BSC logo
Explorations Curriculum

Information for Upper-Class Students and Advisors

This page is designed to help students, faculty, and staff know how courses being taught at BSC fit into the Explorations general education curriculum.

What is Explorations?

Explorations is a set of general educations courses required for graduation. It is based on five broad learning outcomes, not the distribution of courses in traditional liberal arts disciplines that Foundations is based on. The Foundations curriculum fosters the same outcomes, but not in as straightforward a manner—and not with such an easily explained rationale. Simply put, we expect our graduates to be able to

  1. communicate effectively,
    (EH 102 or EH 208, writing reinforcement WR, creative expression CE)
  2. solve problems creatively,
    (quantitative analysis QA, scientific methodologies SM, interpretations and analysis IA)
  3. engage their social and political world,
    (foreign language, global perspectives GP, community interest CI)
  4. connect their coursework to the wider world,
    (Explorations in Scholarship seminar ES, Connections in Scholarship)
  5. engage in self-directed teaching and learning.

As you see above, those outcomes translate to the requirements you will find on the Explorations worksheet. EH 102 or 208 will fulfill the writing and critical thinking seminar requirement; the Explorations in Scholarship seminars (ES) take the place of the Foundations 1Y courses; the Connections in Scholarship senior seminar is the same as the familiar Senior Conference requirement—including a public presentation. Other courses that fulfill requirements can be identified by the two-letter designation they carry, WR, CE, QA, SM, IA, GP, CI. A summary of the entire curriculum is available for a quick review.

How Do Courses Count?

To see how what you have taken—or are taking—translates to Explorations,

  1. Download the Explorations worksheet
  2. Refer to the disciplinary list of designated courses to date
  3. Compare courses on the list with those you have taken and “fill in the blanks” on the worksheet. The worksheet tells you what you need for each requirement.

To plan for other Explorations courses you may need, refer to the list of designated courses arranged by the two-letter designations.

As you fill out the worksheet remember

  1. When a course is designated for two learning outcomes, you may use it for only one.
  2. In the four-course academic Area Distribution,
    • any course in disciplines cited counts,
    • the courses do not have to be designated for a learning outcome,
    • but, they may be used for learning outcomes as well (in other words, they “double-dip),”
    • AP and IB credits many count.

Not all courses we teach will be approved to fulfill a learning outcome. In order to be approved, each course has to fulfill specific criteria set forth by the Faculty. Only courses proposed, vetted, and approved by the Faculty to fulfill a learning outcome will receive the two-letter designations. Look for more courses to be approved for Explorations designations before registration for Spring Term 2012.

Which Curriculum Is Yours?

All students entering BSC Fall Term 2011 are under Explorations.

Students entering prior to this fall may either stay with the Foundations general education requirements or adopt Explorations and the conditions of the 2011-2012 Catalog.  Making the change is an individual decision. 

If you are an upperclass student and think you might want to switch, complete the Foundations graduation check sheet   and compare where you are in Foundations to where you would be in Explorations.  (Remember, the courses you plug into the Foundation check sheet are in no way dependent on the list of Explorations designations.)  Only you can decide which of the two general education programs is better for you. 

Questions?

Contact Associate Provost, Dr. Susan K. Hagen, shagen@bsc.edu
 or Degree Audit Specialist, Dr. Kim Lewis, klewis@bsc.edu

BSC Seal
Birmingham-Southern College

900 Arkadelphia Road
Birmingham, AL 35254
800.523.5793

© Copyright 2013-2014