Fairhaven students complete Fairhaven’s core curriculum in lieu of the WWU General University Requirements (GUR). A student who leaves Fairhaven for another WWU program must complete the GUR. Fairhaven College also offers the opportunity for self-motivated students who have demonstrated exceptional learning skills to design an individualized alternative to parts of the core curriculum through the use of existing course challenge procedures.
The Fairhaven Core Curriculum includes a series of courses designed to widen students’ exposure to various areas of study, to connections among disciplines and to interdisciplinary theory and practice. Its purpose is to help students become perceptive, probing learners who can ask questions and pursue answers with care and confidence. Skills in reading, writing, presentation and analysis are emphasized. Each course deals with methods of knowing and understanding, themes, modes of creativity and practical applications to be found in each area of study.
Elements of this core contribute to its unique character:
- Courses are conducted in a collaborative seminar format
- Class sizes seldom exceed 20 students
- A strong mentoring/advising relationship is established
- Interdisciplinary studies mirror the shape of complex problems
- Instruction is shared by all Fairhaven faculty members - artists, scientists, philosophers, lawyers, historians, poets, social scientists, anthropologists, psychologists - who adapt the diverse themes of their disciplines to core studies
- Evaluation takes the form of narrative assessment
There are core courses in each of the three curricular stages: exploratory studies, concentrated studies and advanced studies, as outlined in the degree-specific requirements. Students need not complete one curricular stage before advancing to the next.