The UCA Core comes out of the UCA mission and values:
UCA Brief Mission Statement. The University of Central Arkansas dedicates itself to academic vitality, integrity, and diversity.
UCA Core Mission. The UCA Core is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary for critical inquiry, effective communication, and responsible living in a diverse and changing world.
Core Values. The overarching goal of the program is to develop curious, knowledgeable, articulate, and ethical people who are prepared for greater success in future learning and who are willing and able to make effective contributions to their communities.
The UCA Core is a cohesive course of study carried through all four years that builds core competencies around the four general education knowledge and skill areas:
critical inquiry – the ability to analyze new problems and situations to formulate informed opinions and conclusions;
effective communication – the ability to develop and present ideas logically and effectively to enhance communication and collaboration with diverse individuals and groups;
responsible living – the ability to address real-world problems and find ethical solutions for individuals and society;
diversity—the ability to analyze familiar cultural assumptions in the context of the world’s diverse values, traditions, and belief systems as well as to analyze the major ideas, techniques, and processes that inform creative works within different cultural and historical contexts.
What follows is a graphic representation of the UCA Core.
The proposal requires 38 credit hours at the lower division. These courses include the 35 credit hour required state minimum core and one additional three credit hour course for responsible living to satisfy the responsible living elements in the UCA Core mission. The remaining 35 hours from the state minimum are distributed in the other knowledge and skills areas of critical inquiry, effective communication, and diversity.
Embedded within the lower division is a first-year seminar. The first-year seminar will come from one of the lower-division academic courses. The purpose of the first-year seminar is to provide a small-class learning environment to facilitate engagement in academic study at the collegiate level, make a connection to the university, and reinforce the importance of written communication skills.
At the upper-division, additional courses within the four core knowledge and skills areas promote the development and application of knowledge and skills learned at the lower division. In addition, a capstone experience will provide the integration of critical inquiry and effective communication.
What is the Value of the UCA Core?
“Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
At UCA we believe that the purpose of an education is the development of the whole student. Learning is about more than vocational or career specific training. Although it is crucial that students develop the skills necessary for the demands of the modern workplace an education is about something greater.
The hallmark of an educated person is the ability to critically and analytically engage and integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines. An educated person is prepared for the workplace AND the demands of engaged citizenship. We have designed the UCA Core to reflect this expectation.
The UCA Core is designed to help students develop a vital character rooted in integrity, respectful of diversity, and adaptive to change. In order to achieve this, the UCA Core provides a wide variety of learning experiences across a variety of disciplines.
But education is also about exploration. The Core provides many educational opportunities, so take chances, adventure into unknown territories, and discover yourself through the wealth of resources we have available. What is the value of the Core? Ask yourself, instead, “What type of person do I want to be?” The Core will help you get there.
Questions? Contact UCA Core Director Dr. Jacob M. Held / firstname.lastname@example.org / 450-3634