An Earlier Era: Goals-Oriented Curriculum

Prior to the approval of the first Common Course of Study in 1991, students pursuing the bachelor of arts degree were required to complete a set of courses referred to as the “goals-oriented curriculum.”
The description from the May 1991 Lafayette College Prospectus:
[This curriculum] assures that students acquire competence in written English, an appreciation of artistic expression, a knowledge of foreign culture, and an understanding of symbolic and quantitative reasoning, and scientific and humanistic inquiry.

  • Writing across the curriculum, a requirement that each student pursuing the A.B. curriculum select two English courses and five courses from any discipline (history, biology, religion, etc.) that require substantial amounts of writing.
  • Mathematica, a special computer algebra system that enables students to concentrate on exploring the ideas introduced in course work, rather than the computational work—that is, to learn quickly how calculus works, and then to move on to learning what calculus can be used to accomplish.
  • Senior Colloquia courses, multidisciplinary and wide-ranging explorations of issues of significant impact on contemporary society. Recent colloquia course topics have been the development of the bomber and the concept of the decisive weapon; the cultural importance of television; medical ethics; and the nature of technological catastrophe.
  • Departmental honors programs, which allow students to earn honors by carrying out projects of outstanding scholarship and defending their work in oral examination.