The Curriculum and Academic Opportunities
- Catalog 2013-14
General Education Rationale and Requirements I Basic Skills I Organization and Structure of the Academic Program I Study Abroad I Yearly and Weekly College Calendars I Research Opportunities for Students I The John C. Young Scholars Program I National Fellowships and Honors I Computer Literacy I Advising I Career Services I Internships I Preparation for Careers and Graduate and Professional Schools I 4-2 Nursing Program I Dual-Degree Engineering Studies Program I Reserve Officer Training Corps I Services for the Disabled at Centre
We live in a complex, diverse, and rapidly changing world—one presenting us with delicate moral and social problems that demand careful analysis and creative solutions. This is an era of uncertainty, of promise, and of opportunity. We believe that the most appropriate formal preparation to meet the challenges of today, to fulfill career goals, to lead a rich and rewarding personal life, and to serve society as a responsible citizen, is a broad-based, flexible education in the liberal arts and sciences. Building on that belief, the College has carefully designed an academic program that not only prepares students for graduate school, the professions, and positions of leadership in all areas of society, but one that also equips them with skills needed to pursue a lifetime of learning.
General Education is the part of the curriculum we require of all students regardless of their major field of study or their career goals. In broader terms, it is the heart of our liberal arts education, because it represents an academic experience so valuable that we believe it should be shared by all Centre graduates. Regardless of the specific discipline addressed, all general education courses have several characteristics in common. These include commitments to: a) exposing students to the fundamental issues and the common methods of inquiry used in the subject; b) placing the academic discipline and methodologies in context with issues of societal and personal choices; c) requiring students to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; d) having assignments and activities that foster students' ability to think creatively, logically, and analytically in order to address problems from a variety of perspectives with open and questioning minds; and e) instructing in ways that engage students as active participants in the learning process.
The General Education requirements are in four areas:
4. Fundamental Questions
1. Humanities (two courses)
A liberally educated person can understand and derive pleasure from aesthetic experiences of literature and the fine arts. A two-term core interdisciplinary sequence in the humanities, taught by faculty from various academic disciplines, constitutes the requirement. The sequence introduces masterworks of literature and the fine arts within the context of particular times, places, and ideas that inform the masterwork. This sequence, beginning with the classical world, concentrates on developing the critical skills necessary to understand, appreciate, and judge works of literature, art, drama, philosophy, and music.
These courses a) lead to an appreciation and understanding of key works in the Western tradition; b) require students to engage in a close critical analysis of original work; c) sharpen and develop critical and interpretive skills, and provide the information and terminology necessary to make independent aesthetic judgments; and d) enhance the ability to read analytically and imaginatively, to look alertly and sympathetically at works of art, and to express thought with vigor and clarity in both oral and written form.
2. Society (two courses)
Individual human experience always takes place in the context of larger social forces. To think and act as responsible citizens, we must be able to understand these forces in terms of their historical development and their influence on contemporary life.
Courses in this area are divided into two categories: those which stress analysis of social institutions and those which emphasize historical inquiry. To satisfy this requirement, students must take one course from each category. Typically courses satisfying the social analysis requirement a) stress the nature, function, and influence of organizations, institutions, or groups in society; b) illustrate disciplinary methods of inquiry necessary to formulate meaningful conclusions; and c) require students to identify significant social issues and analyze them from the standpoint of various theoretical and historical frameworks. Courses satisfying the historical analysis requirement will: a) introduce students to a coherent body of historical knowledge and the nature of historical inquiry; b) increase the student's knowledge and understanding of the complexity of human experience through the diversity of historical interpretation; and c) illustrate relationships between past events and contemporary ideas, institutions and processes.
3. Science (two courses)
Scientific inquiry has altered our view of the world and has brought about great benefits and enormous risks. The liberally educated person understands and appreciates science both as a body of knowledge and as a disciplined approach to comprehending our universe. These courses should enable the student to appreciate the potential of science, to recognize its limitations, to understand some of its technical applications, and to know how to develop informed opinions about its use.
This requirement consists of two four-credit laboratory courses, one in life science and one in physical science, or a two-course natural science sequence that integrates the major areas of cosmological and biological evolution. Each of the natural science courses can be taken independently to satisfy either the physical (NSC 110) or life (NSC 120) science requirement. All general education science courses a) provide an introduction to the nature, methodology, historical development, and some fundamental concepts of both physical and life sciences; b) illustrate the interplay between experimentation and theory through direct laboratory experience emphasizing critical thought and the systematic observation and interpretation of data; c) demonstrate the relationships among the disciplines and fields of science; and d) include discussion of some of the social, political, and ethical implications of scientific achievements and research.
4. Fundamental Questions (two courses)
A persistent feature of our humanity is the ability and need to raise fundamental questions about the meaning of our existence, about the possibility and limits of human knowledge, about our common nature and destiny, and about what constitutes a good life. Becoming educated should include a mature understanding and a critical appraisal of values and beliefs which have shaped us and our culture. Because of their influence in Western culture's approaches to fundamental questions, the religious and ethical heritage of the Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—receive special emphasis in at least one of the two courses required. Courses satisfying this requirement will: a) introduce students to important figures, original texts, and major concepts and controversies in our religious and philosophical tradition; and b) encourage students to examine their own values and beliefs and those of their society.
During the CentreTerm all first-year students will take a First-Year Studies course designed to provide a small-group learning situation that will engage students and faculty in an intensive intellectual experience and to foster basic educational skills—how to read critically, think logically, and communicate effectively.
First-Year Studies courses have no prerequisites. Students practice distinguishing evidence from opinion; discussion should reflect multiple viewpoints. Written and oral exercises emphasize imagination, creativity, reasoning, problem solving, integration, and judgment—all skills essential to critical thinking.
Visits to museums or other sites, laboratory experiments, field study projects, interviewing, teaching, debating, inventing projects, may be part of a First-Year Studies course. Writing assignments need not follow the formal restrictions of conventional academic prose. The journal, the essay, the description, and the meditation are all useful models of writing, as long as they reveal a thoughtful and ambitious encounter with the material of the course.
These courses enroll 15 or fewer students. While the seminar does not count toward a major, it may, through participation in discussion and research, provide a foretaste of upper-level work in the field of the instructor.
Our general education requirements are separate from our basic-skills program. This program ensures that students attain specified levels of competence in mathematics, expository writing, and a foreign language. Basic competence in these subject areas provides a solid foundation for enhanced learning and academic success in other courses. For example, algebraic skills are a prerequisite for courses in the physical sciences; writing competence contributes to student success in all courses, especially those in social studies and humanities; and achievement in foreign language skills supports study and research in foreign cultures.
Moreover, the basic skills program reflects our view that such levels of skill or knowledge in the three previously listed areas are fundamental to the liberally educated person and should be expected of all Centre graduates. Competence in mathematics aids our students in their ability to gather, use, and interpret quantitative data and to reason formally. Effective writing skills increase their capacity to express themselves in an organized, precise, and convincing way and to think analytically and critically. Achievement in foreign language study develops their insight into the nature of language—including their own—and in today’s interdependent world serves as a key to the understanding of the basic modes of thought, life, and expression of other cultures.
Ideally, students will have achieved sufficient skill levels in secondary school to meet Centre’s basic skills requirement. For mathematics and foreign language, this may be done by passing a College-administered examination at entrance or, in the case of mathematics, by presenting acceptable scores on the appropriate sections of the SAT or ACT examinations or the AP calculus exam. Alternatively, students may meet these requirements by earning a grade of "C-" or higher in the following Centre courses: Mathematics 110 (or 140 by placement), and in Chinese 120, Classics 120, French 120, German 120, Japanese 120, or Spanish 120/121 (and appropriate courses in Greek and Hebrew when offered). Student performance in expository writing will be evaluated at the end of the first long term of enrollment. At this time, students whose writing is judged to be competent will have satisfied the expository writing requirement. Students whose writing is judged to fall short of competency will be required to submit a satisfactory three-page portfolio to the Committee on student writing by the end of the spring term of the first year or pass a writing course (ENG 170) by the end of the sophomore year.
Further Fluency in Basic Skills
To meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and interdependent world, the College believes all of its students should attain a level of expertise that goes beyond basic skills in at least one of the following areas: mathematics, foreign language or computer science. Consequently, students must complete one of the following course options:
1. A mathematics course numbered 130 or higher
2. A foreign language course numbered 210 or higher
3. A computer science course numbered 117 or higher
Summary of Requirements
Foreign Language: 0-2 courses; 0-8 credit hours
Mathematics: 0-1 courses; 0-3 credit hours
Expository Writing: 0-1 courses; 0-4 credit hours
Further Fluency: 1 course; 3-4 credit hours
Humanities: 2 courses; 6 credit hours
Science: 2 courses; 8 credit hours
Society: 2 courses; 6 credit hours
Fundamental Questions: 2 courses; 6 credit hours
First-Year Studies: 1 course; 3 credit hours
Total: 10-14 courses; 32-48 credit hours
Total required for graduation = 110 credit hours
The College’s instructional program is organized into three academic divisions—humanities, social studies, and science and mathematics—each chaired by a member of the faculty under the general oversight of the Dean of the College. The work of each division is carried out through separate program committees representing the various academic disciplines. Committees are comprised of faculty members and one or two voting student members.
Major and minor areas of concentration offered within the divisions are as follows*:
Humanities (Division I)
Majors: art history, studio art, classical studies, dramatic arts, English, French, German studies, music, philosophy, Spanish.
Minors: art history, studio art, classical studies, creative writing, dramatic arts, English, film studies, French, German studies, music, philosophy, Spanish.
Social Studies (Division II)
Majors: anthropology/sociology, economics, financial economics, history, international studies, politics, religion.
Minors: anthropology, education, history, international studies, politics, religion, sociology.
Science and Mathematics (Division III)
Majors: behavioral neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology, biology, chemical physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, psychology.
Minors: behavioral neuroscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, psychology.
Interdisciplinary (cross-divisional) major: environmental studies.
Interdisciplinary (cross-divisional) minors: African and African American studies (I), Asian studies (I), environmental studies (III), European studies (I), gender studies (II), global commerce (II), Latin American studies (I), linguistics (I). For administrative purposes, these programs report to the noted division.
*One major (no minor) is required for the degree. Students may choose a maximum of two majors and one minor or one major and two minors. Self-designed majors are also available.
Division of Humanities
In general, studies in the humanities area are of particular interest to students who want to understand how experience is transformed into art and into ordered systems of thought and language. Career opportunities for students majoring in one of the programs in the humanities are typically found in areas such as the performing arts, communications, international business, translation, creative writing, public service and administration, and the professions of teaching, journalism, advertising, law, and publishing. Students who plan to major in these areas are urged to acquire a good knowledge of one foreign language.
Division of Social Studies
Students interested in public affairs, in politics and social movements (past and present), in the behavior of human beings in groups and the behavior of individuals in relation to groups, and in the relationship of ideas and ideologies to social behavior, usually pursue programs in the Division of Social Studies. Career opportunities for students selecting one of the social studies programs are generally found in law, journalism, teaching, business, public service, the ministry, institutional research, and social work. Students intending to major in one of these programs should acquire a good knowledge of at least one foreign language and/or the equivalent amount of work in mathematics.
Division of Science and Mathematics
In general, students interested in studying the structure of the universe as reflected in the natural sciences pursue studies in mathematics and the sciences. Career opportunities include, in addition to basic research and teaching at all levels, such applied areas as statistics and computer programming, agriculture, meteorology, medicine and allied health professions, counseling and psychological testing, commercial scientific writing and illustration, recreation and environmental conservation, and a variety of business and research careers in technological industries.
Some students choose to complete two majors during their four years at Centre. This option allows students to expand their academic credentials and explore sometimes quite different personal interests. Some recent combinations include economics and mathematics, Spanish and international studies, psychology and philosophy. Academic advisors can provide more detailed information, as can the Office of the Associate Dean of the College. Students who double major have an advisor from each program.
In addition to the standard majors, students may also choose a major of their own design. They develop their personal program of junior-senior major study in conjunction with a faculty committee. The completed self-designed major proposal is then submitted for approval by the Academic Standards Committee. By necessity, self-designed majors must rely, substantially, on the strengths and expertise of our faculty and our course offerings. Recently approved self-designed majors include East Asian studies, environmental design, modern languages, Middle Eastern studies, social justice studies. More detailed information is available from the Office of the Assistant Dean of Advising.
We consider living and studying in a foreign culture to be an integral part of a liberal arts education, and study abroad has become one of the hallmarks of a Centre education. In the past few years, about 85% of Centre graduates have studied abroad at least once during their college careers, making Centre one of three colleges or universities in the nation where international study is so pervasive and important.
Centre offers a number of different opportunities for off-campus study. Centre-in-London, Centre-in-England (at the University of Reading), and Centre-in-Glasgow are residential programs in the U.K. Centre-in-Strasbourg, Centre-in-the-Yucatan, and Centre-in-Shanghai are Centre's residential programs based in France, Mexico, and China. Three exchange programs bring foreign students to our campus as well as allowing Centre students to study for a semester or more at Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Japan; at one of five universities in Northern Ireland; or at the University of Lleida near Barcelona in Spain.
Many students find their sophomore or junior year is the best time to participate in a residential program. However, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors all are eligible to apply. Because these are not primarily language programs, students do not need to have studied French, Spanish, Chinese or Japanese to study in France, Mexico, China, or Japan.
The cost is the same as the cost of studying on the Danville campus, except for a $350 deposit/surcharge and airfare. A special endowed fund is available to help some students on need-based financial aid cover these additional costs.
Students in most of our residential programs abroad live in apartments or home-stays and take classes with Centre professors and local professors expert in their areas. Centre-in-England students take a 2-hour orientation course in September before they leave home and during the London orientation with a Centre faculty member. At the University of Reading, they live in residence halls and take classes with British and other international students.
CentreTerm and Summer Programs
In addition to these semester programs, during each CentreTerm Centre faculty members lead groups of students to study in their areas of expertise around the world. Upcoming or recent sites include Amsterdam, Barbados, Borneo, Cameroon, China, Ghana, Greece, Israel/Jordan, Italy, Peru, New Zealand and Vietnam, among others. Students with Spanish skills can elect to do an internship through our Merida program. In early summer we sponsor a three-week study at our site in Strasbourg, France; many summer programs sponsored by the Kentucky Institute for International Study are also available to our students. Students participating in a CentreTerm or summer term off-campus program must enroll in the course offered by the program.
Non-Centre-Run Programs Abroad
Students take a temporary leave of absence from Centre to study in programs sponsored by the Kentucky Institute for International Study or other outside providers. Financial considerations prevent some students from taking this option, since students who are on leaves of absence are not eligible to receive any Centre money and, by law, our financial aid office is not allowed to process state or federal aid due the student. Students planning to participate in a non-Centre program should get prior approval from the Center for Global Citizenship and the Registrar to make certain that all courses will count toward a Centre degree.
Our calendar is arranged with fewer courses per term than a traditional semester plan. The academic year, including exam periods, consists of fall and spring terms of 14 weeks, with a three-week CentreTerm in January.
The CentreTerm is designed for specialized courses or seminars, the First-Year Studies Program, independent study projects, internships, and off-campus study abroad and in the United States. In addition, students can take some standard course offerings in this short term.
While Centre’s calendar is different from a traditional semester pattern, a student will still be able to take at least nine courses during one academic year: eight courses (four per term) during the fall and spring terms, and one concentrated course during the CentreTerm.
We offer courses on a credit-hour system. Most courses are equal to three semester hours in the traditional semester system. Some science, foreign language, computer science, music, and writing-intensive courses with laboratory requirements are equivalent to four semester hours. Courses in the CentreTerm carry three credits.
The weekly calendar for the fall and spring terms normally consists of two 90-minute class meetings or three hour-long class meetings for each course. Some courses meet four times a week for 60 minutes. In the short CentreTerm, classes normally meet on a flexible schedule four or five times a week. Some courses have laboratory or practice sessions which are held in addition to regular class meetings.
Centre students enjoy a number of opportunities for intensive research, both for independent work and for collaborative research with our professors and elsewhere. In some cases, the College provides research materials, summer housing, and stipends. Outside grants also support collaborative research and study. A typical summer finds many students engaged in research on campus; other projects take place during the school year. Students co-author papers with their faculty mentors, present their results at national and regional meetings, and not infrequently win prizes and other awards for their work. Students also have the opportunity to attend and/or present their work at Centre College's annual undergraduate research, internship, and creative endeavor symposium.
The John C. Young Scholars Program is a senior honors program which enables a select group of outstanding senior students to engage in independent study and research in their major field or in an interdisciplinary area. The scholars work closely with a faculty mentor and receive financial support for research and travel. They present their results at a public symposium in late spring, and their papers are published in journal form by the College.
This program was initiated through an Excellence-in-Undergraduate-Education grant from the Knight Foundation. Centre was one of eight leading liberal arts colleges (Carleton, Macalester, and Swarthmore, for example) to receive the first of these awards to encourage increased collaboration between faculty and students on extra-class intellectual activities. Applications for participation are submitted in the spring of one's junior year.
In the last 10 years, 33 Centre students have won Fulbright awards for a year of international study following graduation, including eight who won Fulbright-recommended teaching assistantships to France and one who received the only Fulbright extension grant awarded to an American Fulbrighter. Other winners of national honors in the last 10 years include a Mitchell Scholar (for a year's study in Ireland), a Boren Scholar (for a year's study in countries deemed critical to U.S. national security), 5 Goldwater Scholars (for students in mathematics, science, and engineering), and 11 Rotary Scholars (for a year of international study). Eight Centre alumni are Rhodes Scholars (one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England). Centre students also regularly win National Science Foundation awards for undergraduate research during the summer.
Students interested in applying for national fellowships and honors should check the list of contacts at http://www.centre.edu/students/scholarships.html or consult with the chair of the Honors and Prizes Committee early in the fall for information and applications. It is not too early to begin inquiries as early as the first year or sophomore year. Students interested in NSF opportunities should speak with their science professors.
Centre develops computer literacy in a variety of ways. Each student is given an e-mail account and some network storage space. Also, the College provides network hook-ups in residence hall rooms which enable students who bring their own computers (subject to College specifications) to gain access to word processing, spread sheets, databases, Internet, the library automation system, and several programming language environments.
Students enrolled in general education classes are required to submit typed papers using a word processor program. In other general education classes students are required to conduct searches on the Internet and to use databases to find references for papers. Some general education science courses require students to use spreadsheet software in writing formal lab reports.
The College provides these resources as part of our effort to guarantee that all Centre students are computer literate.
The Academic Advising Office coordinates academic advising and partners with the Student Life Office to implement new student orientation. New student orientation includes summer mailings, basic skills and placement testing, the fall orientation program, and special programs for students during the fall term. All faculty members (plus selected administrators) serve as academic advisors to students. Students have general advisors—usually matched by interests—during their first and second years. After selecting a major or majors toward the end of the sophomore year, students then choose an advisor in a specific academic discipline.
The Assistant Dean for Advising also works in a targeted way with students who experience academic difficulty, particularly in the first two years at Centre, and with students with disabilities. Special group and individual counseling sessions are offered; and students are directed to targeted help sessions in particular subjects, to the Writing Center, and to Career Services.
Career Services helps students to make effective transitions from Centre to both careers and post-graduate study. We do this by offering a variety of experiences, partnerships, and services that students may use during their four years at Centre to enhance their prospects for career success and satisfaction. We seek to blend the liberal arts education with career awareness. We firmly believe that career planning is a process that is most effective when it is integrated with academic planning and is resolved over the course of several years. Therefore, students are encouraged to be actively involved in this process from their very first day on campus.
Career Services offers students a wide variety of services throughout their four years at Centre. As first-years, all students are encouraged to sign up for "Centre Futures" during the extended orientation program. As part of Centre Futures, students are assigned a career counselor with whom they are encouraged to meet at least once a semester. In this year, students can become familiar with the services offered, begin self-assessment and career exploration, and gain an understanding of how on-campus participation now can be beneficial in their future careers. Career Services can also refer students to appropriate pre-professional academic advisors. As part of Centre Futures, students will also receive an account in our internship/job posting system CentreWorks. This is an electronic bulletin board for job postings, including part-time, summer, and internships. Centre Futures students will also receive advanced notice of programs and opportunities, priority consideration for alumni networking and access to several self-assessment tools.
As sophomores, students can continue this process of self-assessment and career exploration and are encouraged to begin preparing a resume and exploring possible career-relevant experiences (participation in extracurricular activities, shadowing professionals, summer jobs, etc.). Career Services has many resources to help with this, including: career counselors who can help students discover their skills, interests, and work-related values and help them relate these to possible majors and careers; self-assessment inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; and numerous career information and exploration resources both in our career library and on our webpage.
As juniors, students can participate in internships and are encouraged to take advantage of workshops covering topics such as resume preparation, applying to graduate school, and interviewing skills. In addition, students can begin to research graduate schools and decide if future study is an option for them. Self-assessment and shadowing opportunities continue.
As seniors, internships, workshops, and more targeted job search opportunities are made available. Employers come to campus in both the fall and spring to recruit students for post-graduation employment. Our annual "Spotlight Career Fair," hosted in conjunction with Kentucky's private colleges and universities, typically brings more than 50 companies and graduate schools each year to interview juniors, seniors, and alumni interested in employment and/or graduate study. In addition, for students interested in furthering their education, Career Services has numerous resources on graduate school programs, essay-writing, and test preparation; can assist in the application process; and hosts events such as the Law School Evening and the Graduate School Program.
Certain services can be used throughout all four years and Career Services hosts a program each year specifically targeted to each of the class years. Students should meet with their career counselor at every step of the career exploration and job search process, as the counselor can provide guidance, advice, and encouragement throughout. Students can use CentreWorks, our on-line job-posting system, to search for summer internships as first-years, sophomores, and juniors; to search for academic internships as juniors and seniors; and seniors may apply for and schedule interviews with employers who are recruiting on campus as well as locate other opportunities. Both our career library and website have resources on major exploration, career information, graduate schools, resume and cover-letter writing, interviewing and job-search techniques, overseas employment, summer internships, full-time job opportunities, and employer directories. In addition, our connection with the Centre alumni database provides an invaluable networking tool and source of career information for students at all levels.
Through these services and opportunities, Career Services provides students with a four-year frame through which to view their career development. This not only enables them to see the connections between their college experience and potential future career fields but also increases their chances of career satisfaction and success.
Career Services recognizes the need to assist students in making the connections between Centre's education and their own personal contribution to the world of work. For this reason we offer internship options during the junior and senior year on both a credit and noncredit basis.
An internship for academic credit is usually a full-time experience during the CentreTerm (although lasting four weeks—one week longer than CentreTerm) or a part-time experience during the fall or spring term that includes substantive academic work guided by a member of the faculty and by a sponsor at the work site. Students can earn three hours of credit for an academic internship experience. During the summer, one-hour academic credit internships are available and encouraged for a small fee.
An alternate career exploration internship exists for students who want to gain additional insights and experiences related to career choice. This internship does not result in academic credit and is usually conducted during the summer months. When arranged through Career Services, this opportunity consists of professional, career-related projects that students can later apply to their career.
During the summer and CentreTerm, competitive grant programs called Centre Internship Plus and the Centre Parent’s Committee Internships Fund are available to help support students with extraordinary internship opportunities. Students must apply for these grants and be selected by a committee. Centre Education Fellowship grants are also available for students whose summer experience relates to education.
Whether engaging in an internship for academic credit or not, all participating students should report their experience with the office of Career Services.
More than 50 percent of Centre graduates go directly into the job market and enter a broad range of vocations: banking, teaching, purchasing, business and manufacturing management, journalism, marketing, government service, acting, investment analysis, public administration, historical restoration, and many others. Some immediately enter training programs for specific responsibilities in their employment. Many other graduates choose further formal education. Centre has been noted over the years for the outstanding success of its graduates in professions, professional schools, or graduate schools.
The College has always had a high number of graduates who pursue advanced degrees. At present, 32-40 percent attend graduate or professional schools immediately upon graduation, and many more attend within five years of graduation. The majority of Centre graduates who attend graduate and professional schools pursue fields such as medicine (M.D.), law (J.D.), business (M.B.A.), public administration (M.P.A.), and education (M.Ed.). A smaller number pursue advanced degrees in languages, history, botany, religion, or psychology, while others participate in combined-degree programs in fields such as engineering.
Medicine and Other Health Professions
Medicine is the most popular health-career area at Centre, but our graduates also choose specialized study in fields such as dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, and veterinary medicine, among others.
Biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and chemistry are the most popular pre-med majors at Centre, but students from every academic major are accepted to medical school. Diversity is, in fact, not only possible, but encouraged by many medical schools, which have come to realize that students who pursue interests in art, music, philosophy, history, literature, and other areas of liberal study tend to become well-rounded, highly effective physicians. In fact, the only science background generally required for admission to medical school is two years of chemistry and one year each of biology and physics. However, the MCAT exam, required of all applicants to medical schools, does require a strong understanding of biology, physics, and chemistry, as well as some study of sociology, psychology, and statistics.
Centre has established a Health Professions Advisory Group comprised of seven faculty members. Each faculty member is in charge of advising for a different health profession. Each advisor is available to students throughout their four years at Centre (and beyond) to help them plan their courses of study and to assist them in exploring the many health-related professions. They maintain close contact with the medical and other pre-health schools to which Centre students apply most frequently. Advisors play an active role in making sure that the schools to which our students have applied process their materials in a timely manner. This continuing level of personal attention and concern is an important element in the success of Centre graduates in gaining acceptance to medical and other pre-health schools.
Another important resource that helps Centre students prepare for careers in medicine is the Pre-Health Society. This organization of students who are aiming toward careers in medicine and other health-related fields engages in a variety of activities. These include taking field trips to pre-health schools and bringing their representatives on campus to speak with interested students, inviting recent graduates back to campus to talk about their experiences in medical or other pre-health school and in practice, and arranging for local health professionals to meet and talk with students. The society also coordinates a volunteer program with Danville’s Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center that enables students to work regularly in the hospital’s emergency room and become familiar with hospital procedures in general.
Law is a popular field of advanced study among Centre students. About 7 to 10 percent of each class goes to law school immediately upon graduation and a similar percentage will attend after several years of work experience.
English, government, history, philosphy and economics are the majors most often selected by Centre students who pursue law, but there is no such thing as a rigidly defined pre-law major. Students from every academic major are accepted into law school.
The broad-based skills that law schools emphasize—effective writing and speaking, analytical ability, and a general exposure to the social sciences—are essential goals of Centre’s liberal arts curriculum. For this reason our graduates have a solid record of success in gaining admission to law schools.
At Centre, a faculty pre-law advisor works with students from their first year on to help them explore law as a profession and to assist them in the application process during their junior and senior years. This advisor also counsels interested students on internship and volunteer opportunities that could enrich their experience and demonstrate their interest in the field of law. In addition, Centre has a Law Society composed of students interested in careers in the legal field. This organization meets regularly, sponsors field trips to places such as courtrooms and law schools, and brings experts in the legal profession as well as representatives from law schools on campus to speak with students. Centre also hosts a law school fair each October.
While business, unlike medicine and law, does not necessarily require an advanced degree, Centre graduates frequently choose it as a field of advanced study. Within five years of graduation, about 10 percent will have done graduate work in business administration.
The most common majors among Centre graduates who pursue advanced degrees in business are economics and financial economics, although graduate business administration programs admit students from every academic major. As in other fields of advanced study, Centre graduates have had strong success in gaining admission to a wide variety of master of business administration (M.B.A.) programs. Students panning to pursue an M.B.A. degree should prepare by taking courses in accounting, finance, computer science and economics. Although the M.B.A. is the degree most frequently pursued by Centre graduates who complete advanced study in business, there are other, more specialized degrees that Centre graduates often pursue, such as the master of management, master of accountancy, master of hospital administration, and Ph.D. in economics.
Centre has developed partnerships/pathway opportunities with both the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and with the University of Louisville that will enable qualified students to enroll in a master’s degree program with initial certification in either elementary or secondary education. Details about these programs can be found on the Education page of this catalog.
Under Vanderbilt University’s Liberal Arts-Nursing 4-2 Program, a student spends the first four years of college at Centre and the remaining two calendar years at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing studying in one of the nursing specialty areas that Vanderbilt offers. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Centre College, students successfully completing the program earn a master of science degree in nursing from Vanderbilt. This unique combination of study on two differently oriented campuses will provide a student with training in nursing education, strongly complemented by extensive study in the humanities and the social sciences. (Additional information is available from the College's pre-nursing advisor.)
Centre offers a dual-degree engineering program in cooperation with the engineering schools of Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University (St. Louis). This program leads to a bachelor of science degree from Centre and a bachelor of engineering degree from the respective university. Centre also honors a similar arrangement with the University of Kentucky.
The program of combined studies is normally completed in five years—three years at Centre and two at the engineering school. This dual-degree program is designed to provide students interested in entering the engineering profession with backgrounds in liberal arts and in technical engineering studies.
In this program, students complete the requirements for a Centre degree—including a major in either computer science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, or chemical physics—and the university requirements for an engineering degree. (Additional information is available from the College’s dual-degree engineering studies advisor.)
Centre students may participate in the reserve officers training programs of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force through the University of Kentucky. Two-year and four-year Air Force ROTC programs are available. Most courses are offered on the University of Kentucky campus, and students are responsible for their own transportation.
Students receive academic credit toward their Centre degrees for the courses listed in this section.
Winners of three- and four-year Army or Air Force ROTC scholarships receive, in addition to their support from the Army or Air Force, scholarships covering room and board for the period of the ROTC scholarship. Students may be eligible for additional scholarships or financial aid.
Army (AMS courses) ROTC and Air Force (AES courses) ROTC students receive academic credit toward their Centre degree for the following courses:
AMS 110 Introduction to the Army (one credit hour)
This introductory level course is designed to give students an appreciation for the role the Army currently plays in our society. The course covers the history of the Army and the roles and relationships of the Army within our society. The course also covers some of the basic skills necessary for today's leaders to include oral presentation, time management, map reading, basic rifle marksmanship and squad tactics. Offered on a pass/unsatisfactory basis only, except for officially enrolled Army ROTC students. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.
AMS 120 Introduction to Leadership (one credit hour)
This course is designed to acquaint the student with the fundamental skills necessary to be a leader, both in military and civilian context. Course also covers basic military map reading skills. Offered on a pass/unsatisfactory basis only, except for officially enrolled Army ROTC students. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.
AMS 210 Advanced Leadership-I (one credit hour)
This course focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of leadership. Students examine topics such as written and oral communication, effective listening, assertiveness, personality, adult development, motivation, and organizational culture and change. Prerequisite: AMS 101 and 102 or permission of the instructor.
AMS 220 Advanced Leadership-II (one credit hour)
This course focuses principally on officership, providing an extensive examination of the unique purpose, roles, and obligations of commissioned officers. It includes a detailed investigation of the origin of our institutional values and their practical application in decision making and leadership. Prerequisite: AMS 210 or permission of the instructor.
AMS 310 Leadership and Management-I (one credit hour)
A study in the development of basic skills required to function as a manager; study of leadership styles, group dynamics, communications, motivation, and military instruction methods; and school of the soldier and exercise of command.
AMS 320 Advanced Tactics (one credit hour)
Small unit tactics and communications; organization and mission of combat arms units; leadership and exercise of command.
AMS 410 Leadership and Management-II (one credit hour)
An advanced study of logistics, operations, military administration, personnel management, military justice, world change and military implications, service orientation and leadership training.
AMS 420 Command Management (one credit hour)
An advanced study of logistics, operations, military administration, personnel management, military justice, world change and military impliactions, service orientation and leadership training.
AES 110 Aerospace Studies-I (one credit hour)
A course designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the nature and principles of war, national power, and the Department of Defense role in the organization of national security. The student also develops leadership abilities by participating in a military organization, the cadet corps, which offers a wide variety of situations demanding effective leadership.
AES 120 Aerospace Studies-I (one credit hour)
Continuation of AES 110. Designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the contribution of aerospace power to the total U.S. strategic offensive and defensive military posture.
AES 210 Aerospace Studies-II (one credit hour)
Introduces the study of air power from a historical perspective; focuses on the development of air power into a primary element of national security. Leadership experience is continued through active participation in the cadet corps.
AES 220 Aerospace Studies-II (one credit hour)
Provides a foundation for understanding how air power has been employed in military and nonmilitary operations to support national objectives. Examines the changing mission of the defense establishment, with particular emphasis on the United States Air Force.
AES 310 Aerospace Studies-III (one credit hour)
A study of management functions with emphasis on the individual as a manager in an Air Force environment. Individual motivational and behavioral process, communication, and group dynamics are included to provide a foundation for the development of professional skills as an Air Force officer. Students refine their leadership and managerial abilities by organizing and managing a quasi-military unit.
AES 320 Aerospace Studies-III (one credit hour)
A study of leadership with specific emphasis on the Air Force leader. Includes theoretical, professional, and communicative aspects. In addition, military justice and administrative law are discussed within the context of the military organization. Students continue to develop and refine their leadership abilities by organizing and managing a military unit, the cadet corps, which offers a wide variety of situations requiring effective leadership.
AES 410 Aerospace Studies-IV (one credit hour)
A study of the military profession, civil-military interaction, communicative skills, framework of defense policy, and formulation of defense strategy. Students refine their leadership abilities by organizing and managing a military unit, the cadet corps, which offers a wide variety of situations requiring effective leadership.
AES 420 Aerospace Studies-IV (one credit hour)
Continues the study of strategy and the management of conflict, formulation and implementation of U.S. defense policy, defense organization, and case studies in defense policy making. Students also refine their leadership abilities by organizing and managing a military unit, the cadet corps, which offers a wide variety of situations requiring effective leadership.
Centre College is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the College community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and expanded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Centre College seeks to provide disabled students with the support services and other reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the College. While the College provides a number of services to support the academic work of all its students, this statement outlines a variety of additional services provided specifically to students with mobility, visual, hearing, or learning disabilities.
Support services for students at Centre College with disabilities are coordinated by the Assistant Dean for Advising. The Assistant Dean counsels individual students to determine appropriate accommodations and identify resources, and is also available to consult with faculty members.
All incoming students are invited to complete a confidential special-needs information form. On the basis of this form and appropriate, current documentation, the Assistant Dean speaks with students who have identified their needs, determines the appropriate services, and contacts relevant faculty and staff. Arrangements for services, equipment, modification of course material, classroom, and other reasonable accommodations may require several weeks’ advance notice. Applicants requiring special services are encouraged to contact the Assistant Dean immediately upon acceptance to make timely provision of needed services possible.
Students with a documented disability requiring special housing considerations complete the Special Housing Request form available at Parsons Health Center. This form requires specific documentation from the student and the student’s clinician in order to be considered. Consideration of special housing accommodations may take several weeks to process so advanced notice and attention to deadlines is a necessity.
Academic modifications vary according to individual need and preference, as well as course content and mode of teaching. Students are expected to discuss arrangements that might be necessary with their professors at the beginning of each term. The office of the Assistant Dean for Advising is prepared to assist both students and faculty members in making such accommodations.
Services for the Learning Disabled
Students with documented learning disabilities may receive support in a variety of ways, depending on the specific nature of the disability. A student who requests accommodation on the basis of a learning disability is required to submit the diagnostic report and educational recommendations of a certified professional in the field of learning disabilities. What constitutes reasonable accommodation for a learning-disabled student is a highly individualized matter and must be determined in consultation between the Assistant Dean for Advising, the student and the student's faculty members. The Assistant Dean is available to consult with faculty regarding the student’s learning needs and recommended accommodations.