ACTC CORE PROGRAM SUMMARIES: AN INTRODUCTION
by Gail Hemmeter, Conference Co-coordinator
programs described on this website represent the diversity of the
core courses and curricula offered by the schools which make up
the Association of Core Texts and Courses.
-- Many of our programs focus on the Western intellectual tradition
and the textual foundations of its institutions and cultural assumptions;
many also examine multicultural texts and traditions.
-- Many of our programs fall under the "humanities" rubric;
some incorporate the aims of the social and natural sciences; and
some even require field work and laboratory investigation.
-- Some programs take the "Great Books" approach; others
focus on historical moments; still others on themes of concern to
individuals and community.
-- Many programs are interdisciplinary in nature; others offer
a menu of courses taught within the disciplines.
-- Many define "text" as that which is comprised of words;
others expand the definition to encompass visual andmusical art.
-- Many strive to locate their texts in a historical and cultural
context; others provide students a minimum of background, asking
them to focus on the internal questions and logic of the texts.
-- Several programs feature instructors teaching from common syllabi;
some encourage faculty to put their individualstamp on the curriculum
by adding texts of their choice to the common reading list or by
developing specialinterest courses.
-- Some feature team teaching; in others, faculty teach individually
but participate in group seminars or training sessions.
-- Some programs are conceived especially for honors students;
others are required of every student.
-- Some programs target freshman populations; others offer courses
at all levels.
-- Some programs fulfill the purpose of general education; others
offer majors; and a few even graduate degrees.
Despite their many variations and permutations, the core programs
of ACTC schools demonstrate the common goal of promoting critical
reading, writing, thinking and discussion skills. A further underlying
principle articulates itself in the aim of guiding students to locate
themselves within larger cultural traditions; and to enter conversation
with substantive texts and with those who think seriously about
ACTC CONFERENCE CORE PROGRAM SUMMARIES
by J. Scott Lee, Associate Director of ACTC and Conference
Contained on this website are descriptions of Core Text/Core Course
programs offered by participating institutions of the annual conference
of the Association for Core Texts and Courses.
Most of the programs share several common features: They seek to
provide to all or a significant portion
of their respective students an integrated basis for the higher
education which each institution offers.
The materials of integration involve two essentials:
a) a set of texts and their authors used in
b) a prescribed set of courses.
c)One method of integration almost invariably involved is interdisciplinary,
whether within individual courses
or through sequences of courses.
The form the programs take are quite varied and may be Left to
inspection. But recurrent concerns and variations should be remarked:
a) All are somehow concerned with the relations of Western knowledge,
institutions or practices,
and products to students; many are concerned with the relation of
non-Western cultures to the West.
b) Most programs are concerned with historical developments and
many are explicit in
acknowledging the self-critical tradition of Western thought.
c) Many programs have adopted team teaching assignments, encouraged
cooperation, or devised either diverse course formats or lengths
in an effort to accomplish
interdisciplinary and integrative aims.
We hope that this will be the seed for a permanent database on
these programs. I want to thank everyone who sent us materials to
use. We have tried to include as much of each program description
as possible. If important points have been omitted, or if typographical
errors appear, please inform us and we will make corrections.
- Beaver College
- Boston University
- Carleton University
- Columbia University, NYC
- Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Davidson College
- Hobart William Smith Colleges
- Luther College
- Malaspina University
- Mercer University
- Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
- North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
- Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Science, Philadelphia, PA
- Rhode Island College
- Saint Anselm
- St. Edward's University
- Saint Mary's College of California
- Saint John's College, Annapolis, MD
- Saint Mary's
University of Minnesota
- Shimer College,
- Simon Fraser University
College, Saratoga Springs, NY
- Southeastern Louisiana University
- Temple University
- Thomas D'Arcy
- United States Naval Academy
- University of Kansas
- University of Montana
- University of North Carolina at Asheville
- University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
- University of the South
- Villanova University, Villanova, PA