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Common Core Invention Events Planned for Fall

This fall, the University Undergraduate Core Committee (UUCC) will host a range of  engagement initiatives open to the entire SLU community, including guest speakers, core architecture workshops and the opportunity to propose draft core models.

Surveys of current and former SLU students demonstrated a desire for greater agency, flexibility, and conceptual clarity in Core structure and delivery. The University’s external accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, has also encouraged SLU to develop a more unified and assessable core. Click here to read more about the undergraduate core.

Core Progress to Date

Work on a common core started in 2017, when the University Undergraduate Core Committee (UUCC), a group with cross-University representation, was formed. New Core Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) were ratified by the entire university community in May, and Ellen Crowell, Ph.D., associate professor of English, was named SLU’s first director of the Core on June 1.

“This is crucial work,” Crowell said. “The UUCC is excited to partner with the SLU community as we consciously examine our university’s approach to undergraduate education, reflect on what we find, and use that reflection to cultivate a community will to reinvigorate our distinctive SLU approach to Jesuit education for our 21st-century students.”

Upcoming Events

Over the fall semester, the UUCC will provide orientation on the student learning outcomes and offer opportunities for their collaborative translation into draft core architectures. An open call for draft core architectures will go out in early December 2018, with submissions due on Feb. 1, 2019.

The drafts will be made public, discussed, vetted and revised, culminating in an approved Core architecture by December 2019.

Key Events and Dates


Public Lecture

Paul Hanstedt, Ph.D.: “Current Trends in 21st-Century Core Curricular Design: Exploring Best Practices, Rationales and Implications”

Please note updated information: Sept. 14, 2018, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. in Morrissey Hall, Room 3400

Paul Hanstedt, Ph.D., is a professor at Roanoke College and author of “General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty and “Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses for a Complex World,” among other works.

Lunch Discussions

(Registration is required.)  

Attendees will discuss the Hanstedt lecture and how it relates to SLU’s developing core.

Imagining Core Structures Workshops

(Registration is required; all workshops will be followed by a reception.)

Madrid Workshop

October 19, 2018.  Time and location to be determined.

Workshop Structure

Workshop participants will work in cross-disciplinary and cross-college teams to explore three distinct skeletal core models and imagine how SLU’s core learning outcomes invite new ways to deliver a common undergraduate educational experience rooted in:

  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Reflection/signature work
  • Service learning/community engagement

Phase Three: Proposal Invitation Process

A call for proposals on SLU's common core curriculum will be issued in early December 2018. A proposal drafting workshop presented  with Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology will also take place that month.

This 90-minute workshop will guide groups in moving from SLU learning outcomes/high impact practices to curricular components and, ultimately, to complete curricular structures.

For more information on these events, Contact Ellen Crowell, director of the Core, at ellen.crowell@slu.edu.