Seminar Application

Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar
Application Form
Faculty Member ____________________________________________________
Seminar Title ____________________________________________________
Proposed Semester ____________________________________________________
Department Chair Signature ______________________________________________
Most general education programs concentrate on the first two years, preparing students for their
major course of study. However, the Elon Core Curriculum requires courses throughout the four
years, complementing the disciplinary major, and providing the strong liberal arts education so
important to the mission of our institution. The capstone course of our program has several
distinguishing features:
First, Elon’s interdisciplinary capstone is designed to serve as a culminating experience that
engages the modes of inquiry, knowledge and communication skills acquired throughout a
student’s academic career. It also challenges students to consider, to varying degrees, ethical
reasoning, personal and social responsibility, and global citizenship.
Second, these courses are all interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary courses stress integrating
and applying knowledge to problems larger in scope than a single discipline can handle.
Third, these courses are writing-intensive seminars. The courses use a variety of writing
styles to promote high-level critical thinking while providing upper-level writing experiences
and instruction.
Faculty wishing to teach an interdisciplinary capstone in the Elon Core Curriculum must submit this
application and a tentative syllabus to the Core Curriculum Council. The tentative syllabus should
include course objectives, a preliminary reading list, and possible writing assignments.
The Core Curriculum Council recommends that applicants consult with the Associate Director of the
Elon Core Curriculum ( before finalizing and submitting a proposal.
Please submit an electronic copy of your application to Deadlines are
Summer term courses: 15 October of the preceding year
Fall Semester courses: 15 October of the preceding year
Winter term courses: 15 March of the preceding year
Spring Semester courses: 15 April of the preceding year
A capstone seminar that is taught three times may be reviewed again by the Core Curriculum
Required Information
The Core Curriculum Council uses the following criteria to determine whether or not your proposal
fulfills the requirements of our upper-level seminars. Included are some helpful hints that may assist
you in composing your application. Please use the space provided (and expand it as needed) to
explain how your proposed course would satisfy these criteria.
Proposed Catalog Course Description (maximum 150 words)
Interdisciplinary Approach
 Integrates different modes of inquiry across disciplines, allowing insights not possible in any one
discipline alone.
 Requires sophisticated reading and writing assignments that encourage students to see things
from multiple perspectives.
 Serves to attract students from a range of majors from across the university.
Advanced Critical Thinking
 Integrates and applies knowledge to address complex problems in local and global contexts
 Sets clear, high-level course objectives that move beyond mere comprehension and analysis to
synthesis and evaluation.
 Creates cognitive dissonance for students. As Meyers points out, “Students cannot learn to think
critically until they can, at least momentarily, set aside their own visions of the truth and reflect
upon alternatives.”
 Promotes a rational response to questions that cannot be answered definitively.
Effective Teaching
 Utilizes a variety of seminar pedagogies that encourage student participation and engagement.
 Recognizes the complex nature of the learning process, challenging students to reach while
offering a supportive learning environment.
 Does not overuse any pedagogical approach (e.g., film, lecture, case study, role play).
 Promotes inquiry, innovation, and creativity.
Writing-Intensive Methodology
 Encourages students to practice a mature writing process.
 Uses a variety of writing types.
 Uses plentiful writing enabling students to make meaning within the course.
 Practices both writing to learn and learning to write.
Capstone Experience
 Requires a substantial interdisciplinary project that integrates and applies what students have
experienced through their studies at Elon, from first-year courses to this course (examples
include reflective portfolios, integrative research, fellowship/grant proposals, research-based
multimedia projects, etc.).
 Refers to the project as a “Capstone Project of the Elon Core Curriculum” on the syllabus.
 Provides opportunities for reflection on the components of the larger mission of the Elon Core
Curriculum: personal and social responsibility, ethical reasoning, and global citizenship.
Please attach a tentative syllabus that will help illuminate your course proposal. The syllabus should
include course objectives, a preliminary reading list, and possible writing assignments.
The mission of the Elon Core Curriculum is to help students cultivate the intellectual curiosity, abilities, and
knowledge required for lifelong learning as global citizens. To fulfill this fundamental mission of a liberal arts
education, the Elon Core Curriculum is organized around three broad domains—inquiry, knowledge and
communication—with specific goals for each. Further, this educational mission is deepened through intellectual
reflection and practical engagement and is guided by two fundamental principles. First, ethical reasoning must
guide the pursuit and use of knowledge. Second, personal and social responsibility must be fostered to encourage
students to commit themselves to an intellectual life in the service of their community, country and the world
beyond them.
INQUIRY: The creative and critical processes used to acquire and develop knowledge
1. The identification of significant issues, the framing of questions, and the selection of appropriate modes
of inquiry to address those questions
2. The knowledge and application of modes of inquiry within the arts and sciences
3. The integration of different modes of inquiry across disciplines
KNOWLEDGE: Theoretical and applied knowledge as constructed according to diverse
epistemologies within contemporary and historical contexts
4. The understanding of theoretical knowledge spanning the social, material and natural worlds
5. The understanding of the multiple dimensions of human experience within and across cultures and
6. The integration and application of knowledge to address complex problems in local and global contexts
COMMUNICATION: Expressive and receptive communication in multiple contexts
7. The preparation and presentation of ideas and information orally, visually and in writing
8. The analysis, interpretation, evaluation and synthesis of information from multiple sources: oral, visual
and written