Throughout its history, the Core Program has received numerous accolades and external recognition for its innovative approach to general education. Additionally, the thousands of alumni of Saint Joseph's College who have participated in the Core Program attest to its impact in their personal and professional lives. Below is a sampling of some of this recognition.
Saint Joseph's College is one of 153 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its website feature, "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region," that posted August 1, 2011 on http://www.PrincetonReview.com. Students surveyed by The Princeton Review describe the College's unique Core Program as "broad and deep" and a "great alternative to education classes that encourages students to think, write, speak, and think again."
Saint Joseph's College has been recognized for leadership in the field of student character development in the recently released Templeton Guide: College that Encourage Character Development. The Templeton Guide profiles 405 colleges and universities in ten categories for their record of commitment to inspiring students to lead ethical lives. The Core Curriculum was recognized in the "Faculty and Curriculum" section as one of 45 programs to achieve this honor roll standing. The Guide notes, "...the Core Curriculum provides an intellectual challenge through courses in the liberal arts and sciences. It also includes various assessment strategies that appraise intellectual and affective development throughout the students' four years."
To read more about The Templeton Guide, go to the College and Character web site. (October 22, 1999)
"Less common is the true Core Curriculum, where all students take the same general education courses. At these schools, undergraduates complete as many as ten or more core classes, usually in the same order. Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, has a model core curriculum. In fact the whole sequence of required general education classes is simply called "Core." There, all students complete ten required courses, spread over all four years of study. Together, students and faculty examine, in a carefully organized sequence, history, science, philosophy, and different cultures. The curriculum stresses how each influences the other and how this knowledge can be applied to the student's major."
Ernest L. Boyer, Smart Parent's Guide to College, (Petersons Guide, 1996), 62.
"Of the institutions whose efforts toward liberating education are refracted in this volume, the only one that embraces the whole undergraduate curriculum is the Core at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. That program is known to those who follow imaginative educational efforts outside the brand-name colleges and universities. I found its program as described in this book particularly exciting since it is a rare example of a Catholic institution where the consequences of Vatican II have not been a further fragmentation of church related tradition, but a structured renewal."
Zelda F. Gamson and Associates, Liberating Education, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1984), 220.
"In our national survey of academic deans we asked them to identify a college or university in the nation where, in their opinion, general education is succeeding. The five most frequently cited institutions were, in the order named: Harvard University, University of Chicago, Alverno College (Wisconsin), Saint Joseph's College (Indiana), and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. In a review of these widely approved and yet greatly varied programs, we found many courses-both discipline based and interdisciplinary-that focused on the core fields of language, science, social institutions, history, the arts, and the rest."
Ernest Boyer, College: The Undergraduate Experience in America. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1987.
In the early part of 1999, comments were solicited from alumni of Saint Joseph's College who had participated in the Core Program. These responses were published in Contact, (the alumni magazine of the College). Below are a few of these responses.
"Our local community is relatively small, but my profession has served peoples from Egypt, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, India, and more. Core opened my eyes to the diversity of philosophies, religious cultures, and world views, helping me to better serve my customer." -- Ron Curtis '73
"By teaching us about other cultures and lifestyles, both present and in the past, I have been able to work in the insurance industry on an international basis as well as domestically. Living and working in New York has been an experience like no other. I work with people from all over the world and can accept their different philosophies although sometimes I don't understand them initially. Communication with them helps to see things more clearly." -- Susan (Champa) Seminerio '80
"Core made me uniquely prepared to approach my profession and other disciplines with a more wholistic view. I did not just learn how to be a social worker, I was exposed to all disciplines and particularly enjoyed the arts and history!" -- Patricia Slewin '85
"Core broadened our horizons and forced us to look beyond our majors. The program also encouraged us to be better Christians." -- William '89 and Heather (Dunbar) Paschal '89
"Core is such a well balanced course that it gives a person a wider variety of information to study than just taking focused courses. I learned everything from history, to science, to religion...which a person comes into contact with everyday." -- Brian P. Jakelski '90
"The Core Program has challenged me to view the world around me in a different way. The connections between history, religion, science and literature that Core stresses has allowed me to think critically at graduate school." -- Jeffrey Kirch '98