Diversity and the University Core
The current Core, which was launched in Fall 2012, introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those Areas. In addition to the content of the specific Knowledge Areas, Core courses integrate the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education:
- Understanding Diversity in the US or the World
- Understanding and Promoting Justice
- Understanding Spirituality or Faith in Action in the World
- Civic Engagement and Leadership (Met by Loyola's Engaged Learning requirement)
Click here for a list of diversity courses offered in the Core Curriculum.
With regard to the first Value, Diversity in the US or World, many courses in the current Core (34 courses) were specifically designed to address this important value and allow students to develop the specific competencies that are shown below. These diversity courses are designated with a (D) in the course listings for each Knowledge Area so that they can be easily identified (for example: Theo 297: Introduction to Buddhism).
Demonstrate an understanding of diversity in the United States and the world.
Competencies: By way of example, Loyola graduates should be able to:
- Recognize that human diversity is complex and variegated.
- Distinguish the various factors that inform and impact individual identity formation.
- Comprehend how group identities are formed in a heterogeneous society.
- Identify distinctive patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to the formation of a culture different from one's own.
- Perceive the interdependence of cultures in domestic and global terms.
Recent events in our community, nation and world have served to underscore the critical importance of diversity and why it has been a foremost value of Loyola's University Core for many decades. In response to these events, and in support of Plan 2020 and strong student interest, a group of faculty, administrators and students began working together in Spring 2016 to reaffirm and support Loyola's commitment to diversity by enhancing the diversity of the University Core. These revisions to the Core will be effective for Fall 2017 and include:
1. Increasing the number of diversity courses in the Tier 1 Foundational offerings
- Tier 1 Historical Knowledge: HIST 103: American Pluralism and HIST 104: Global History Since 1500 have been added as two course options to the Tier 1 Historical Knowledge Area. There will now be four courses that will satisfy the Tier 1 Historical Knowledge Area requirement.
- Tier1 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area: WSGS101: Introduction to Women’s Studies and Gender Studies: A Global Perspective has been added to the Core Curriculum as an option for the Tier1 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area.
2. Increasing the number of diversity courses in Tier 2 course offerings
- Tier 2 Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Area: Three new Theology courses will be added as course options for Tier 2 of the Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Area:
- THEO 203: Social Justice and Injustice
- THEO 204: Ethics and the Ecology Crisis
- THEO 299: Religions of Asia
In addition to these changes in the structure of the Core, academic departments that contribute diversity courses to the Core curriculum (e.g. History, Theology, English, Anthropology, Political Science) have begun to increase the number of sections of Tier 2 diversity courses offered each semester. In the Department of History, for example, the number of sections of Tier 2 diversity courses was 27% higher in Fall 2016 as compared to Fall 2015.
The Loyola University Chicago Core Curriculum is a continual element in a student’s transformative education that serves as a framework for learning, reflecting and experiencing, as Loyola students prepare for lives seeking knowledge in the service of humanity. The integration of diversity as a core value in this curriculum is an essential component of this enterprise.