The Cornerstone Curriculum Certificate is a program of study designed to prepare students for success in their academic and professional future. Through Minerva’s Cornerstone courses and the Integrated Learning course students dramatically improve their analytical decision making, creative problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills.
Students will learn and apply the habits of mind and foundational concepts (HCs) that underlie four core competencies — thinking critically, thinking creatively, communicating effectively, and interacting effectively — that are the common foundation for every Minerva student.
The Cornerstone courses teach the breadth and depth of transferable interdisciplinary knowledge that will be your foundation whether your next step is attending university, launching a business, or entering the workforce. Paired with the Integrated Learning course, students connect their academic learning with personal and professional development.
The Cornerstones are structured to teach you to apply all four core competencies across multiple disciplines. For example, in your Formal Analyses course, which sits within Computational Sciences, you learn inductive logic. This concept, part of the critical thinking competency, is first introduced in readings and class activities about cloning, then subsequently applied to topics in artificial intelligence, the study of global pandemics, and human motivation. In this way, a single concept is explored across various fields — biology, computer science, public health, and psychology. Further, inductive logic may be invoked in any other Cornerstone course and applied in students’ daily lives.
Empirical Analyses focuses on thinking creatively. You will become familiar with the central methods used in the natural and social sciences, enabling you to frame problems effectively, identify solutions, develop and test hypotheses, and engage in informed conjecture. (8 units)
Multimodal Communications focuses on communicating effectively. You will learn to understand and convey information at a high level, gaining practical experience in public speaking, visual communication, design, debate, and artistic expression. (8 units)
Formal Analyses focuses on thinking critically. You will receive training in advanced logic, rational thought, statistics, computational thinking, and formal systems — all of which will help you formulate, analyze, and solve complex challenges. (8 units)
Complex Systems focuses on interacting effectively. You will explore how humans function as members of various systems, learning the concepts of multiple causality and multi-factor interactions, group project collaboration, negotiation, leadership, and formal debate. (8 units)
The Integrated Learning Course is designed to provide you with tools to support your personal and character growth, and prepare you for effective citizenship in a diverse multicultural society. The five areas of growth, named Integrated Learning Outcomes, are: Self-Management and Wellness, Interpersonal Engagement, Intercultural Competency, Professional Development, Civic Responsibility. (1 unit)
All Minerva classes are synchronous and conducted on the Forum™ virtual learning platform. Seminars are capped at 20 students and focus on discussion, debate, and collaborative work sessions. This active learning approach stimulates deep cognition, enhancing your understanding of course material and furthering your ability to apply concepts to unfamiliar situations in novel ways.
In each session, your professor prompts students to participate in the lively exchange of ideas and deep engagement with course material that are the hallmarks of active learning. Classes include breakout groups, polls, simulations, and presentations, which give you numerous opportunities to develop and apply practical knowledge that is both relevant to your career and critical for the world.
Whether you are a high school graduate, a current university student, or a university graduate, you can participate in the Cornerstone Courses Certificate program as a Visiting Scholar. The one year (two-semester) full-time offering allows students to engage in an unparalleled learning experience. The Cornerstone Curriculum Certificate will be granted upon successful completion of the eight Cornerstone courses and the Integrated Learning course.