Bay State College Core Curriculum

At most schools, students are required to take a sampling of courses from a variety of disciplines without any unifying elements. At BSC, our Core Curriculum has been designed in a completely different way. We start by asking what skills and abilities do students need to learn to prosper in the 21st century We then bundle these learning outcomes into a coherent and cohesive set of 10 courses designed to build on each other and work together to give students a superior academic experience.

COR 101 – The Art and Science of Learning 

This course will introduce students to the idea that they are embarking on the pathway to lifelong learning. The important topics of self-care and looking at the learner as a whole being will be a focus. The course will also include nuts and bolts tips for student success during their college educations. 

Learning Outcomes 

Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Explore how the mind works best, through active and collaborative learning activities. 
  2. Analyze individual preferences, strengths, and challenges as learners. 
  3. Practice critical reasoning and information literacy skills. 
  4. Examine the learning process from the standpoint of the whole learner, including the physical and mental wellness needed to succeed as life-long learners. 
  5. Review and discuss the resources and skills needed to have a successful college experience. 


COR 102 – Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking in a Mediated World 

Students will develop analytical and writing skills while exploring the major media we interact with today. They will be introduced to brief histories of media and, by way of reading and writing, think critically about their consumption of, and interactions with, the content traveling across media platforms. Through close analysis of selected readings, students will develop the research and compositional skills necessary for strong academic work as well as an understanding of mediated realities and their impact on communication. 

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Summarize, analyze, and draw conclusions based on various themes found in the readings. 
  2. Evaluate source material for issues such as authority, reliability, and perception change induced by media.   
  3. Demonstrate increased skill and familiarity with various research techniques and resources. 
  4. Craft responses to the readings and a research paper. 
  5. Exhibit development in core writing skills, including sentence structure and organizational patterns as well as identification of perception-induced changes created by mediated realities.
  6. Analyze a community-based problem and create a solution that is supported by evidence gained through research of primary and secondary sources. 


COR 103 – Applied Social Sciences: The Problem of Inequality/Poverty/Racism in American Life 

This topics course will prepare students to better understand the significance of their lives within the historical, political, and economic situations in which they live. Students will examine their individual experiences within the larger society and explore the connections between individuals, organizations, societies, and cultures. Theoretical and applied principles and themes from several disciplines, including psychology, sociology, history, political science, and economics will be included. 

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Recognize their identities as actors in a social world 
  2. Examine scholarly concepts of self and society, within multicultural frameworks 
  3. Apply various theoretical approaches to current world topics 
  4. Interpret data in various fields within the social sciences 
  5. Consider themselves as efficacious actors within local and global economies 


COR 104 – Thinking Mathematically 

A college-level math course designed for all students outside Bay State’s IT and calculus-dependent MGMT programs, this course will help students to see mathematical concepts as they manifest in their daily lives.  From the odds of winning the jackpot in a lottery to the on-base percentage of one’s favorite baseball player, we are immersed in numbers and mathematical calculations. This course will help students to connect college-level math to activities we engage in daily.  Other topics covered will include proportional reasoning and modeling, logic, consumer math, and probability.   

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Understand how mathematics creates constructs by which we define and provide meaning to everything from the origins of the universe to buying a home.
  2. Explore how mathematics can enhance our personal and professional success.
  3. Evaluate how proportional reasoning, modeling, logic, and probability can be utilized to innovate and solve problems.
  4. Apply mathematical concepts learned in class to problems and areas (individually selected) in order to demonstrate competency.


COR 105 – Communication Skills for the 21st Century 

Words are generators of emotion and language is a record of our cultural history. They are built upon have the power to move us, divide us, and empower us if their power and purpose are understood. This course will introduce students to the complexity and importance of language as well as provide them the skills to apply it in our modern modes of communication.  Particular emphasis will be placed on technology platforms that have fundamentally changed how individuals communicate both personally and professionally. This course also includes an introduction to mediated interpersonal and professional communication, web design, public speaking, and presentation skills, requiring students to demonstrate proficiency as effective communicators and critical listeners.  

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Understand the complexity and dynamism of language and how it becomes both a historical record of our culture and a powerful force in determining the degree to which we are connected or divided as human beings. 
  2. Identify modern modes and platforms of communication and the degree to which these modes mediate the message in both positive and negative ways.
  3. Understand how modern modes of communication are changing the work environment and how professionals and organizations communicate with each other. 
  4. Demonstrate acquired skills in communication and presentation utilizing multiple modes and platforms. 


COR 106 – Divided America: A Scientific Exploration 

Americans find themselves living in a divided country that, in part, can be traced back to cultural differences that tend to manifest in America’s urban and rural areas. Over the past fifty years, this cultural divide has moved beyond the quaintness of small towns versus the bright lights of the city to fundamental divisions associated with core values, lived experience, world-views, and information eco-systems. This course will explore America’s current divisions through a social science lens, beginning with an introduction to the principles and techniques of social science research. Students will learn the role of theory and ethics in social science research and the difference between qualitative and quantitative data, how research studies are designed, and how to critically evaluate social science research. Students will then conduct a collaborative research project using social science methodologies on a problem related to this concept of a “divided America.” 

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Discuss the importance of scientific inquiry and research in their field of study 
  2. Understand the role of theory in social science research 
  3. Identify ethical issues that arise in research and critically analyze data 
  4. Design appropriate methods for collecting data and present findings in a written format 
  5. By way of physical and virtual exploration, experience urban and rural communities across America in order to better understand their unique characteristics and culture 
  6. Understand how demographics, population density, architecture, open and shared spaces impact the human experience 
  7. Explore how the lived experience of these very different parts of our country correlate to our politics, our economics, and our views on contentious issues such as abortion, immigration, gun rights, and LGBTQ equality 
  8. Evaluate how urban and rural areas have mutual interests that can be focused upon to facilitate greater tolerance and a reduced divide 


COR 201 – Global Citizenship and Living in a Just World 

This course will begin by introducing students to normative ethics which is the study of how we can determine right from wrong. This will include the question of why we should be moral and, assuming we should, theoretical frameworks through which we can evaluate our most pressing moral questions.  Students will apply concepts learned to contemporary issues at the local, national, and international level with the overall goal of establishing what a Just World might look like and if it can be achieved.  The course will advance by moving to the question of Global Citizenship and consider citizenship as a theoretical concept without application to any specific country, and then move to the question of what it means to be a citizen of the larger multinational, multicultural world in consideration of our understanding of morality. 

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Challenge the assumption that we should be moral in consideration of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the historical development of Western Civilization 
  2. Evaluate historical frameworks to determine what is right and how we have advanced to the framework of ethical pluralism 
  3. Apply ethical frameworks and larger questions of morality to the idea of a just world assessing whether it is achievable or an unreachable utopia 
  4. Consider the merits and obligations of citizenship and what that means in our increasingly global society 


COR 202 – Design Thinking 

In our modern world, innovation has become the key to advancing the potential of our society and overcoming inevitable challenges.  This course will invite students to take a systematic approach to innovation and problem solving to challenges in business and society.  Students, individually and in groups, will engage in project-based learning, requiring them to collaborate with others in solving increasingly complex problems.  Utilizing Apple and Steve Jobs as a case study, particular focus will be placed on the product and social change innovation utilizing human-centric analysis, prototyping, sketching, and paradigm-shifting. 

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Examine how design thinking is different from approaches to problem-solving that are driven by internal and external forces that may not be conducive to effective solutions and/or innovation 
  2. Work as part of a group on a project that focuses on product or social change innovation 
  3. Evaluate the approach of individuals such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson to drive innovation 
  4. Apply design thinking to modern-day challenges that have consistently defied advance or progress such as civil strife, world hunger, and global inequality.  


COR 203 – Pathways to Career Success 

Human work dates back to our earliest history and is tied to the foundations of our major religions and the development of Western Civilization.  The concept of work initially revolved around the idea of securing basic human needs and promoting human dignity.  In our modern world, work has become something more as we have moved from jobs to careers which take us beyond the ideal of basic human dignity towards work being a critical part of one’s identity and worldview.  We will explore the concept of work, its historical development, and modern transformations, with the overarching goal of aiding students in identifying what is the right path for them.  Finally, this course will provide an opportunity for students to think critically about the choices they make on the pathways to achieving career success.   

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Examine how we have moved from the historical concept of work for pay to identity producing careers 
  2. Analyze the concept of the American Dream and how success is best defined in consideration of changes to the working environment by way of technological advance and social change 
  3. Understand how career and success pathways are created and their limits in light of uncontrollable environmental influences 
  4. Apply their career goals and aspirations to our best understanding of what tends to produce success in our modern culture  


COR 300 – The Good Life 

This course will seek to explore the complex divide between existing and living. Aristotle termed this Eudaimonia which means human flourishing and he described it as the pursuit of enduring happiness, authentic love, and wisdom.  Although most have agreed with human flourishing or living the good life should be ideal, we have found it difficult to achieve and, more recently, found it under attack by our increasingly technological world.  In this course, students will explore the historical underpinnings of this idea of The Good Life with a particular focus on mental, physical, and spiritual health and wellness.  Students will also be introduced to avenues to new awareness including meditation, mindfulness, and colloquy.   

Learning Outcomes 
Students who complete this course will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Analyze the relevance of historical views on human flourishing to the realities of our modern, fast-paced, and technological society 
  2. Analyze the question of human flourishing and apply it to their own lives and aspirations 
  3. Evaluate definitions and standards of health and wellness in a cultural context 
  4. Apply the techniques of mindfulness, meditation, and colloquy to the processes of everyday living