The class of 2014 will be the first class required to complete Cornerstone and Focal Studies requirements.

In order to satisfy Focal Studies requirements, the class of 2014 will have to complete two sets of three classes, adding up to 10 to 12 credits, which are connected by a central theme.

According to Dean of the College of Arts and Science John Hayes, a link will soon be placed on the Pacific website that will allow students to choose a Focal Study and see the courses required to complete that particular area of study.

When the faculty was proposing possible areas of Focal Studies, at least 47 were proposed said Hayes.  Now, students can choose from at least 30 different areas.

Besides the new Focal Studies requirement, students entering Pacific during the fall of 2010 or after will have to complete Cornerstone requirements.  Hayes said that these requirements, which include Civic Engagement, International and Diverse Perspectives, Research and Creative Achievement, and Future Focus, can be satisfied through several different means.

For the International and Diverse Perspectives portion of the Cornerstone, students will be able to study abroad or take a course to satisfy the requirement.  Other Cornerstones such as Civic Engagement can be satisfied by taking a course that includes a civic engagement project as part of the curriculum.

In addition to the Cornerstone and Focal Studies portions of the new core, students must also take a class in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, called the distribution requirement.

Hayes assured that even though the new core appears to have more requirements than previous years, in reality one course could count for multiple core requirements.

A course that satisfies the distribution requirement could potentially include a civic engagement project and therefore satisfy the Civic Engagement Cornerstone.  In addition, this same course could be one of the three courses required in one of the two sets for the Focal Study requirement.

Hayes said that there was more work to do on establishing the Cornerstones, but students under the 2010 catalog year can begin fulfilling the requirements now.

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