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Core Curriculum

Traditionally, students have begun their college experience with only lecture and broad survey courses. Professors talk. Students listen.

Say goodbye to that model and hello to Wesley’s new core curriculum, one that involves students actively in their education. With a firm grounding in the liberal arts, first-year courses will involve students in research, allow them to hone critical thinking and problem solving skills, and connect them to the college and the broader community. Here are just a few examples of new first-year seminars (FY100).

Examples of First Year Seminars

  • Water Systems of the Coastal Plain: students apply the scientific method as they investigate waterways in their own back yard. Classroom study of environmental issues culminates in team field research.

  • Hungry for Change: explores nutrition in the context of race, gender and economics. Students also get involved in the community through service learning outreach.

  • Learning about Cultures through Mystery: students read crime and mystery novels written by international writers. Thus they discover "who did it" while learning about different cultures' approach to gender, race and economic backgrounds.

For a complete list of 2013 First Year Seminars, click here.

All of these courses offer a chance for first year students to get involved in action research from day one, learning skills through real world problem-solving.

Core Outcomes allow students to be able to:

1) Communicate

2) Investigate, inquire, and evaluate

3) Integrate the liberating arts

4)Practice professionalism and ethical behavior

5) Understand multiple perspectives

6) Value ongoing intellectual curiosity

7) Balance personal goals with community needs

The new core is more focused on developing skills at each level of the students' four-year program; at each level skills become more sophisticated and complex.

Level Breakdown

  • A Wesley student’s first year focuses on skills and habits essential to college and career success. In addition to a FY100, they take Quantitative Reasoning and Frontiers of Science for grounding in statistical analysis and the scientific method.  Writing courses develop communications and research skills.

  • In the second level, students explore the liberal arts – Arts and Culture, Philosophy and Religion, Literature and Languages, History and Social Sciences. Breadth of knowledge is accompanied by integration, so students see connections among traditional disciplines.

  • In the third level, students take courses linked by a common theme such as “Identifying with Diversity” or “Ethical Living.” They dig deep as they use skills and knowledge developed and amassed in the context of investigation and problem solving. 

  • The core is then completed in the fourth level with a course in the major, one that synthesizes learning and includes an application of skills and knowledge in a capstone project (e.g. internship, clinical, practicum, thesis, undergraduate research, portfolio, student teaching).



Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Typically, only juniors and seniors conduct undergraduate research, but Wesley’s innovative core curriculum introduces all students to the undergraduate research process in the first year. With support from substantial grants such as National Institutes of Health NIGMS INBRE and National Science Foundation EPSCoR, Wesley students conduct real research that has an impact in Delaware and beyond.

The new core curriculum will prepare Wesley students to be critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers and responsible citizens.