Penn College has established a core curriculum for each of its credentials. The core is intended as a broad foundation that will extend the competence students develop within their majors. Through the courses that satisfy core requirements, students are challenged to integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines and to extend their learning experience to areas beyond the major. The intended goals of the core curriculum are integrated with and are indirectly measured by students' demonstrated competence in their major courses. Degree-specific cores are presented following these goals.

Goals of the Core Curriculum

Communication - Students will critically evaluate written and oral communication and express themselves in professionally appropriate ways.

Critical Thinking - Students will apply critical thinking skills across a variety of academic, professional, and technical disciplines.

Information Literacy - Students will recognize when research is needed and have the ability to access, critically evaluate, integrate, and responsibly use the information from a variety of sources.

Citizenship and Cultural Sensitivity - Students will possess the knowledge and skills needed to engage in responsible, respectful, and ethical behaviors as individuals and as members of groups in personal and professional environments.

Physical and Mental Fitness - Students will apply knowledge of how personal and social well being are integrally linked with maintaining physical and mental health.

Lifelong Learning - Students will develop the commitment and skills that prepare them for lifelong learning and adapting to continually changing environments.

Computing Literacy - Students will use current and emerging information technologies to research, collect, and organize data; analyze the impact of current and emerging information technologies; and secure personal identity and information assets.

Quantitative Literacy - Students will demonstrate the ability to think logically and solve problems using quantitative skills.

Scientific Literacy - Students will apply scientific concepts, principles, and thought processes within the various disciplines.

Art Appreciation - Students will articulate their critical understanding of and respect for aesthetic principles.

Degree-Specific Cores

Please see Courses Overview for additional information relating to special-designation courses and elective categories mentioned below.

Baccalaureate Core

  • Communications: 9 credits, including ENL 111, ENL 121 or ENL 201, and any SPC course
  • Mathematics: 6 credits
  • Science: 7 credits, including one lab science
  • Humanities: 3 credits
  • Social Science: 3 credits
  • Arts: 3 credits
  • Humanities/Social Science/Arts/Foreign Language/Applied Art/International Field Experience: 6 additional credits as defined within the major
  • Liberal Arts: 3 credits as defined within the major
  • Health and Fitness: 2 credits
  • Computer Information: CSC 124 or major-specific equivalent
  • Special-designation courses that may also satisfy other requirements: Cultural Diversity, Science/Technology/Society, Writing-Enriched

Associate Core

Associate of Arts

  • Communications: 9 credits, including ENL 111, ENL 121, and SPC 101 or SPC 201
  • Mathematics: 6 credits
  • Science: 7 credits, including one lab science
  • Humanities/Art/Social Science/Foreign Language: 12 credits
  • Health and Fitness: 2 credits
  • Computer Information: CSC 124 or major-specific equivalent
  • Additional requirement: Cultural Diversity elective

Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science

  • Communications: 6 credits, including ENL 111
  • Mathematics: 3 credits
  • Science: 3 credits
  • Humanities/Social Science/Art /Foreign Language/Applied Art/ International Field Experience: 3 credits
  • Health and Fitness: 1 credit
  • Computer Information: CSC 124 or major-specific equivalent

Certificate Core

Majors leading to a certificate in a special field of study focus on occupational preparation and skill development. They range in length from two to four semesters. Core requirements include

  • Communications: 3 credits
  • Mathematics: 3 credits