Jul 19, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Core Curriculum

An Avila University education prepares graduates for responsible life-long contributions to the contemporary world. The curriculum has well-defined outcomes and is designed to involve the student in the learning process. Through coursework and campus activities, the Avila student learns to communicate effectively, to employ higher level thinking skills, to acquire knowledge in the liberal arts and a field of specialization and to develop personally, spiritually, and socially. In order to participate in an education that has both breadth and depth, all students complete a Core curriculum and a major curriculum. Each course of study is designed so that clearly identified objectives are built upon and reinforced. The Core curriculum is divided into three groups of requirements and is designed to be completed over the period of time needed to meet the requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

  • Foundations requirements provide the basic skills essential for effective participation in other classes as well as the professional world.
  • Pillars and Levels requirements address the breadth of knowledge expected of a liberal arts education and challenges students to integrate prior knowledge and create new ideas through higher levels of coursework.
  • Core Component Designations requirements incorporate assignments and experiences focused on developing and deepening student understandings to prepare students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community.

University-Wide Intended Learning Outcomes

Through the Avila University curriculum, which integrates the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) values, global and interdisciplinary studies, and community engagement, the Avila University graduate will demonstrate:

  • Personal, spiritual, ethical, professional, and social responsibility aligned with the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) including support for diverse cultures, human rights, and right relationships with self, others, and the earth.
  • Effective use and communication of qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation by accessing, synthesizing, and applying information from and for various mediums and across technologies, incorporating global perspectives.

Foundations: 10-12 credit hours

Objectives: Read and comprehend complex material independently and proficiently; communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and active listening; demonstrate a broad mathematical foundation to support different modes of quantitative literacy; access and interpret information from various media and across technologies.
Communication (3 hrs): CO 110 
Composition (3 hrs): EN 111  or EN 112 
Mathematics (3-5 hrs): MA 115 , MA 120 , MA 125 , MA 170 , or MA 241 
First Year Seminar (1 hr): FS 101 
Students must complete all Foundations requirements in the first 48 credit hours of their coursework. All courses must be passed with a grade of ‘C’ or higher in Core Foundation courses: Composition, Communication, and Mathematics courses.

Pillars and Levels: 30 credit hours

    Social Justice and Civic Life (6 credit hours required) Creativity and Culture (6 credit hours required) Belief and Reason (6 credit hours required) Explorations of  Nature (6 credit hours required)

24 credit hours required 












ACQUIRE S1: Acquire knowledge of different socio-cultural, political, economic, legal, spiritual/religious, and/or environmental systems including historical and contemporary issues of oppression and social justice and/or

S1: Investigate and develop self-awareness, including one’s culture, life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs construct one’s own world view
C1: Investigate and develop creative perspectives on the arts and the artist across the global community and/or

C1: Examine the historical and contemporary significance of the arts as a cornerstone for peoples, nations, and cultures
B1: Communicate an understanding of rational and belief formation processes and/or

B1: Identify influential frameworks for problem-solving and ethical decision-making
N1: Identify key theories of science, including contributions and limitations of scientific discovery and/or

N1: Distinguish between scientific fact, hypothesis, theory and law
TRANSFORM S2: Critically analyze individual and collective human experiences and communicate sensitivity to self and others C2: Develop, critically examine, and articulate one’s own creative process B2: Critically examine the relationship between belief and reason and the integration and influence of each N2: Apply scholarly data in a guided empirical study and present results in a discipline-specific format
6 credit hours required CONTRIBUTE S3: Advocate for social justice and human dignity through working collaboratively and cross-culturally within and among diverse groups C3: Produce critical and creative projects to interpret and illustrate the meaning of culture and creativity in a global context B3: Demonstrate and evaluate ethical and responsible choices and the impact of those choices in the context of the global community N3: Use scientific knowledge to communicate and contribute to a more sustainable global community

Core Curriculum Pillars & Levels Courses





Core Component Designations

In the core and major curricula, certain courses are designated with core components of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS), Global Studies (GS), and/or Community Engagement (CE).

Students entering Avila as First Year students must complete:

  • 9 credit hours of IS
  • 9 credit hours of GS
  • 3 credit hours of CE

Some courses designated as multiple designations will count as completed courses in all identified core component areas.

Students entering Avila as Transfer students must complete credit hours in core component areas based on the number of transfer credits completed at the time of admission to Avila University.

  • Less than 30 credits: Same requirements as first-year students
  • 30-59 credits: Must complete 6 credits of IS, 6 credits of GS, and 3 credits of CE 
  • 60 or more credits: Must complete 3 IS designated credit hours, 3 GS designated credit hours, 3 CE designated credit hours, plus 3 additional credits hours of their choice from IS, or GS or CE designated credit hours

Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Core Curriculum Designation

The following two outcomes provide the framework for the Interdisciplinary (I) criteria.

  1. The knowledge of the strengths and limits of disciplinary knowledge in understanding a topic, question, or problem.
  2. The ability to integrate, synthesize, and communicate knowledge from two or more disciplines.

Interdisciplinary courses are courses that cross disciplines from multiple areas of the university. They reflect the unique talents and interests of the faculty; clearly specifies why a topic, question, or problem warrants interdisciplinary examination and how each discipline contributes to the examination. These courses are taught by faculty from two or more disciplines.

Global Studies (GS) Core Curriculum Designation

The following three Global Studies Outcomes (I, II, III) provide a broad framework for the (GS) Core Component criteria (e.g. as the Core ILOs frame the Core objectives). The lists after each clarify intent and/or further illustrate possibilities for those outcomes, but are not intended as requirements or as limiting scope:

  1. Globalize perspective: (a) Gain knowledge of different perspectives in terms of religion, natural science, health science, social science, humanities, and the arts. (b) Understand how location and culture help determine our world view. (c) Understand the impact of geography, history, and economics on the current structures of power and privilege.
  2. Communication using existing resources and evolving technologies to facilitate collaboration within and between our global communities. (a) Gain knowledge of an additional language. (b) Interact with people from diverse cultures and gain insight from their point of view. (c) Understand the meaning, implications, and consequences of social justice from a local to global scale.
  3. Advocate for a socially just global society: (a) Acknowledge and assume responsibility for the ethical consequences of individual and collective action. (b) Integrate learning into action and promotion for peaceful resolution to conflict. (c) Shape policies that promote global economic development. (d) Advocate against prejudice, poverty, systemic privilege and oppression.

Community Engagement (CE) Core Curriculum Designation

Community Engagement Defined: (a) A synthesis of academic learning and service to the dear neighbor without distinction that provides students the experience to enhance their education, foster community responsibility, and grow in self-understanding while contributing to the needs of our local, national, or global communities. (b) The intent of community engagement at Avila is double: to apply our mission and values to encourage student awareness of their ability to help solve social problems and to intend that students continue this form of engagement past the conclusion of the course.

Core Component Designations

Interdisciplinary Studies (IS)

Global Studies (GS)


Transfer Students With Associate of Arts Degrees

Transfer students coming to Avila with an Associate of Arts (AA) or equivalent academic degree will be considered to have completed all Foundation and Pillar Requirements (39 hours). They are still required to complete:

  • 3 credit hours of IS
  • 3 credit hours of GS
  • 3 credit hours of CE
  • Plus 3 additional credit hours of their choice from IS, GS, or CE-designated credit hours.

Students with a completed Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution will be considered to have the equivalent of an Associate of Arts degree for the purpose of the core curriculum.

Major Curriculum

Each student chooses an academic area to study in-depth and must complete the requirements for that program in order to graduate. The curriculum for each of Avila’s major programs provides a well-developed set of courses to meet the identified outcomes of each program as well as opportunities for independent work, practicum, internships and senior projects.

As part of the completion of major requirements, each student will complete an identified technology requirement within the major.

Assessment Program

Avila University is committed to evaluating the performance of the university as well as the academic achievement of the students. Assessment at Avila is a multidimensional, ongoing process of gathering, interpreting and sharing information about the learning and development of Avila’s students. This information is used to determine student achievement; to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum; to guide the revision of programs, courses and instruction; and to serve as a catalyst to aid students in self-evaluation and goal setting. Assessment at the undergraduate level addresses the learning outcomes for the Core Curriculum as well as the major. Graduate assessment focuses on the educational outcomes associated with each of the graduate programs. Students participate in assessment activities throughout their time at the university and after graduation as alumni. These activities include surveys, standardized examinations, in-class assessments, portfolios and final projects or theses.