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Cornerstone Certificate

Cornerstone consists of a 2-semester first-year sequence of Transformative Texts. These courses are based on the fundamental premise that great texts inform and inspire students, develop their creative thinking and imaginative capacity, and help them see the world from different perspectives, broadening their understanding of the world and the challenges people face.

SCLA 101 Transformative Texts, Critical Thinking and Communication I: Antiquity to Modernity (UCC Written Communication and Information Literacy)

SCLA 102 Transformative Texts, Critical Thinking and Communication II: Modern World (UCC Oral Communication)

Students then proceed to take 9 hours in the Cornerstone Themes of Cultural Impact and Representation:

  1. Science and Technology
  2. Environment and Sustainability
  3. Healthcare and Medicine
  4. Management and Organization
  5. Conflict Resolution and Justice

Science and Technology

Do new technologies enhance or constrain human individuality and creativity? How do technological advancements -- from space exploration to robotics -- intersect with human hopes and values?

We are a restless species, constantly exploring and building, searching out new frontiers to inhabit, creating new machines to improve our lives. Science and Technology offers students an understanding of the impact of technological developments upon our culture by exploring the social, political, and historical dimensions of technology in pre-modern and modern societies.


Level II Courses

Level III Courses

Environment and Sustainability

Humanity stands at a crucial turning point. We must define how we will continue to harvest the earth’s energies and resources in order to sustain our growing populations. Environment and Sustainability examines the histories of industrialization and urbanization, agriculture and energy, seeking to interpret the consequences of human-environment interaction.


Healthcare and Medicine

How will we respond to the poor, the disabled, our aging population, and our returning veterans? How will we tackle the problems of obesity and substance abuse, as well as the ethical issues involved in animal research, euthanasia, and assisted-suicide?

Issues of addictions and epidemics, new treatments and wonder drugs, are constantly front-page news. Healthcare and Medicine explores these and other medical dilemmas to consider the responses that can define the quality of the lives we live.


Management and Organization

What are the implications of a global economy and what does it mean to live in a time in which the world is more inter-connected than ever before?

In 2007-2008, the world experienced a global financial crisis so vast that it became known as the Great Recession. Almost everyone felt the ripples of this economic meltdown: bankruptcies, layoffs, bailouts, companies too big to fail, and ordinary people unable to pay their mortgages, even abandoning their homes. Management and Organization explores the workings of networked environments – from trade unions, to big business, to international organizations – and their ethical dimensions.


Conflict Resolution and Justice

Is it possible to create a more just and peaceful world? How have civil authorities either succeeded or failed to achieve humanity’s best interests?

The road to inclusion, cooperation, and peace comes through our understanding of the root causes and dynamics of conflict. Conflict Resolution and Justice provides students with the historical, philosophical, and sociological analyses of issues such as war, poverty, violence, civil liberties, and the quest for justice.


Level II Courses

Level III Courses