Cabrini implements new core curriculum, ‘Justice Matters’

By Molly Kearney
August 27, 2009

Cabrini has implemented a new curriculum this fall, called “Justice Matters”. All freshmen and transfer students will participate in the new core curriculum. It is the administration’s hope that all students will benefit from the new ideas and approaches that “Justice Matters” brings to the college.

“With this curriculum in place students will engage the questions of how we build a socially just world and we want students to be able to do more than just talk about those ideas in class, but actually live out what it means to do justice,” said Dr. Jeffery Gingerich, interim dean of academic affairs, said. Gingerich stressed that students and faculty will not only be able to see and feel the realities of injustice but actually get a hands-on experience of what it is all about.

The core of the new curriculum will be a series of courses called Engagements with the Common Good. Students will take one of these courses each year. The classes will evolve as the students go up in class standing.

It is like Seminar 300 classes, since students will have multiple opportunities to be involved in off campus social justice experiences. All majors will be developing social justice experiences for students in their senior year to relate social justice to their future career field.

Gingerich also helped to pilot the freshman course this past year at Cabrini. While piloting the course, Gingerich saw changes in himself that allowed him to learn and think about justice issues in new ways. What Gingerich wants most out of this new curriculum is to create Cabrini graduates who naturally become leaders in their professions and their communities.

Alyssa Mentzer, a sophomore communication major, was placed last fall into one of the three pilot classes of Engagements with the Common Good. Mentzer explained that her class touched on sensitive subjects involving HIV/AIDS, poverty, migration and fair trade.

Mentzer’s eyes were opened to whole new way of life and it showed her there is a world outside of her own. This is exactly what “Justice Matters” is aiming to do. Mentzer realized that by using her voice and the knowledge she had gained, she is able to make a difference.

“I was ignorant to the fact that my help could be crucial to helping the world be a more livable place. Now, that I have realized that I have the power to make a difference, I feel the responsibility to help out in anyway I can. I believe that the course as a whole was very successful and I am glad it is being added as part of the curriculum,” Mentzer said.

Walter Jesuncosky, sophomore history and criminology major, participated in Dr. Nancy Watterson’s pilot class last fall. Jesuncosky felt that, in the pilot, he and his class learned what life is like off campus in the real world and how to interact with the community.

Jesuncosky encouraged freshmen to be excited about the opportunity and stressed that the class is a good opportunity to adjust to college life as a whole. Jesuncosky added, “In Dr. Watterson’s class I changed a lot, more in my academics than anything else, but at the same time she helped me realize what I could as one person to change the world.”

The curriculum is designed to bring the student body together within the Cabrini community and outside of it as well. The Cabrini College education now begins a new chapter.

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Molly Kearney

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