Mission and Goals
The School of Interdisciplinary Studies offers the Ouachita Core Curriculum, a group of courses designed to foster intellectual inquiry and breadth of knowledge consistent with Ouachita’s identity as a Christian liberal-arts university. Furthermore, the school oversees the University Writing and Oral Communication Programs as part of its mission to cultivate knowledge and skills essential for academic success and lifelong learning. In conjunction with the seven discipline-based schools, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies promotes the following university-wide student learning goals:
- Intellectual and applied skills that promote competency and lifelong learning, including articulate communication; critical and creative thinking; analytical and quantitative reasoning; scientific reasoning; and information literacy.
- Engagement with content and methods of the major domains of knowledge.
- Heightened awareness of personal and social responsibility, including the ability and inclination to practice civic engagement, ethical reasoning, personal integrity, stewardship, physical well-being, and spiritual growth.
- Appreciation for cultural diversity and development of intercultural competence for constructive engagement in both local and global contexts.
- Ability to connect learning across disciplines and apply knowledge and skills to solve problems.
The Ouachita Core
The Ouachita Core Curriculum combines the liberal arts tradition with applied knowledge and skills to prepare graduates for meaningful work and effective service to God and others. Interdisciplinary perspectives encourage students to make connections across disciplines and understand the complexity and diversity of the world they inhabit. Furthermore, students hone the skills developed in the Core as they progress through their major field of study, achieving higher levels of competence and engagement.
The three-part structure of the curriculum comprises the Common Core, the Flexible Core, and the Experiential Core. The Common Core introduces students to Ouachita’s mission, provides a shared intellectual experience for incoming students, and develops skills and frameworks essential for further study. The Flexible Core ensures breadth of knowledge and allows students to choose among courses that develop analytical skills; cultivate artistic, linguistic, and cultural appreciation; foster civic engagement; and promote healthy living. The Experiential Core engages students outside the classroom, prompting them to connect learning with practical experience and encouraging them to participate constructively in the community.