Sample Core Courses

Flagler College's unique general education program, Core, lets you weave your passions directly into your education. Here's a look at a few examples of Core courses you can choose from.

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Selected Current Core Courses

Flagler College offers a truly unique general education program called Core. Our signature program allows you to choose nine classes from hundreds of options. You'll get to choose one class in each of the nine literacies below.  You can take these nine classes throughout your time at Flagler.

You will also take First Year Seminar, a credit course that's part of Core and designed to help you adjust to your Flagler College experience. And during your second year, you'll select your FlagSHIP opportunity from among carefully curated experiences designed to transform your learning.

This list is just a tiny sampling of our many Core courses. Contact your CACE advisor for your complete list of options.

Academic Writing

Once considered low-brow trash that degraded the minds of good children everywhere, the comic book is undergoing something of a renaissance today. Its influence on modern popular culture is practically inescapable. 

"The Avengers," "Suicide Squad," "Sweet Tooth," "Y: The Last Man," "Black Widow," "The Walking Dead," "Black Panther," "Preacher," "The Boys"—every time you turn on the TV or go to the movies, you see the impact comics have had and continue to have on the ways we think about our art, our society, and ourselves. 

Not everyone is happy about this development, however. Martin Scorsese, for instance, has lamented the rise of the comic book as creating an atmosphere that is "brutal and inhospitable to art." 

We will examine the debate surrounding comics while learning more about the medium's history, influence, and craft as a means for developing the skills of argumentation, analysis, and written composition.

In his novel "Mother Night," American author Kurt Vonnegut wrote, "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

 In this course, you will get to explore the nature of their identities through inquiry-driven research and reflective writing. At the core of this labor are the questions "Who am I?" "Who do I want to be?" and "How can I get there?" 

By practicing mindfulness and critical inquiry paired with academically informed reflective writing, you will develop your ability to understand and articulate answers to these and other questions. 

In this course, you will explore the ideas of vulnerability before intrusive digital media ecosystems and our potential personal and collective responses. 

This exploration will partly consist of classroom discussion of M. T. Anderson's dystopian novel "Feed," Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows," and Neil Postman's classic "Amusing Ourselves to Death."  

We will also discuss academic essays and explore parallels with dystopia, the unintended consequences of technological platforms, and your own vision for healthy engagement and positive resistance.

Oral Communication

In this course, you will learn how to tailor messages to different audiences, and connect authentically with them through your own unique speaking style. You'll also learn how to create compelling oral presentations. 

This course approaches speech as an ethically charged activity practiced in civic and professional contexts. Course goals include developing communication skills that invite transformation of both speaker and audience and creating discourse-based events where safety, value, freedom, and openness enable growth. 

Music establishes a unique cultural identity for both individuals and communities in flux. When we listen first, we are communicating to understand differences without judgment, which is a step toward empathy. From there, appreciation of matters such as art, aesthetics, experience, and worldview expand because of difference and not in spite of it. 

Your learning in this course will be grounded in strategies of listening with the intent to overcome differences through dialogue. The goal of this course is to forward cultural music appreciation and advocacy at the same time. 

The number of podcast listeners in the U.S. is expected to hit 100 million in 2024, up sharply from 83 million in 2021. In this course, you will learn what makes a podcast successful as you interview people about issues and events on campus and in the community. 

You'll get to learn how to capture clean audio, conduct interviews, and write compelling scripts on your way to producing podcast episodes. You will also meet people of diverse backgrounds and views while gaining a new perspective on the power of podcasting to transform people's lives.

Natural Scientific Inquiry

Recent flooding highlights how St Augustine and its citizens face complex decisions concerning how the city and the environment interact in the coming days, years, and decades. Communities around the globe must also make choices about how to cope with climate change, rising sea levels, pollution, growth, and conservation of resources.

 Scientific literacy is crucial to navigating the challenges of the 21st century. In this course, you will explore the need for scientific literacy and the responsibilities of scientists to provide sound data to inform decisions.

We depend on the earth's resources for everything. Yet human history is filled with societies that collapsed because of a lack of stewardship and a lack of understanding of how natural systems functioned. 

In this course, you will use lectures and laboratory activities to gain an understanding of how natural systems function, how humans influence them, and how humans can care for them. You will also be exposed to other reasons (aside from the benefit to humans) for people to care for the natural world.

In this course, you will engage in the process of Environmental Science and learn about the natural world with your own eyes, not through words from a professor, textbooks, or magazine articles. This class is designed to give science majors their initial exposure to undergraduate research.

You can conduct experiments, form opinions, and defend your conclusions. Lectures will provide background on the history of Environmental Science, the process of science, and other topics selected by the professor and students. Lab activities will incorporate inquiry-based investigations and allow you to formulate your own questions, design your own experiments, and answer your own questions. 

Social Scientific Inquiry

The field of social sciences plays a critical role in lessening the impact of crisis-related stress. 

It also influences how we: 

  • communicate risks
  •  improve preparedness and logistics
  •  increase public awareness and education
  •  manage emergencies
  •  introduce new technologies
  • build resilience

Before COVID-19 and throughout history, there have been instances of viruses infecting people on a mass scale, which creates extraordinary demands on public health. This course hopes to make it clear how important critical and creative thinking from multiple angles, including psychology, is during a pandemic to develop strategies and better prepare communities for any future public health crisis.

We know sleep is required for survival, and that we will spend about a third of our lives sleeping, but surprisingly, we still don't know why! In this course, we will discuss the major theories surrounding sleeping (and dreaming). We will also examine how the society we live in may play a role in our sleep behaviors. 

We will explore questions such as: 

  • How do sleep beliefs and sleep habits differ across cultures? 
  • What is “hustle culture” and how might it influence our sleep health? 
  • How do social norms regarding sleep impact our own sleep behaviors? 
  • And ultimately, what can you do to improve your own sleep? 

This course will investigate these questions with the latest sleep research, and you will even take a step back to study your own sleep beliefs and behaviors.

Miscarriages of justice may take many forms. One such form is the conviction of the innocent. 

Since 1992, the Innocence Project has helped exonerate 375 innocent individuals with the help of DNA evidence - including 21 who served time on death row. The wrongfully convicted are disproportionately black and lower income. 

The causes of these wrongful convictions include:

  •  eyewitness misidentifications 
  • misapplied forensic science
  • false confessions
  • ineffective assistance of counsel
  •  paid jailhouse informants

However, one underlying cause of wrongful convictions has been present in every single case - a misbelieved or mistaken alibi. 

This course will be an in-depth look at the criminological, psychological, and legal issues present with this piece of potentially exculpatory evidence. Students will learn how to define, analyze, and evaluate research as it relates to alibis and corroborators. Also, students will be exposed to varying theoretical and applied approaches to the handling of alibi witnesses and evidence during the investigative, trial, and deliberations stages of a criminal prosecution.

Quantitative Reasoning

We live in a world in which data drives decision-making. Data is everywhere! This course aims to provide a thorough overview of the statistical literacy. You'll need this to cope with the practical demands of daily life. You will be empowered to use this literacy in a way that encourages responsible citizenship in a modern democracy. 

Course objectives will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving, with the application of statistical skills to real-world scenarios requiring reasoning from evidence. It's an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methods of statistics. 

Topics include: 

  • data organization
  • graphs and numerical measures
  •  probability
  • normal, and sampling distributions 
  • confidence intervals and hypothesis testing 
  • correlation
  • regression

Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social, also known as profit, planet, and people. 

In this course, we will explore data that drives the decisions that support a more sustainable world. Course objectives will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving, with the application of statistical skills to real-world scenarios requiring reasoning from evidence. Overall, this course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methods of statistics. 

Topics include: 

  • data organization
  • graphs and numerical measures
  • probability
  •  normal, and sampling distributions
  • confidence intervals and hypothesis testing
  •  correlation
  • regression

Diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees. In this course, we will analyze data that explores the differences in people's views to gain an appreciation of these differences. 

Course objectives will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving, with the application of statistical skills to real-world scenarios requiring reasoning from evidence. Overall, this course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methods of statistics. 

Topics include: 

  • data organization
  • graphs and numerical measures
  •  probability
  • normal, and sampling distributions
  •  confidence intervals and hypothesis testing
  •  correlation
  • regression


The generally accepted trajectory of writing in higher education has trended toward longer forms. But micro and flash fiction are the disruptors of this trend. 

Micro and flash fiction can be, arguably, words combined in their most effective form. But can an entire story be delivered in so few words? And what constitutes a “whole” story? The best flash fiction captures the reader’s imagination and delivers the full emotion with less. 

In this class, we will be the Marie Kondos of storytelling. This class will exemplify creative community by teaching you to craft your own original stories. It will follow the Transformative Learning pathway by prompting you to research and find sources of micro and flash fiction that you feel display superior storytelling in its purest and shortest form.  

The stories we portray in performance should mirror all of us in a complex and diverse way. 

Viola Spolin states: “Theatre Games are a process applicable to any field, discipline, or subject matter which creates a place where full participation, communication, and transformation can take place.” 

 You will explore the actor's responsibility to mirror society in a complex and diverse way without stereotyping. This course closely explores gender and ethnic stereotypes through improvisation and in film. We'll examine the ways their performances can perpetuate society’s dominant ideologies. Students will also create a final acting project inspired by improvisation.

Photography can and should be more than a beautiful, captivating object. It can also create a unique access point to any challenging questions we find.  And while it doesn't often give answers, photography does create self-reflection, critical analysis, and complex dialogue. 

In this class, we will analyze important photographic works from the post-modern era to contemporary works that have created critical dialogue on issues of racism, sexism, gender equality, and sexuality. 

This course will challenge you to critically examine yourself, analyze cultures outside of your own, develop an informed and compassionate understanding of diverse cultures and identities, and create photographic works of art that stimulate others to engage in this critical discourse.

Social and Cultural Inquiry

This course is a survey of the role of women in spying and espionage within the fiction spy genre, focusing on diversity, including gender roles, sexuality, age, ethnicity, and culture. 

Women are present in some way in all spy stories. But what is their role? Women are portrayed as everything from smart and tough to less cunning than their male counterparts. They exist in literature, movies, and TV. And, of course, there are the real-life women spies. 

This course will explore these women from the Revolutionary War to today. Through examining these female spies, you will focus on the Social and Cultural Inquiry skill set while investigating how female spies fit into the value pathway of Citizenship with Integrity as political actors in their respective countries.

In this class, you will examine the Cinema's history, impact on fashion, and ability to shape society's sensibilities.  You will explore the medium of Cinema from its beginnings as a working-class novelty through its Golden Age and the Hollywood Studio System that made it all possible. You will also look at its dissolution, including the historical contributions to its demise. 

Finally,  you will reflect on the various groups of people who made it all possible and, ultimately, who got the credit.

In 2007, a Time Magazine article stated that the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled and shows no signs of abating." 

No wonder the first book to come off of Johannes Gutenberg's press was the Bible, which remains the best-selling book ever and ubiquitous online. This book boldly claims to encompass the expanse of cosmic history, from the creation of the universe to its apocalyptic finale, thus providing a linear view of time that still permeates American culture.

Despite the Bible's immeasurable impact and many dimensions, few people have more than a fleeting knowledge of it. This course entails a close reading of selected sections of the Bible, accompanied by a critical analysis of cultural forces that shaped them and their multiple interpretations today.

Historical Inquiry

War has plagued humankind over the centuries, increasing in intensity and scope over time. Modern warfare, beginning in Europe in the seventeenth century, accelerated the intensity and scope of warfare due to the advent of gunpowder and the rise of modern centralized monarchies. In the twentieth century, warfare encompassed the entire globe, increasing the death toll and devastation exponentially in greater proportion to that considered horrific in the seventeenth century. 

This class begs important questions like:

  • Why did political leaders resort to wars? 
  • Why did their populations support these wars? 
  • Were there any just wars? 
  • Did peace treaties resolve the issues that prompted the wars, and were there any just treaties?

 In this course,  you will answer these and other questions by examining six major wars as individual case studies. 

This course provides a highly experiential introduction to world history through the fascinating sites of St. Augustine. 

Focusing on themes of colonization, commerce, conquest, conversion, imperial rivalry, indigenous lives, labor migration, plantations, and slavery, you will engage with the multiple colonial histories of St. Augustine. You will also enrich your understanding of the community you joined at Flagler. 

This course combines integrated field trips and role-playing while introducing historical inquiry.

Hollywood has tackled some of the world's most controversial topics, celebrated leaders, and events of apocalyptic proportions. 

This course will analyze sixteen movies that deal with historical events concerning race, genocide, war, peace, greed, exploration, love, intrigue, and the human spirit. 

We will determine what Hollywood "got right" and the impact on historical interpretation when they "got it wrong." We will look at Hollywood's complicity in interpreting the historical narrative incorrectly and why. Perhaps more importantly, we will discuss the historical events and individuals that Hollywood has overlooked - many times intentionally - and why.

Ethical Reasoning

Sport both reflects and shapes society. Sports can be a place to learn and display the loftiest virtues, but it can also encourage and reveal our worst faults. 

This course will address the complex concepts of right and wrong through the lens of sports. Early in the semester, you will learn some of the fundamental tools of ethical reasoning and different ethical approaches. Later, students will actively apply these tools to issues in sport, all while keeping in mind our goal of building a respectful and inclusive community. 

The course will explore questions such as:

  • What is fair play and being a good sport? 
  • Are college athletes exploited? 
  • Are separate gender divisions justified? 
  • Is violence in sport acceptable? 
  • What forms of performance enhancers cross the line? 
  • Should we ban sports that harm players?

While differences of opinion will inevitably occur, you and your classmates will learn how to debate your differences with facts and knowledge of various ethical approaches toward determining right and wrong. 

This course is focused on historical and contemporary discussions of virtue and the cultivation of virtue in practice. 

You will study historical and contemporary works of philosophy, fictional texts, and films. You'll relate the ideas from them to your own experience of real-world virtuous activity. 

Through fiction and non-fiction textual analysis, long-term student habituation, and careful reflection, you will connect the concept of human virtue to that of human happiness and meaning in life.

“Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word, I reach for my feather boa! Better we should have a big Jewish dictatorship full of Blintzes: Better a spade Fish queen...” – Allen Ginsberg. 

As poet Allen Ginsburg observes here, even (especially?) in a democracy, politics can often feel absurd, ridiculous, and bewildering. The primary aim of this course is to make it feel a little less so by furnishing you with the intellectual resources necessary to navigate our contemporary political world. 

This course will help you answer questions such as:

  •  What are the primary differences between Democrats and Republicans? 
  • What do people mean when talking about the political “left” and the political “right”? 
  • Are all Democrats “liberals,” and are all Republicans “conservatives,” and what do these terms even mean anyway?

 By exposing you to a wide range of ideological perspectives, the course will help you become a more informed and effective citizen. You will better understand what ideology (or ideologies) you believe, why, and how best to defend your beliefs.