed to make students more knowledgeable and skilled in their majors and as citizens.
The UCA Core is structured in three different areas: diversity, critical inquiry, communication and responsible living. Then the Core is split into divisions. Classes taken in the student’s freshman and sophomore year are known as the lower-division. Then the upper-division is taken during the junior and senior years.
The lower-division is 38 credit hours of general education courses that build the skills in the four different areas. The upper-division consists of courses that reinforce the skills learned in the lower- division.
Select UCA faculty got together in 2011 to create the UCA Core. The construction lasted till 2013 when the UCA Core was adopted and was required by the incoming students.
“The idea was that it wasn’t general education in general introductory courses to just get them out of the way, but it was those core education experiences that builds the foundation that any education is built on,” Dr. Jacob Held said, director of UCA Core.
The Core is unique to UCA. The state of Arkansas only requires 35 hours of general education course. UCA goes above that by requiring three hours in the responsible living section and creating the upper-division.
“We want to reiterate that there is more than vocational and job training to an education, although that is fundamental. There are also skills necessary regardless of career path and that is where the upper- division comes in,” Held said.
Held and the Core Council believe that there is not an appreciation for the core among students.
“We don’t need those classes because if I want to become a surgeon some class don’t help me. They should have me taking actual classes that help me become a surgeon, and we would also have shorter school time,” Arshak Kalajyan, a freshman at UCA said.
The UCA Core’s website is being updated to help students better understand and navigate their educational experience. The website is uca.edu/core. The CORE can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
For any questions contact Dr. Jacob Held at (501) 450-3634 or email [email protected]
This article originally appeared in the March 30, 2016 print edition of The Echo.
image via uca.edu