Transforming the Ball State University Core Curriculum

The University Core Curriculum (UCC) aims to provide Ball State students with a strong foundation of ideas and skills to pursue fulfilling lives and meaningful careers. To create a distinctive Ball State Core in stronger alignment with the 30-Hour Indiana College Core, the University Core Curriculum Task Force has developed a reimagined University Core Curriculum, including a proposed structure with implementation recommendations.

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The Charge: The transformed UCC will serve as a unique Ball State University foundation for preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. To promote recruitment and timely graduation, we will adjust Ball State University’s Core Curriculum (UCC) from 36 to 30 hours in alignment with the Indiana College Core (ICC).

Core Curriculum Purpose: To provide a liberal arts experience for all students regardless of their programs of study. The UCC offers BSU learning experiences that are ideally different from and complementary to those embedded in programs of study.

Guiding Principles: To promote student and faculty success, the UCC should:

  • Center Ball State University values, enabling students to discover their interests and strengths so they can lead meaningful lives;
  • Catalyze student interest by being available to all students with no restrictions or prerequisites and may function as gateways to majors and minors;
  • Generate enthusiasm, moving students, faculty, and staff from “have to” to “get to”;
  • Demonstrate the distinct contributions of various disciplines, ensuring students and faculty see themselves and what they value in the UCC;
  • Promote innovative best practices for teaching and learning, such as smaller classes, affordable textbooks, and access to high impact practices;
  • Support easy transfer of the ICC certificate and ICC credits, including dual credit, AP, CLEP, and/or on-campus or online courses taken at other colleges and universities;
  • Increase equitable outcomes for students by removing transfer barriers;
  • Ensure opportunities for Colleges to engage in general education and/or professional training given the shift of the 36-hour core to a 30-hour core. The 6 credit hours are available for College-specific requirements, including bookend courses, professionalization courses, and transitioning from college to the workforce courses.

Proposed UCC Structure in Detail

Foundational Intellectual Skills = 9 credit hours

  • Written Communication: ENG 103 (3 credit hours)
  • Speaking and Listening: COMM 210 (3 credit hours)
  • Quantitative Reasoning: MATH 125 (or required MATH core course) (3 credit hours)

Ways of Knowing = 9 credit hours

  • Scientific (3 credit hours)
  • Humanistic and Artistic/Design (3 credit hours)
  • Social and Behavioral (3 credit hours)

Courses offered in this category should be broad and of interest to all students. All courses must align clearly with the ICC learning objectives for the specific way of knowing.

Research-Based Writing = 3 credit hours
Either ENG 104 or a research-based writing course offered by a College that introduces students to the research-based writing conventions in one of the Ways of Knowing fields (listed above).

Advancing Beneficence in the Curriculum Clusters = 9 credit hours
These clusters highlight Beneficence values, goals, and skills and allow students to participate in transdisciplinary conversations on a unified theme; all courses proposed must fulfill the ICC learning objectives for the way of knowing selected by the proposing department.

Below is a list of proposed cluster options and their unifying themes informed by Ball State University’s enduring values and its strategic plan.

  • Societal Responsibility: Improving our community and acting for the benefit of society.
  • Cultures and Values: Appreciating the varied cultural voices and experiences that contribute to our communities, our state, and our country.
  • Sustainability: Planning, revitalizing, and sustaining actions that foster growth, environmental stewardship, and quality of place.
  • Innovation: Encouraging creativity, responsiveness, agility, progressiveness, and technological advancement.
  • Global Connections: Recognizing our global connectedness and interdependence resulting in economic, cultural, and social influence.
  • Personal and Financial Wellness: Enhancing personal wellbeing, professional success, and economic responsibility.

Alignment with Indiana College Core (ICC)

ICC General Requirements
  • 30 Hours
  • Meets ICC Competencies and Learning Outcomes
  • Facilitates the Transfer of Credit
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
ICC Competency Requirements
  • Earn 9 Credits: 3 Credits in Each Foundational Intellectual Skills - Written Communication, Speaking and Listening, Quantitative Reasoning
    • In Proposed Structure: ENG 103, COMM 210, MATH 125 or Equivalent (9 Total Hours)

  • Earn 9 Credits: 3 Credits in Each Way of Knowing - Scientific, Humanistic and Artistic, Social and Behavioral
    • In Proposed Structure: 3 Credits from Options for each of the required Ways of Knowing: Scientific, Humanistic and Artistic, Social and Behavioral (9 Total Hours)

  • Earn 12 Additional Credits: Must Meet ICC Competencies and Institutional Curriculum Policies
    • In Proposed Structure: Research-Based Writing (3 Hours)
    • In Proposed Structure: Beneficence Cluster - 3 Courses from Options organized into Themes; Included Courses meet ICC Ways of Knowing (9 Total Hours)

Anand Marri, Provost

Faculty Members
Kristin Barry, Architecture, CAP
Adam Berland, Geography, CSH
Conor Dailey, Student, CFA
Holly Dickin, Mathematical Sciences, CSH
Brian Gorman, Associate Dean, University College
Susan Koper, Theater and Dance, CFA
Deborah Mix, English, CSH
Emily Rutter, Associate Dean, Honors College
Carolyn Shue, Communication Studies, CCIM
Linda Taylor, Elementary Education, TC
Allen Truell, ISOM, MCOB
Paul Nagelkirk, Kinesiology, COH

University Governance
Nathan Bogert, Chair of University Senate, CFA
Chris Van Hof, Chair of Faculty Council, CFA

Administrative Support
Carole Kacius, Director of Assessment and Accreditation
Tarek Mahfouz, AVP for Academic Planning and Operations
Kecia McBride, VP for Academic Affairs
Kristen McCauliff, AVP for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Steve Reed, Senior Systems Specialist for Academic Affairs