Common Readings at PC
Establishing a Freshman Common Reading Program
The concept of a common reading to be explored by students, and perhaps the entire campus community, was recommended by the original Core Curriculum Review Committee (CCRC) in its 2007 proposal to revise the Core.
The CCRC report provided a strong vision for how the disputed question could enhance the College’s intellectual culture:
“Adopting the disputed question format, perhaps supplemented with a suggested common book or other readings, creates a link to PC’s Dominican tradition in a highly visible manner. It also raises the level of intellectual discourse, provides opportunities for values clarification, and encourages self‐reflection as the PC community addresses significant moral, ethical, political, socio‐economic, and scientific issues confronting the nation and the world…To the extent that faculty members adopt the question in their own courses, this common connection can stimulate intellectual exchanges across the entire campus…If discussion of the common disputed question is supplemented with lectures from invited speakers, dramatic productions, art exhibits, or even athletic competitions, succeeding years at Providence College will be remembered by the disputed questions discussed that year.”
The One Campus/One Question Committee, which was appointed by the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in 2010, believed the Freshman Common Reading Program would facilitate the advancement of student perspectives beyond what is normally part of the typical PC educational and cultural experience. The program would spark argument and debate, and would lead to greater intellectual discussion of disputed questions and topics of interest to our community.