WCore

Engage, Explore, Experience, Extend

WCore is Westminster College's new liberal education program. WCore gives students the opportunity to explore new subjects and ideas through unique courses. WCore courses offer small-group settings and focus on synthesis, communication, and disciplinary research rather than simply memorizing facts. Additionally, because WCore has fewer requirements, students will have more room in their schedules to pursue minors and electives.

Navigating WCore

WCore is designed to be flexible. This is one possible path through your individualized WCore curriculum:

  • During your first year, you'll Engage with your fellow students in a learning community and a faculty-led Explorations course.
  • As a sophomore, you can deeply Explore a subject by taking WSeminars with topics such as Math and Computer Animation or Dinosaur Paleobiology.
  • When you're a junior, you'll Experience beyond Westminster through the Engaging the World platform. Maybe you'll take a May Term trip or participate in a local service-learning course. There are so many options. The choice is up to you.
  • Finally, as a senior, you'll Extend your learning through a capstone project and share it with others in a campus-wide Celebrating Your Path event.

WCore Class Examples

Vampires: Active Reading, Passive Reading

Vampires: Active Reading, Passive Reading

Fine Arts and Humanities

When we read, we seek a sense that the text has seized us, dominated our will, and taken control of our understanding. Vampires make excellent metaphors for the danger and thrill of being dominated by a text.

How We Die in America

How We Die in America

Social and Behavioral Sciences

A light hearted yet in-depth look at what it means in American culture to die and how it is part of an integrated system of meanings and behaviors within a larger socio-cultural environment. Students examine this life experience empirically, with a group, through exploratory ethnographic research.

Counting Votes

Counting Votes

Science and Mathematics

Just what does voting mean? There are many methods of expressing voting preferences via ballots. Which is the best method? How is a state's number of representatives in the US House of Representatives determined? What other methods are there? We will take a mathematical look at these questions by studying Arrow's Impossibility Theorem.

National Parks Geology

National Parks Geology

Science and Mathematics

Many of America's National Parks were designated because of their geologic beauty and history. This course will examine geologic principles and concepts through the lens of America's National Parks, as they often represent the most exquisite examples of geologic phenomena.

Immigration Education and Equality

Immigration, Education and Equality

Social and Behavioral Sciences

This course will explore ways in which context, race, culture, and social class shape immigrants' educational trajectories. We will read and analyze accounts of immigrants' experiences in public schools, sample research on immigration and education, and critique perspectives regarding immigrant success in United States society. We will explore differences in the educational outcomes of past and current immigrants and explore the role of schools and other community organizations in the lives of immigrant youth. Through community engagement, we will learn from and work with immigrant youth.

Drawing Lines in the Sand

Drawing Lines in the Sand

Fine Arts and Humanities

This hybrid studio-seminar course examines art about landscape, space, and environments while simultaneously challenging students to engage with these ideas in their own creative work. Students will research artworks and writings that explore topics such as landscape, "wild" and urban space, public and private spaces, and land(scapes) and power. This course will also introduce students to fundamental drawing techniques, with a special focus on drawings and images made using landscape, nature, and hybridized arrangements of visual communication.

WCore Requirements

Customize Your Education

6

WCore Classes

Choose Two from Each
  • Social and Behavorial Sciences
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • Science and Mathematics

4

Emphases

Fulfill These
  • Writing
  • Diversity
  • Research
  • Quantitative

These can be fulfilled via WCore or other programs

1

World Experience

Choose One or More
  • Engaging the World Course (3–4 credits)
  • Approved May Term or summer service-learning trip
  • Approved Study abroad semester
  • Approved international internship

  • Gender, Sex, and Identity
  • Homelands and Contested Spaces
  • Searching for America
  • The Story of America
  • Transnational Cinema
  • Ethical Issues in Health and Healthcare
  • (Un)American Cinema
  • America's Best Idea
  • Drawing Lines in the Sand
  • Ceramics
  • Goddesses, Heroes, and Others
  • Making Sense of Movies
  • Renaissance Humanism: Erasmus
  • Alien Encounters in History
  • Books That Changed the World
  • Communicating Through Writing
  • Epistolarity: Letters To and From
  • How Literature Matters Now
  • Models of History
  • Patterns of Global Immigration
  • Philosophy of Love and Sex
  • Poverty and Global Justice
  • ReVisioning (dis)Ability
  • The Serious Art of Humor: What’s Funny and Why
  • Writing Time
  • (being) Creative
  • ArtSparks!
  • Citizenship and Voting Rights
  • Drawing, Inquiry, and Expression
  • Ethics and the Profit Motive
  • Photography
  • Film Genres
  • Humor and Philosophy
  • Paint, Perception, and Alchemy
  • Power of Arts in Our Community
  • Reading and Detection
  • The Bible and Literature
  • Traditional Photography
  • Vampire Literature
  • The Yogic Experience

  • Counting Votes
  • Explorations in Data Science
  • Genetics of Human Behavior
  • Geology of the American West
  • Intro to Electronics & Circuits
  • Isotope Biogeochemistry
  • National Parks Geology
  • Personal Wealth Foundations
  • Probability, Risk, and Reward
  • Bust That Psyc Myth
  • Geobiology of the Universe
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Dinosaur Paleobiology
  • Games and Decisions
  • Healthy Sustainable Nutrition
  • Linear Algebra
  • Math and Tech of Entertainment Arts
  • Science of Food and Drink
  • Science of the Environment

  • Culture In Anthropology
  • Explorations in Politics
  • Exploring Global Challenges
  • Gender in Society
  • Imaging (in)Justice
  • Immigration, Education, and Equity
  • People, Power & Protest
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Class
  • Social Problems
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Sociology of the Life Course
  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Apes, Archeology, and Evolution
  • Bust That Psyc Myth
  • How We Die in America
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Hot Topics in Development
  • Myths, Magics, Supernaturals
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Aging Matters
  • Communicating Across Cultures
  • Courts, Law & Social Justice
  • Economics, Ethics, and Growth
  • Globalization: Let's Fix It!
  • The Nature of Language
  • The Science of Social Behavior

I'm a current student. How will WCore affect me?
WCore primarily applies to students starting at Westminster in the fall of 2016. Current students will complete a degree audit that shows how the classes they've already taken fit into the WCore. It will not add to current students' course load or result in retaking LE classes.

I'm a student in the honors program. How does WCore affect me?
Honors students do not take WCore classes. Instead, their general education requirements are satisfied entirely by a stand-alone Honors curriculum that consists of a menu of interdisciplinary, team-taught seminars.

More information about the Honors program »

What is the difference between an Explorations course and a WSeminar?
Explorations cover several aspects of a subject area while WSeminars offer in-depth approaches to a disciplinary issue or problem.

What if I already have an Associate's or Bachelor's degree?
The first- and second-year courses will be waived for all transfers with associate's degrees. All other transfers will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

What about AP or IB Credit?
AP and IB credits will count toward graduation, as general electives and for some major requirements. However, they will not count toward the completion of the WCore.

How does the WCore help me if I want to have a minor?
Because the WCore has fewer required courses, students will have more flexibility in their schedules to pursue a minor. See your advisor for individualized help in designing a minor. See your advisor for advice about determining if one of Westminster's minors is right for you.