Juniata College Curriculum
Educated persons are prepared for lifelong learning, for continually dealing with changing perceptions and new bodies of knowledge. Beyond facts which become outdated, they ask intelligent questions, to make informed decisions, and to think confidently for themselves.
Educated persons are capable of regulating their own lives, not only with regard to decisions made in vocational contexts, but within the larger contexts of their lives as citizens and social beings. An institution in the liberal arts tradition must take as its goal not only provision of the best possible career training, but also provision of the skills and knowledge graduates need to make contributions to the total community. At Juniata, we believe the procedures of acquiring an education are an important part of the educational process. Therefore, certain educational decisions are made by each student using the information provided by faculty advisors and the intellectual skills developed during the first few semesters at the College.
Educated persons should be able to think independently about intellectual and moral issues. Juniata's program is designed, therefore, to promote and develop the habits of mind and communications skills needed to make and implement decisions. Students wrestle with profound issues of human values, not only as dealt with in the past, but as they affect current thinking in a student's chosen field.
Students will still work with two faculty advisers to shape their Program of Emphasis, but will do so within the context of experiences designed to connect ideas, develop skills to engage with people and issues, and learn to discern meaning, relevance, and value. Our Curriculum strengthens every student’s ability to solve problems, empathize with others, act with grace in the face of complexity, and understand that to get better answers, one must ask better questions.
First Year Experience
First year students take part in a two-semester course sequence (4 credits per semester) designed to help prepare them for success at Juniata. First Year Experience includes First Year Foundations (one credit each semester), First Year Composition (three credits taken in the first semester), and First Year Seminar (three credits taken in the second semester).
Transfer students coming in with 12-23 credits do not take First Year Composition. Transfer students with more than 24 credits do not take First Year Composition or First Year Seminar. All transfer students take a one semester version of First Year Foundations specifically for transfer students.
- First Year Foundations courses provides students with the resources, skills and information that will assist them in mastery of academic and social life at Juniata College. Along with acquisition of skills and knowledge, students will reflect on their journey at the start of their Juniata career, helping to set the path for the rest of their academic career. Students will add reflective pieces to their portfolio to evidence their progress as a student at Juniata College.
- First Year Composition courses introduce students to different types of reading and writing using varied models and genres in popular/scholarly and digital/print forms to build students’ information literacy skills, rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking, and knowledge of conventions. FYC will focus on developing these skills to prepare students for future academic work.
- First Year Seminar courses help students develop the arts of academic writing and oral communication and the intellectual skill of analyzing evidence and arguments, examining issues such as what counts as evidence, what makes arguments strong or weak, and common errors in reasoning (what are called in Logic “informal fallacies”).