Next semester ACU will launch the new core curriculum.
An ACU education is about teaching students to think critically and ethically, and be guided by social justice principles. It’s about passing on the skills to bring about change in communities and in society.
The Core lies at the heart of this vision. The goal is not just to pass on knowledge, but to raise some of the most fundamental questions on human experience and meaning.
Discussions will explore contemporary social issues, and questions such as what are the qualities that humans need to flourish? How is surviving different from thriving? How is human dignity defined and what difference does it make to our decisions?
Professor Pauline Nugent, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said the Core units will emphasise critical judgment, clear expression, ethical decision-making and concern for others, as individuals and as a community.
“Above all, they will provide a common learning experience for students at ACU,” she said. “Undergraduate students will together address the same topics and tackle the same problems – bringing their own views and experience to complex ideas and contemporary social issues.”
“The Core will prompt discussions that will continue in the hallways, in homes, and into the future.”
A key aspect of the program is giving students the opportunity to learn beyond the walls of the university classroom. Students have the chance to apply to spend three weeks in Florence, Italy, over the European summer in June and July - with additional destination options added every year.
“Students will attend class four days a week at Florence University of the Arts, and visit the wonderful historic towns of Assisi, Perugia and others throughout Tuscany on their days off,” Professor Nugent said.
The international component is open to all ACU students and generous scholarships will be available for up to 12 candidates to cover the full cost of tuition, excursions, accommodation, meal and insurance expenses to the value of AUD$5,000.
In the future, students will be able to undertake other selected international programs for which credit will be granted for the Core.
The Core will commence in Semester 2 this year with students from nursing; paramedicine; creative arts; exercise, health and sports science; midwifery; theology; inclusive education and disability studies; international development studies; business administration; media communications; and occupational therapy.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the Core would reflect the University’s belief that education is as much about the heart as the head.
“Educating a mind without educating the heart is servicing a machine, not building a person,” he said.