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Goucher College’s New Curriculum Focuses on Complex Problem Solving

This fall, Goucher College marks the one-year anniversary of the Goucher Commons curriculum, which focuses on integrative learning experiences shared by students. The new curriculum was developed to better prepare students for the jobs of the future – some of which have not yet been invented – through a liberal arts education.

Goucher students are required to take writing, data analytics and a foreign language, as well as study abroad. This approach forgoes traditional “distribution” requirements and instead requires small interdisciplinary seminars focused on complex problems. First-year students take an exploration seminar, where they draw on a number disciplines of study. They can take a course like "Disease and Discrimination," which examines disease through the lens of pathology, politics and public interest, drawing on hard sciences as well as gender and race theory.

“The top skill that employers want is the ability to solve complex problems, in groups, with people who are not like you,” says Goucher College President José Antonio Bowen. “By focusing on graduates who are self-directed learners capable of thinking for themselves, we are preparing students for careers and lives of meaning—in just the way Goucher has always done.”

During the final year at Goucher, students connect their learning experiences in a reflective capstone portfolio to share through a student symposium. The hands-on education components integrated throughout the new Goucher curriculum helps to provide students with the foundation for life-long learning and success.