Teaching and Advising for the Core
This is the resource page for faculty, department and college advisors, and staff involved in teaching or advisement about the Carolina Core.
All Carolina Core courses must cover the learning goals identifed in the syllabi of approved Core courses. Instructors may add additional course content, but the essential outcomes must be covered. An interactive list of Faculty Senate-approved foundational courses meeting the Carolina Core requirements is available online.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do Carolina Core requirements apply to all USC-Columbia students? No. The Carolina Core curriculum was launched fall 2012 and students entering USC-Columbia in Fall 2012 or later come under the Carolina Core. Students entering USC-Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, or Union, for the first time in Fall 2012 or later also come under the Carolina Core.
- Do Carolina Core requirements apply for transfer students into USC-Columbia?
Rules for transfer students have not changed. Students earn a degree under curricular requirements in force when they first enroll in a baccalaureate program at any campus of the University of South Carolina.
Students entering USC Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, or Union for the first time in Fall 2012 or later come under the Carolina Core.
- ENGL 102 at USC-Columbia now meets the CMW and INF requirement. When students bring AP/IB credit for ENGL 102 or transfer students bring credit for ENGL 102 which Carolina Core requirements are met? Transfer-in credit for ENGL 102 and AP/IB ENGL 102 will satisfy the CMW (Communication: Written) part of the Core requirement as always. To fulfill the INF (Information Literacy) overlay part, however, students will also need to take one of the Carolina Core INF courses listed here.
What courses are in the Carolina Core?
An interactive list of Faculty Senate-approved courses meeting the Carolina Core requirements is available. The list will update dynamically as more courses are approved by the Faculty Senate.
Note that there are two types of Carolina Core courses. Foundational courses early in the undergraduate experience apply across disciplines. Integrative courses near the end of study apply in discipline-specific majors.
Colleges and programs will also have specific requirements in each major and in some cases will have a list of recommended Carolina Core courses.
How does a faculty member propose a new Carolina Core course? The faculty member should begin by talking with the Academic Program Liaison in his or her college or school. Here's the list of the APLs for all of the colleges. The APL has experience with academic program actions and can provide guidance on how to develop your idea and take it through the entire University Faculty Senate approval process.
Procedures and forms for proposing a course are available on the Academic Programs website. The specific info on how to submit a Carolina Core course is on the Program Proposal website.
- How do I make a change to an already approved Carolina Core course? The Academic Programs website contains instructions for making changes to any type of course. Click on “Course Change Procedures” for specific details.
- Are there course guidelines for faculty teaching Carolina Core courses?
Faculty members teaching a Carolina Core course will need to adopt the relevant Carolina Core learning goals particular to their class section. Prototypical syllabi with learning goals are available for all Carolina Core courses with options for tailoring the syllabi for individual classes.
Ready to prepare a syllabus for your Carolina Core course? View the Carolina Core Syllabus Requirements for Teaching (PDF).
FAQs on Carolina Core Review and Assessment
- Now that the launch of the Carolina Core curriculum is behind us, what's next? The Carolina Core is a “living curriculum” – faculty on the Carolina Core Committee will continuously review the program and may suggest changes and improvements to keep the Core strong. New Core courses may be proposed at any time for review through the Carolina Core Committee and Faculty Senate course approval process. Regular review (assessment) of student assignments will allow faculty to recommend ways to continuously improve student learning.
- How is Carolina Core program review or assessment handled? The Carolina Core Committee has established the Principles and Process of Carolina Core Student Learning Review (PDF). This is a faculty-driven process that allows direct review of student assignments to see if the overall general education learning goals are being met.
What are the steps to Carolina Core program review?
The steps are simple:
- All faculty members teaching a Core course identify assignment(s) that show mastery of the Core learning outcome. They direct all students to upload the selected assignment(s) to Blackboard.
- Students upload the selected assignment(s) through Blackboard.
- Blackboard Outcomes randomly samples student work across all courses in the particular Core competency area (including AIU, ARP, CMW, CMS, GSS, GHS, GFL, INF, SCI, VSR) for review by a team of faculty members.
- The faculty review team looks at the assignments and determines whether the learning goals are being met.
- NOTE: Review is anonymous – students, courses, and faculty are not identified to the reviewer. Results are not linked to courses, faculty, or students. Evaluation results are not used for faculty annual review, tenure or promotion, or any other evaluation process.
How do faculty decide which assignment to have students upload?
All faculty teaching courses in the Carolina Core will identify one or more student assignments to demonstrate student achievement of Core learning goals in the course. Faculty first read the general background behind the Core requirement by going to the Carolina Core Resource Library and clicking on the “Context Statement.”
Then click on “Syllabus Rubric” to see the specific details of what is needed for the selected assignment. Note that each Core area has several different learning goals or student achievements.
More than one assignment might be needed to cover all of the goals. As we phase in Carolina Core program review – one competency area at a time – the professional staff and experienced Core faculty will assist professors with deciding whether all learning goals will be reviewed, which assignments are suitable, etc.
- Once the assignments are selected and uploaded, who reviews the student work? Faculty on the Carolina Core Committee will identify other faculty members to serve on a team to review the student work. These faculty reviewers will be selected based on their specialty areas to assess the particular area of study. Review teams will participate in training to ensure consistency of review and inter-rater reliability.
What is done with the results of the team review of student work?
The Carolina Core Committee will receive the results from the review teams. Note: there are no specific course names, numbers, faculty names, or student names attached to the assignments. The Committee will see whether and to what extent mastery of the learning goal is evident. The Committee will discuss the results and then report to the deans and faculty teaching in the Core area the results of the review. The Committee will recommend that faculty identify and implement any necessary changes to improve student learning.
- Hypothetical example: Review of student work indicates that 90 percent of students demonstrate mastery of Learning Goal #1 and that only 40 percent demonstrate mastery of Learning Goal #2. Teaching faculty discuss the results and decide how best to revise teaching methods to improve student learning for Goal #2.
Please contact your Carolina Core college representative with any questions or comments.